Bob Evans and Brad Pelletier

Director of development Bob Evans, left, and vice-president Brad Pelletier

There’s no question the golfing experience at Predator Ridge near Vernon is world-class.

But at the same time, it also offers the ultimate in Okanagan living in it’s elegant

neighbourhoods.

One of the premier golf resorts in Canada, it has received numerous accolades for the

design of its 36 holes and offers up one the best tests of the game anywhere for players of all levels on it’s Predator and Ridge courses.

It’s also the summer home of Hockey Canada and twice hosted the prestigious World Skins Game and draws golfers from across Canada and around the world to its lush greens and fairways.

But there’s a lot more to it than just the golf.

Nestled into the hills above Vernon, Predator Ridge also offers the opportunity to

experience the Okanagan lifestyle for residents in one of it’s neighbourhoods with lifestyle amenities such as walking and hiking trails, a complete fitness centre and a village experience unparalleled in the Valley.

And with the launching to the public of the new Whitetail neighbourhood Thursday, the resort will offer new homesites that will only further its reputation for offering unsurpassed living.

“It’s an exciting time for Predator Ridge,” said Brad Pelletier, vice-president, Okanagan, with the resort’s parent company, Vancouver-based Wesbild Holdings.

“It’s our coming out and to really show a new, exciting Predator Ridge. Golf is our key amenity, but we are so much more than golf.”

With the Les Furber-designed Predator Course and Doug Carrick’s Ridge Course, the resort has brought two of golf’s premiere design architects together, making it the only Golf Digest 4.5 star-rated course in the Okanagan.

Named after the falcons, osprey and eagles that call the area home, since it’s opening in 1991 it has also grown into one of the finest residential resort developments in the Okanagan and the country, for that matter.

Spread over 1,200 acres, the resort is home to some 600 residents, many of whom are course members.

But, as Pelletier pointed out, there are plenty of others who don’t even play golf, but are still drawn to the resort for its relaxed lifestyle and the experience of living in harmony with their surroundings.

“Each of the golf courses are great, but what makes Predator Ridge great is everything,” he said.

“We celebrate the outdoors here, whether that’s out on the golf course or the trails. That’s what sets us apart.”

Indeed, there are more than a dozen kilometres of hiking trails that invite a stroll, as well as other amenities such as gourmet dining in the resort’s restaurants and the handy Commonage Market on site.

Residents can also access tennis courts, outdoor pools and Jacuzzi and a 25-metre lap pool.

And if that’s not enough, there’s even the deluxe pampering spa experience to be had at the KurSpa at neighbouring Sparkling Hill Resort perched on a hilltop overlooking the area.

As well, there’s also a new bistro opening this summer and Predator will be getting it’s own fire hall in the near future, too.

While existing craftsman-style residences at Predator Ridge run the gamut from cozy golf cottages to fractional ownership at The Tips residences to resort-ready and custom-built homes, Whitetail will offer something different again and the grand opening will introduce that to the public.

“This is how we’re going to introduce Whitetail,” said Pelletier.

“There are over 70 units in this first phase, but we’re only releasing 36 of the family lots and six of what we’re calling Gateway Homes. It will be quite diverse.”

In keeping with the overall esthetic of the resort, Whitetail homes will take design cues from what’s already there, but also expand on that ethos in an updated, modern way.

The Gateway Homes, with construction slated to begin this fall, will offer close to 2,000 square feet of living space, while the individual homesites will also offer the opportunity for larger residences.

All have been carefully planned to hug the landscape while offering generous outdoor living spaces and blending in with the landscape of the Ridge Course.

“We’re not going to do what so many others have done and line the fairways with homes,” said Pelletier.

“It a cluster development that will weave in and out of the view corridors of the golf course.”

Whitetail will also be a ‘green’ neighbourhood with the utilization of geothermal heating while maintaining high-end finishing standards throughout.

“We’re leaving very large swaths of naturalized areas,” said Wesbild director of development Bob Evans, of Whitetail.

“(The homes) are strategically placed to take advantage of two things, the view and the natural features, and we’re doing our best to preserve those.”

With a master plan encompassing more than 2,000 residential units, there is more to come at Predator Ridge, and the Whitetail neighbourhood will be a welcome addition.

But as Pelletier pointed out, the resort will never lose its unique blend of golf, the outdoors and the Okanagan lifestyle as it grows.

“We’re very proud of the past, but are we ever excited about the future here,” he said. “I’ve yet to find an equal to Predator Ridge anywhere in this country in terms of the lifestyle and the infrastructure that we have in place.”

The official grand opening of Whitetail will run Thursday from 7-9 p.m. in the Austria Ballroom at Sparkling Hill Resort.

For more information, call 250-860-LIVE or go to PredatorRidge.com/Whitetail.