Located in an alpine forest midway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, when Winchester Country Club’s custom lot program began during the height of the Internet boom, it was an immediate hit. And the golf course itself, the last to be designed by the father-son team of Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Jr., quickly became one of the highest-ranked in the state and an able competitor to long-standing leaders in the Bay Area and along the Central Coast. But as the Internet boom collapsed, custom lot and home sales throughout Northern California faded quickly, taking with it Winchester’s rapid development.
To fund the final phases, the new lender asked us to identify the community’s unique niche and how to best market this unusual project to a national audience. The firm’s consultants divided the assignment into three separate sections: one centering on custom lot programs throughout the greater Sacramento and Lake Tahoe region, the second reviewing golf course-oriented communities in the same area and the third focusing on the highest-ranked golf courses throughout the state.
The team concluded that the challenge to Winchester Country Club was neither price nor location: given its unique location, low density, amenities, and ambiance, it was ultimately a question of targeted marketing. Located above Central California’s fog line but below Lake Tahoe’s snow level and with a limited number of lots and country club memberships, this exclusive, private community required marketing to the type of national clientele who could live anywhere they wanted while would appreciate its unique location and enviable amenities.
|Winchester re-launched a new marketing program and returned a year later for an update.|