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The Club at Big Bear Village, California - Review

Time-Share in the Mountains and Music in the Shower

by André Gayot

*Note: This property is no longer selling memberships.

Big Bear Lake in the winter in California
Mountain Idyll: Big Bear Lake

Have you ever considered buying your own chalet in the mountains? Or is a time-share or partial ownership right for you? The latter solution has strong arguments in its favor: no hassle, no worries for the maintenance.

- Sure, but will it cost more?

- Not necessarily so. Cost is shared and mishaps can be fixed before things go sour.

- Okay, but the place will never be mine.

- Well, you own one-tenth of your apartment, and it remains your sole property 'til you sell it. So hopefully, it will keep its value or even increase in value. It's not like paying rent, where the money spent is gone forever.

- But the time of occupancy allocated to me is short. Twenty-eight days each year: two weeks in winter, two weeks in summer.

- Yes, but those of us who own a second house have learned that we don't spend that much time in our second dwelling. We rarely exceed a few weeks at the maximum. When you are not using your own home, you are in exactly the same situation as that of a time-share, plus you have the worries, the taxes, etc.

- Okay, but I can't choose my dates.

- True, but a rotating system gives members a chance to pick the time-frame they prefer or at least have, over time, access during holidays and events. You can also obtain additional days at no cost if a member is not using one of the units.

Having in mind this dialogue, we went to visit one such time-share. We chose a realistic and attractive location for the residents of a large city. In this case the city was Los Angeles and the destination was Big Bear Lake, a three-hour ride away and a completely different world from LA: quiet, crimeless and pollution free, with crisp, clean air.
The Club at Big Bear Lake, a gated residence, is a luxurious mountain resort that includes 26 three-bedroom and 32 four-bedroom units, each respectively with three and four bathrooms, a large and luxurious kitchen, a vast living room and a heated two-car garage.

A snug suite at The Club at Big Bear Village in California
Snug Suite

The unit we stayed in was richly appointed. It was calm and snug. We enjoyed a sunset after spending the day on the slopes at Bear Mountain just a few minutes away, sitting in the deep couches watching a big-screen movie with sophisticated stereo sound. State-of-the-art was also the kitchen with all the pots, pans and dishes necessary to prepare a gourmet dinner. That is if you feel like it; otherwise, a chef is available. The top gizmo is to be discovered in the bathroom where you can sit in the shower thoroughly sprinkled from all sides while listening to your favorite concerto, whose notes filter through the cascade that envelops you. That suffices to depict the attention paid to the details of comfort. Altogether, in this environment, we preferred this type of accommodation; it gives you more freedom than a less supple stay in a luxury hotel.

Head for the hills in Big Bear, California
Head for the hills

More amenities are available at the club house: a gourmet restaurant (coming soon), executive board room, fitness center, adult lounges with billiards and six televisions, and a teen center with Play Stations, football and video games.

Another exciting aspect of this time-share is that you can apply for a change of place, since World's Finest Resorts, of which this property is a part, can facilitate the exchange of homes around the world. Yet another good reason not to invest money in a private second home.

The cost of a fractional ownership is $164,000 plus an annual fee of approximately $5,000 for a three-bedroom unit and $182,000 plus $6,200 for a four-bedroom unit. Fees cover utilities and basic homeowner insurance.

Aside from skiing and snowboarding, there are plenty of good things to go for in Big Bear, such as horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking and relaxing.

The Club at Big Bear Village
40671 Village Dr.
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
888-409-4844, 909-878-2700
Visit The Club at Big Bear Village official website



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