Country Casual and Classic American
By Steve Phillips
This historic Homestead Resort in Heber Valley is much more than a destination. It’s a time-honored refuge and welcome respite from the treadmill of everyday life. Worn words like “majestic” and “serene” fail to adequately describe this sprawling corner of paradise in the heart of Midway. Th e venerable, country-casual retreat celebrates 130 years of history in the bucolic Heber Valley, evolving from humble roots as Schneitter’s Hot Pots in 1868 to the quaint, expansive resort it is today. Though nearby Park City has grown dramatically from a blue-collar mining town to a bustling tourist destination, Heber Valley and the Homestead have retained their tranquil and charming appeal.
Well known as a premiere family destination for out-of-state visitors and Utah residents alike, the resort strives to retain its reputation by offering comfortable and affordable accommodations. “We don’t try to change much, just expand on what we already have,” says Marketing Manager Katie Halwachs. “Our biggest draw has always been as a place to enjoy quality family time. The way the resort is set up, there’s a lot of open space and grassy areas. Most people who come here check in and immediately go back outside to play. Volleyball, basketball and tennis are summer favorites. We set up a huge tent outside with picnic tables where families can gather for picnics. Some people even hang up hammocks and just chill out.”
The warm waters of the resort’s one-of-a-kind Homestead Crater have been a big draw for over 100 years. Swimmers there don flotation vests to relax and drift in the comforting water. In recent years, nascent scuba divers have flocked here to train, certify or work on diving techniques. Th e crater now offers paddleboard yoga classes Saturday nights feature free summer concerts on the front lawn. Th e weekly events attract both resort guests and area residents, who spread blankets and share appetizers and beverages on warm summer nights.
Area wedding planners agree there’s no more popular spot for summer nuptials than the Homestead. With the resort’s professional wedding event coordinator, couples choose from enchanting outdoor settings or intimate event rooms for ceremonies. Afterwards, dance the night away on their spacious dance floor.
The Homestead’s spectacular 18-hole Crater Springs Golf Course is one of the finest and most challenging in the valley. Resort guests may also play the nearby Wasatch Mountain or Soldier Hollow courses as well.
While its reputation for tradition and history remains, there is something new under the sun at the resort. “One of our big pushes is to get people up here to play nine-hole rounds of golf,” says Halwachs. “We’ve found that there are three things keeping people from golfing: skill, time and money. Playing nine holes, beginners are not going to get completely frustrated. And obviously it costs less and takes less time. We’re trying to make golf fun again.”
But it’s far more than just fun and games at the Homestead Resort. Plan a visit this summer to soak in the soothing waters of the Crater, take a dreamy afternoon nap under a canopy of swaying trees or take in a Saturday summer concert under the star-strewn sky. It will be good for your soul.
For more information about the Homestead Resort, including a calendar of events, go to their website at homesteadresort.com