The mountain retreat for tech's elite

Silicon Valley's mountain retreat

Silicon Valley's elite might live in exclusive Bay-Area communities such as Atherton, Woodside and Palo Alto, but when they're looking to buy a second home, many turn to Martis Camp.

This is a private community located near the north shore of Lake Tahoe, which counts among its members heavy hitters from Apple, Google and Facebook as well as venture capitalists and start-up founders.

"We're really catering to the people that are changing the world, and we're helping change their lives," sales director Brian Hull said. "They're coming here, and really unplugging a bit. And I think, consequently, they're conjuring up interesting ideas while they're away from their everyday lives."

The 2,100-acre resort boasts an 18-hole golf course, 26 miles of trails for hiking, a private ski lift to nearby Northstar and of course access to Lake Tahoe itself.

One of the multimillion-dollar properties at Martis Camp in Lake Tahoe, where tech heavyweights from Google, Apple and Facebook all have second homes.
Megan Hawkins | CNBC

The most unusual amenity might be the so-called "family barn." It's an 18,000-square-foot clubhouse that features basketball courts, a 44-seat movie theater, bowling lanes and spa. There's also an amphitheater where the Beach Boys kicked off the summer with a special private concert.

Business is booming. Last year, the club sold 138 properties for a total of $255 million. Already this year, the club has sold 77 properties for $140 million. There has been some $1 billion worth of property sold since developer DMB/Highlands started the community in 2006.

Interested in becoming a member? Then get ready to pay up.

Homes start at around $2 million, but have sold for as much as $15 million. Regular members pay an annual fee of $10,000, but golf memberships require an initiation fee of $130,000, and nearly $17,000 per year in annual dues.

But would-be members don't necessarily need to pay in cash if they decide to buy a home at Martis Camp. Last year, in true Silicon Valley fashion, a property sold for $1.6 million—in bitcoin.

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