New four-season resort to open on Blue Sky Ranch
November 14, 2018
Come spring, Wanship will be the location of a new luxury resort.
The Lodge at Blue Sky, which is expected to include a horse arena, Nordic ski track, spa and restaurant, is currently under construction on the Blue Sky Ranch, and reservations are open for its 46 suites.
The idea for the hotel came from owner Mike Phillips, a developer who moved to Park City in 2002 and bought the Blue Sky Ranch in 2004. He has since developed the land to include a horse rescue operation and partnered with Dave Perkins, who founded High West Distillery, to build a whiskey-making operation on the property.
While working with Perkins, Phillips met Stuart Campbell, chief operating officer for the hospitality management company Auberge Resorts Collection, and Phillips mentioned his idea of building a small hotel on the ranch. Campbell agreed to help with the project. He and his team hired architects, an interior design team and contractor, and, in March of 2017, broke ground.
The plans for the small hotel have since expanded, as Campbell, Phillips and Joe Ogdie, general manager of the lodge, have explored ways to offer diverse opportunities for the guests.
Campbell said the lodge recently signed a deal with a heli-skiing company called Cloudveil, which will allow guests to go heli-skiing in the Uinta Mountains and on the ranch's property. In the winter, guests will be able to ski the backcountry or along the Nordic track. In the summer, they can mountain bike or horseback ride on the 50 miles of trails or go fly-fishing in a nearby creek.
Campbell said they also plan to build a 30,000-square-foot indoor riding arena so guests can continue to ride horses during the winter. Plus, the ranch is currently developing a farming operation in order to grow produce and raise animals on the property.
Ogdie said they hope to give guests the chance to be "involved in a lifestyle" of the West.
"It is an immersion into the West — western culture, farming culture and ranching culture — while at the same time being a luxury hotel," Campbell said.
Even the restaurant on the property is expected to have "regional cuisine," pulling recipes from the different groups of people that settled in and moved through Summit County, Ogdie said.
"It fills a niche that people have been looking for," Campbell said.
So far, Campbell said people already seem to be attracted to their idea. Reservations are filling up quicker than anticipated, and they are excited to see how it is received once doors open in May.
Carolyn Webber Alder November 13, 2018