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World-Class Treasure in the Desert By Tara Kirkpatrick Ventana Canyon Golf & Racquet Club is a Tucson success story. Bold and measured leadership, a long-term strategic plan and a commitment to preserving a unique, treasured lifestyle have resulted in success for the club at the foot of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The club’s achievements can be traced to a calculated risk taken a decade ago by a group of forward-thinking members that has since reaped great reward. “This is one of the best-kept secrets in Tucson,” said Ventana Canyon Golf & Racquet Club GM and CEO George White. “And it’s time we told our story.” Owned by Wyndham Worldwide in 2003, the Lodge at Ventana Canyon and the club’s future were uncertain. Members worried about fallout if the hotel chain sold or abandoned the property. Club members wanted to preserve the exclusive, award-winning golf and tennis center, the scenic landscape for morning walks and hikes and the beautiful neighborhood built around The Lodge at Ventana Canyon boutique hotel and country club centerpiece. They knew then www.BizTucson.com

that their destinies were linked – if the club floundered, so too would home values, the community and their lifestyle. A consortium of investors – most of them members – formed the Ventana Canyon Alliance in 2003. With a focused leadership team, the group purchased the property from Wyndham to take control over its direction and future. A decade later, the decision has paid off. “I’m so happy to see that we have succeeded,” said Dave Carney, an investor who helped sell others on the concept in 2003. “The club now is better than it ever was.” Indeed, the club and lodge have remained among the top golf and tennis destinations in the country, surrounded by a very desirable neighborhood of nearly 700 homes. Today, the club is a haven for corporate leaders and retired CEOs, and a welcoming community for families who want to see their children succeed in sports and develop values. “You drive in the gate and you feel connected,” said White, a lodging industry veteran. “This is a place where kids can grow up, learn etiquette and how to speak to adults – because they are

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