by Bill Redeker, ABC News
On a mountaintop ridge in a Park City, Utah, a community known as Deer Valley, a new home, complete with its own miniature ski lift, has just been put up for sale.
The owners are asking nearly $27 million -- a lot of money, but it seems positively affordable when compared with the price of a megamanse that has just been designed in the ultra exclusive Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Mont.
Appropriately named "The Pinnacle," it's yours for $155 million.
Forbes Magazine calls it "The World's Most Expensive Home." A quick check reveals "The Pinnacle" just eclipsed the $139 million "Updown Court" in Windlesham, England, which used to hold the title and far outpaces Donald Trump's renovated estate in Palm Beach, Fla., that's going for $125 million.
So what justifies the "most expensive" asking price?
To begin with, the 10-bedroom, 53,000-square-foot, yes -- 53,000-square-foot -- home will sit on the most coveted piece of property in the resort. The 160 acres ought to provide ample elbow room for someone who has it all.
The home, which includes four guest cottages, will be built in the center of the ski resort and commands dramatic views in all directions. Take that, Chet Huntley, the NBC anchorman who created Big Sky Ski Resort just around the corner.
Jerry Locati, the Bozeman, Mont., architect who heads up Locati Architects, spent the last year designing the home and gave ABCNEWS.com an exclusive interview about what he calls "an incredibly unique, one-of-a-kind house."
"It's an adult, well, actually family-oriented home, a sort of Disneyland scale home for someone who is not afraid to spend money," he begins as he searches for superlatives. "It will have the usual home theater but will also include a bowling alley, an indoor-outdoor pool and an amazing wine cellar."
The house, which has a rustic exterior crafted out of stone, hand-hewn beams and ample floor-to-ceiling glass, includes a huge underground garage.
"You'll be able to park 30 or 40 cars," Locati says. "Perfect for someone with a car collection and of course the ideal service entrance for caterers."
Locati says he was encouraged to "think outside the box" by timber and real estate billionaire Tim Blixseth, who is developing the property.
Blixseth is also the developer of the Yellowstone Club resort.
One of those "outside-the-box" ideas is three elevators.
"You enter as you would a lodge. There will be lockers for ski equipment and clothing," says Locati.
"Every aspect has been incredibly well thought out," he says. "We'll have hand-carved fireplace mantles, and we have succeeded in bringing the outdoors indoors while still maintaining a warm feeling."
Perhaps one of the more unusual features is a private-covered gondola that will whisk skiers from a ski run to the home.
One of the challenges Locati says he faced was how to design a home that could be as comfortable for two people as it would be for 50. Vaulted ceilings add to the majesty of the space but can seem intimidating.
"We've designed several fireplaces to warm up the spaces, and we'll have fire pits outdoors," he says.
The front of the home will be complemented with a large pond, and a "water feature" (that's "stream" to the rest of us) will tie together the four guest houses.
Since snowfall can be plentiful in the Lone Peak area, driveways, patios and walkways will be heated.
"The heated portion of the driveway extends at least a half mile," Locati says.
But you'll never set foot or tire on the warm pavement until you are permitted to enter through a security gate that will be manned by a guard who will have his own heated guard house.
"Unique as this house will be, we've designed as many as 50 other homes at Yellowstone Club at the same level of quality," he says. "The difference is the property, scale and amenities."
Locati is particularly proud of the 8,000-bottle wine cellar.
"It will have a tasting room as well as an amazing amount of storage and separate areas for Bordeaux and cabs [cabernets]," he says.
Club Yellowstone is not for everyone. Certainly not if you are from Hollywood. At least that's the word in the ski community.
You must be invited by the Club to join. Membership may have its rewards, but it also requires members to prove a certain net worth. A $250,000 initiation fee rounds out the requirements and you must commit to build or buy a property on the resort.
"Certain celebrities" are discouraged from even applying, said one owner who preferred to remain anonymous. That same owner said that "despite the image of pretentiousness, 'attitude' is discouraged. This is meant to be very much a family-oriented place."
So who are some of the owners?
Microsoft CEO Bill Gates and former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle top the list, followed by Jack Kemp, golfer Annika Sorenstam, News Corps' Peter Chernin, venture capitalist Mike Markkula, who underwrote Apple Inc., and bicycling legend Greg Lemond.
Locati says he too is a member. In all, there are currently about 250 members; the limit is 864 property owners.
When the Yellowstone Club was developed in the late 1990s, homes sold for $2 million to $3 million, but now there are some selling for as much as $12 million. So even by Yellowstone Club standards, "The Pinnacle" is a pricey "Forbes 400 List" kind of estate.
And yes, several members on that high altitude list have already expressed interest in buying "the World's Most Expensive Home," which begins construction in June and, thanks to multiple work crews and contractors, could be finished in 14 months.
At $3,000 per square foot, it better be perfect.
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