East of the Zoo, Military Control Center and Will Rogers: Colorado’s Cheyenne Mountain Resort

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Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs is a triple-peak reaching almost 10,000 feet for the sky. North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD); Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, America’s only mountain zoo and Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun are three of the mountain’s unique points of interest. NORAD is a military command and control center co-operated by the United States and Canada within the mountain and was built to withstand an atomic explosion – hopefully its resilience is never tested.

View from No. 11 green, a par three, 188 yards from the tips and 100 from front tees

East of the zoo/bunker/statue trio is the Cheyenne Mountain Resort. There are more tennis courts than the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (almost), the Alluvia Spa and Wellness Retreat, a health club fit for the U.S. weightlifting team, group exercise classes, meeting space suitable for Warren Buffett, indoor and outdoor pools, 316 guest rooms with mountain views, a restaurant, a sports bar, outdoor fire pit, a Starbucks and an 18-hole Pete Dye-designed golf course. It’s a private golf course for members one, but can be played by resort guests.

Mr. Dye did a fine job.

We had the opportunity to tee it up with longtime member, Mark Burris. Burris has been a member since 2010, he lives on the golf course and still enjoys playing there after six years. He owns a moving company and his wife owns the ultra-popular local popular ice cream shop, Colorado City Creamery, which is also available at the resort.

We spoke with Burris’ wife, Carrie at the shop, “We use 14-percent butterfat base and despite a surge in pistachio prices, we still buy and serve the best and freshest pistachios. If it gets to a point where we can’t serve fresh ingredients, then we’ll close the shop.”

Mark and Carrie’s membership got off to a blazing start when Mark aced the par three No. 11 just a few days after joining.

“I was in the golf cart and Mark was on the tee box when I heard him screaming. He’d made a hole-in-one, which was a nice start for our us for our membership and things have been good since. We love to take our dog to the lake and Mark uses the health club religiously, it’s a great club,” she added.

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No. 18, a par four, 453 yards from the tips and 322 yards from forward tees

A family golf membership is $12,000 initiation and $475 per month, a single golf membership is $8,000 initiation and $400 per month. However, two guests of the resort can stay and play unlimited golf for approximately $160 each per day/night, plus resort fee. This “member for a day” rate includes cart and unlimited range balls and is typically available during the shoulder season months of April, October and November.

Pete Dye’s design is a lot of fun to play and the golf course is in prime condition; its bent grass greens roll smooth like a freshly Zamboni’d ice rink. Dye used Cheyenne Mountain as a stunning backdrop for many of the holes and for the holes going the other way – he built a lovely small lake and brought it into play. We can vouch for their “300 days of sunshine” promise, we played in very comfortable 55F/13C temperatures in mid-November.

It plays 7,056 yards from the tips, 6,700 from the green tees, 6,479 from the white tees and 5,284 yards from the front tees. Keep in mind, the golf course is 6,000 feet above sea level and the golf ball will fly forever. We broke in a new set of Miura PP-9003’s there and if the sea level results are even in the same hemisphere; we’ll be ecstatic.

A deer strolling through the resort after breakfast

A deer strolling through the resort after breakfast

Every morning whitetail deer came down the mountain and strolled below our balcony during our first cup of coffee – worth the trip alone. The gamut of Colorado activities such as mountain biking, hiking, mountain climbing, white water rafting and Jeep tours can be booked at the front desk. Cheyenne Mountain Resort would be a fun resort for the annual group golf trip or a couple’s retreat.

When the sun sets behind Cheyenne Mountain and the temperature drops a few degrees – a seat on the veranda next to the fire pit is highly recommended.

And yes, s’mores kits are available for $11.

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