The Lodge at Blue Sky
Wanship, Utah
Best Project

Owner: Blue Sky Ranch
Lead Design Firm: AJC Architects
General Contractor: Big-D Construction
Civil Engineer: Meridian Engineering Inc.
Structural Engineer: SDS Engineers
MEP Engineer: WHW Engineering
Subcontractors: CCI Mechanical; Golder Acoustics; R.C. Hunt Electric; RJ Masonry

Located in the heart of the Wasatch Mountain Range, the 386,000-sq-ft Lodge at Blue Sky became one of the most anticipated resort openings of 2019. The resort sits on the side of a mountain and incorporates a color palette and materials that are in sync with the area’s setting and historic legacy. The lodge houses guest rooms and luxury suites, a conference center and restaurant, and a 70-ft infinity pool and spa. Small condominiums (called earth houses) feature outdoor showers and a patio fireplace. An underground parking structure was built for guests and staff.

The owner and architect both requested highly detailed finishes, with many imported materials. The ceilings and the closets are the only two elements in the entire resort that are painted; everything else required careful installation of the finishes. To meet the deadline, the contractor employed 200 finishers on site daily, logging more than 529,000 work hours.

The building design is simple, clean and user friendly, with controlled private guest room entries that frame views of the beautiful canyon above. With a contemporary aesthetic and warm colors, each building complements the landscape with a mix of natural stone, steel, wood and native grass-planted green roofs.

The project is sited outside of rural Wanship, Utah, between a steep mountain slope and a natural stream. Those restraints contributed to the owner’s preference for 10 separate, smaller structures rather than a single, self-contained hotel.

The site’s remote location also created one of the project’s greatest challenges. Crews had to tie into electrical and sewer systems to complete more than 260,000 sq ft of sitework. An underground tunnel was constructed for the resort’s mechanical systems as well as for access by the staff. Most materials had to be brought in using just-in-time delivery, which became more difficult during the winter.

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