Imagine that you've just purchased your first $250,000 supercar. It's sleek. It's sexy. It can go from 0-60 in three seconds. And it has a top speed of 220 miles per hour.
Now imagine trying to drive that car on an actual road. Traffic. Potholes. Bad drivers. Speed cameras and police with Ferrari envy.
In short, the idea of owning a supercar is often better than the reality.
"Buying these cars is kind of like buying a tuxedo, and the expectation is as a result of owning a tuxedo that you're going go to the party," said Tom O'Gara, a top supercar dealer in Beverly Hills, California. "You know, but a lot of times the party never comes."
O'Gara, however, is joining a new kind of party. It's called The Thermal Club. And it promises to give supercar owners a chance to experience their supercars to the fullest—and be part of an elite country club at the same time.
Thermal is a four-and-a-half-mile private racetrack in the California desert town of La Quinta that will be a $120 million playground for wealthy car owners and their families. (For the non-car lovers in the family, the club will include a spa, pool, kids' center and plenty of fine dining.)
Membership costs $85,000 for an individual or $200,000 for a corporate membership. You also have to own land around the track. That will cost you between $400,000 to more than $800,000 per lot, depending on how close the property is to the track.
Members are then expected to build "garage villas"—fancy homes for your cars that could include elevators, viewing rooms and data centers to check your track times. Some villas are expected to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, in addition to the land price—hence, the $1 million garage.
First published June 17 2014, 10:19 AM