Anyone who still needs proof that time-shares have gone upscale should take a look at the Owners Club. Members can stay at least 27 days a year in any of five communities—you get first dibs on dates at your home club—each with luxury-resort amenities such as concierges and shopping services. Units are decorated and maintained by the club, and members stay at whichever one is available. According to an Owners Club survey, that's exactly what members want—to "extend the country-club experience to vacations" by getting insider privileges without needing to spend leisure time fixing leaky faucets.
Telluride is the company's newest addition. The one-to four-bedroom condos are outfitted in typical mountain-lodge style (think hand-carved wood and studded leather upholstery) with touches of urban sophistication: marble bathroom tiles, granite dining room tabletops. And, given their location at 9,300 feet just outside Telluride, condos are ski-in, ski-out, with summertime golf and hiking nearby.
Owners Club at Telluride, 888/577-5895, fax 970-728-8358; www.theownersclub.com; fractional ownership from $80,000.
Telluride Ski & Golf Club 970/728-6157.
An 18-hole golf course, 11 lifts, and 1,050 acres for skiing.
Telluride Horseback Adventures 970/728-9611.
Riding tours of wildflower fields and mountain trails.
Telluride Outside 800/831-6230.
Jeep tours, fly-fishing, and rafting on the Gunnison, San Miguel, and Dolores rivers in summer; heli-skiing in winter.
San Juan Balloon Adventures 970/626-5495.
La Marmotte 970/728-6232; dinner for two $65.
French-country-style venison loin in Cabernet hazelnut sauce, served by candlelight.
Floradora 970/728-3888; dinner for two $30.
Telluride's best burgers—and top service.
The Owners Club plans to develop 20 to 25 properties over the next 10 years, each of which will have access to at least one 18-hole golf course. In addition to Telluride, there are currently four other locations: Barton Creek in Austin, Texas (800/303-4760; houses from $110,000); Hilton Head Island, South Carolina (877/689-5300; houses from $80,000); the Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia (800/838-1766; houses from $95,000); and Marina Vallarta in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (800/789-0932; houses from $65,000).