The Nugget Newspaper - News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Aspen Lakes has buyer interest

 

Last updated 9/20/2022 at Noon

JIM CORNELIUS

Aspen Lakes Golf Course may become an “NFT resort.”

Go to aspenlakes.com and you will be greeted by an invitation to join “the world’s first NFT private golf resort and gated residential community, located in Sisters, Oregon.” There’s a lot to unpack, but at core is the sale of Aspen Lakes to outside investors. It’s shrouded in mystery, and the Cyrus family, current owners, are bound by an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) that binds them from discussing the matter.

The Nugget has unearthed a corporation in South Dakota that matches the description of the proposed purchaser. Matt Cyrus did not deny the location of the pending purchasers. Cyrus told The Nugget: “If all goes well, we hope to close in October or November.”

He says they are optimistic but added: “We have been down this road before, twice in the last two years or so, and in both cases the proposals fell through, in one case due to lack of funding by the purchaser.”

Cyrus would not discuss reasons for selling.

Aspen Lakes has experienced financial hardship more than once over the life of the golf and residential development.

The owners in waiting are “doing their due diligence,” Cyrus said.

A look at the website suggests that Rhue Resorts, Inc. is feeling bullish on the deal.

NFT stands for non-fungible tokens. According to investopedia, “NFTs ... are unique cryptographic tokens that exist on a blockchain and cannot be replicated... NFTs have the potential for several use cases. For example, they are an ideal vehicle to digitally represent physical assets like real estate and artwork.”

Cyrus told The Nugget that there are 1,300 acres of land contiguous or adjacent to the Aspens Lakes tract available for development, but he wouldn’t say how many acres are contemplated in the resort concept.

Lodging is not mentioned in the promotional description, as it would most likely run afoul of county and state land use restrictions. Condominiums were envisioned some years ago, never making it past the concept stage. Rhue’s announcement specifically mentions them, along with homes.

Most likely much of the announced development would be sited between the existing links and Highway 126, east of Camp Polk Road. There is also substantial Cyrus acreage on the northwest corner of Highway 126 and Camp Polk.

Cyrus expects some opposition.

“Some people will oppose any growth or development anywhere no matter the overall benefit,” he said.

The Nugget spoke with three Aspen Lakes residents, all three saying they would be opposed to such an expansion. Hal Kibby, a homeowner who also owns a vacant lot in the subdivision, specified one worry — traffic.

The others mentioned noise and light pollution as a concern.

Under Rhue’s vision of ownership, via an NFT, benefits will include membership to Aspen Lakes Golf & Adventure Resort, a lifetime membership with no annual dues or fees, just exclusivity and privacy. It would feature members-only access and exclusive offers to Ambiance Vineyard and Tasting Room, featuring the award-winning wines of the Pacific Northwest.

Members would have exclusive choice of lots, homes, and condos, and the planning and development of their property and rights to the “members only” section in an outdoor amphitheater, guaranteeing front-row seats and backstage opportunities.

Aspen Lakes Golf Course, a ranked 18-hole course featured in Golf Digest, would become private, for members only. Aspen Lakes Adventures plans include a wide variety of activities, including an indoor waterpark, miniature golf, 12-acre lake and campground, and more — again for members only.

 

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