RHUE Resorts/Evan Schiller
If you find yourself wanting to join the crypto craze this holiday season, readers of this particular site may be interested in purchasing an NFT golf membership.
Aspen Lakes, a longtime family-owned public golf course near the Central Oregon town of Sisters, near the popular resort town of Bend, was recently sold to Rhue Resorts and the new owners are debuting a unique business model.
They plan on turning the course into the flagship of a private luxury resort network, with the cost of membership being an NFT.
Before we dive into the crypto aspect, in case you’re unfamiliar with Rhue Resorts, it’s a new brand started by Oregon’s Wyant family, which Rhue Resorts CEO Cindy Wyant said has a 40-year history of developing properties from hotels to apartment complexes to indoor waterparks and more.
But when the family acquired Aspen Lakes earlier this year, intending to simultaneously relocate to Central Oregon, they wanted also wanted to cater to those who had vast assets in crypto.
Wyant is calling it the world’s first NFT golf resort.
“It’s huge. There are a lot of people that are camping on a lot of crypto and they haven’t got a lot of options. You can buy or sell your crypto and that’s about it,” Wyant said.
An NFT or nonfungible token is a unit of value on a blockchain, but typically they have been associated with artwork and digital sports collectibles that can be purchased with cryptocurrency.
“I began to see the possibilities with real estate,” Wyant said. “So that’s why we chose this way to give people in that space the opportunity.”
Right now, Rhue Resorts only consists of the par-72, 7,300-yard golf course and restaurant at Aspen Lakes, but there are big expansion plans. This spring, the plan is to open a cigar lounge, wine tasting, miniature golf, and a concert venue. By the summer and fall, expected amenities include a day spa and a luxury campground.
By 2024, the resort plans to begin construction on a luxury hotel, condos and other long- and short-term housing. They’ve been approved to build 3,000 homes.
The company even has plans for expanding to other properties. Wyant said they’re looking at building new resorts in Naples, Florida, Arizona and Montana.
And all founding members will have lifetime access to these amenities.
“You can rent your membership out for extra income, you can sell your membership on the secondary market, and the more amenities and features we add in, the more resorts we open, the more value it’s going to have,” Wyant said. “You can also pass it to your loved ones. It never goes away. It’s not just a lifetime membership. It’s in perpetuity forever.”
The resort is starting to sell the first “Founding Memberships” which include all of the amenities planned for Aspen Lakes and future properties, but they’ll be limited to just 10,000 memberships globally. They’re offering a steep discount through this holiday season of half off for Ethereum’s (the cryptocurrency Rhue is using for the transaction) equivalent of $10,000.
And if you’re not interested in purchasing the NFT yourself or you don’t have any cryptocurrency, Wyant said the resort will take the cash equivalent and deposit it in a crypto account for you.
Crypto has shown wild instability, especially recently with the bankruptcy of exchange FTX, but Wyant felt good about Ethereum’s projections and believes crypto will see better days. (Editor’s note: Our interview was conducted before FTX’s bankruptcy.)
“If you look at the history of crypto, which you don’t have to go far, it’s nine years old, everything goes down in the fall,” Wyant said. “So that’s why we’re launching in November during the holidays. This is the gift that keeps on giving forever.
“It is becoming more mainstream and people should take advantage of the opportunity.”