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September 2021

Silo Ridge Members Take Philanthropic Personally

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By Scott Kauffman

Like many high-end equity clubs, the membership at New York’s Silo Ridge Field Club is a philanthropic and affluent bunch that looks forward to sharing its private club as an appealing fundraising venue for the surrounding communities.

In the case of Silo Ridge, however, which debuted its Tom Fazio-designed course five years ago near the tiny towns of Millbrook and Amenia, the membership’s inaugural fundraiser in October won’t take place on their 18-hole championship layout.

For a club situated in upstate New York’s bucolic Hudson Valley scenery and highlighted by loads of other outdoor non-golf pursuits and amenities, including a world-class family amenity barn and 700-acre equestrian facility with 26 stalls and all-level trails, it’s only fitting Silo Ridge is playing host to the Hudson Valley Rodeo and headliner concert rather than the usual charity golf event.

That in itself would distinguish any golf club, but Silo Ridge isn’t your normal private club. Indeed, Silo Ridge is yet another exclusive private club community developed by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Discovery Land Company. Founded in 1994 by Mike Meldman, Discovery Land now numbers approximately 25 private equity clubs throughout North America, the Caribbean and Portugal – all of which are low-density developments where properties usually start in the multi-millions and initiation fees can be in the $150,000 range, which is the case at Silo Ridge.

For Silo Ridge member Jamie Vitiello, this year’s Oct. 2 rodeo presented by the Amenia-Wassaic Community Organization and funded by the Silo Ridge Community Foundation is going to be personal in more ways than one. Not only is Vitiello the foundation board president and member of the  community organization, his family now makes Silo Ridge their full-time residence after moving out of New York City during the onset of the pandemic.

In fact, Vitiello said his two teenage kids loved their new Hudson Valley lifestyle so much they “begged us not to go back to New York City because they loved their schools.” Consequently, the family is fully immersed in the club and community, to say the least. Vitielli’s daughter is back attending her nearby boarding school; the teenage son is playing baseball in the local little league and Dad is running for a seat on the Amenia town council this year.

In many respects Vitiello’s family is the embodiment of Silo Ridge’s overall club. Many of whom are also New Yorkers who’ve embraced Silo Ridge as their new primary residence, which is situated about an hour and 40 minutes from the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple.

As Vitiello describes it, Silo Ridge does not represent the typical second- or third-home community that many of these highly affluent private equity clubs tend to draw.

“It’s not like so many other vacation properties where they (member residents) may go for a few weeks a year or some limited duration of time,” Vitiello says. “Even those who aren’t here full time, they’re coming for the entirety of the summers; they’re coming here every weekend and they’re coming for all the holidays.

“So this really becomes in a way their true home. That is sort of the environs of the club where they’re wanting to and needing to be integrated into the broader community in which the club sits. We’re shopping in the supermarket and going to the pharmacy, so that’s a big part of how these (Silo Ridge charitable) organizations came to pass.”

In many respects, this club culture that started the moment Discovery Land discovered this part of small-town America and embraced the simple life of the valley is truly becoming personal for so many others at Silo Ridge.
“We’re members who don’t want to be viewed as,” Vitiello adds,  “Or certainly don’t want to be ... you know … the sort of those members who live behind a gate. Like so many clubs, we are surrounded by an area that has pockets of needs and the broader need. And we’re a group of members who are in a very fortunate position to be able to help with at least some of it.”

And this year, one way Silo Ridge will give back is not through a golf tournament, but a rodeo and headliner concert fit for the entire family to enjoy.


 

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