Mike Meldman Builds Paradise on Earth
by Adam Preskill
You have to say this about real estate baron Mike Meldman: He has an eye for quality. Meldman’s Discovery Land Company has cherry-picked some of the most spectacular properties on the planet to build its immaculate luxury resort communities, with locations in Hawaii, Mexico, Montana, the California desert and several other exotic destinations around the world.
“They’re meant to be like your local country club where you grew up, where whole families are members and memberships are multigenerational, so everyone knows each other,” says Meldman, who splits his time between homes in Beverly Hills and Scottsdale, Arizona, and whose two sons attend USC.
This is no Caddyshack, though. Meldman’s two Southern California properties, The Hideaway and The Madison Club, are hyperexclusive golf retreats with world-class course designs. And the new crown jewel in his collection—underway in the Bahamas at Bakers Bay—is an island paradise with seven miles of pink-sand beach. His clients aren’t your average country clubbers either. Cindy Crawford, Lance Armstrong and power players such as Jerry Weintraub have all been known to frequent his properties.
Meldman doesn’t just seek out the best spots in the world— he improves on them. In 2007, he started the Discovery Land Company Foundation to support nonprofits in the communities surrounding his resorts.
“It came about because the members in all our clubs spend a lot of their time in Whitefish or Cabo or Kona or wherever the project is,” says Meldman. “So they want to give back to the community because they enjoy it and want to be there.”
The foundation’s main focus is funding foster-care facilities and creating programs to provide employment and encouragement for at-risk youth.
In the future, the foundation also hopes to fund and construct new homes for local residents. “My philosophy,” he says, “is that brick by brick, one kid at a time, you can change a life and make a real impact.”
photograph by Rudy Archuleta
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.