Hotel Highlights Western Culture
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 de-veloper who moved to Park City in 2002 and bought the Blue Sky Ranch in 2004. He has since de-veloped the land to include a horse rescue operation and part-nered with Dave Perkins, who founded High West Distillery, to build a whiskey-making opera-tion on the property. While working with Perkins, Phillips met Stuart Campbell, chief operating officer for the hospitality management compa-ny 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 Camp-bell, Phillips and Joe Ogdie, general manager of the lodge, have explored ways to offer diverse opportunities for the guests. Campbell said the lodge re-cently signed a deal with a he-li-skiing company called Cloud-veil, 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 backcoun-try 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 in-door 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 pro-duce and raise animals on the property. Ogdie said they hope to give guests the chance to be “in-volved in a lifestyle” of the West. “It is an immersion into the West — western culture, farm-ing 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 reci-pes 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,” Camp-bell said.So far, Campbell said people already seem to be attracted to their idea. Reservations are fill-ing up quicker than anticipated, and they are excited to see how it is received once doors open in May.