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If Homestead Resort Sells, New Owners Would Replace All Buildings Except One

Midway City Council

The Homestead Resort in Midway will likely have a new owner and brand-new buildings as well.

Watts Enterprises a Salt Lake City company has signed a purchase agreement to acquire the Homestead Resort from its current owners. Watts Enterprises has been working with Midway City council to amend the current masterplan for the resort in order to make some changes. The company’s president Russ Watts explains the proposed plan is all part of a revitalization effort.

“Obviously the key to success at these resorts is creating those experiences," Watts explained. "Trying to bring back the living events like chapels, splash pads, tree house, play area, ropes course. Everything you can think of, petting zoo, farm animals, the barn back in there. The fact is we focused a lot on how many different places could you get married at the Homestead? We’ve got like six different, in the white chapel, on the pond, in the new barn, in the pavilion in the trees, next to the adult pool area outside of the convention center space. In the valley there’s three families that actually run hotels all over the west which we had no idea. All of the sudden they all call us. We want everybody on our team to be vested meaning they live, or they care about the valley because then you’re going to get a better partnership. What’s amazing is they are as excited about the Homestead as we are in the sense that they really want to create the vision that they had when they were growing up too.”

As part of the new plan the resort would tear down each building within the resort, except for the Virginia House, and replace them with new buildings. The plan would be phased meaning that the resort would remain operational as the resort builds the new elements. The new plan would add an additional 41 units but would reduce the amount of keys dramatically from 453 to 290. The resort cited the markets demand for renting entire homes for events such as family reunions as part of the reason for the change. The new plan would also offer 72% open space and increase the number of parking spots from 860 to 967.

The new plan also has an increase in conference space, retail areas restaurant space, and employee housing.

“Timing wise we hope to get started this summer," Watts said. "It’ll take us about a year for the first phase, of course we’ll be back in here with a phase one. We want to do the grand hotel component, some of the villa component, the spa component, maybe even some of the bungalow cabins and the estate homes. We’ve already got a couple buyers on the estate homes we’d love to have a nice home to have a reunion that and also for corporations to do training at the Homestead for a place they can come gather in one spot.”

One item that the city will likely be asking for in exchange for the amended master plan is the creation of a trail on the resort property connecting to the city’s trail on 200 North. The city may also ask for other considerations as part of the approval of the amended plan. The formal request to alter the master plan will likely come before the Midway Planning Commission on Tuesday.

KPCW reporter David Boyle covers all things in the Heber Valley as well as sports and breaking news.
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