Sky Lodge Park City

By Renee’ Huang

39bAs a historic silver mining town turned ski resort, Park City has a charm that is hard to replicate. With a simultaneously laidback mountain rusticity and refined elegance, this is a place where ski boots are just as common as cowboy boots on Main Street and in dining establishments and boutiques.

Now SKY Lodge, a hospitality brand that has been synonymous with the downtown Main Street scene for several years, is determined to introduce a big-city feel to the small mountain town. Positioning itself as the only all-suite luxury boutique property in the heart of historic Park City, SKY Lodge has assembled an all- star cast of hoteliers, restauranteurs and visionaries who will oversee the brand’s expansion from a 33-suite hotel and restaurant on the corner of Heber and Main Streets, to include another condo-style location, new dining hotspot, and a brand new meeting and convention space.

SKY Lodge was purchased two years ago by a local family who quickly saw its potential. Just last year, two new dining concepts, Table One and the Tavern, opened doors and a brand new minimalist lobby welcomes patrons off lower Main Street. Amatsu Spa was also revitalized to reflect a renewed emphasis on Aryuvedic treatments and other holistic, wellness-oriented healing, and is considering adding acupuncture to its menu of services.

40Hailing from a seasoned background with the Four Seasons, General Manager Jim Mikula had just the vision the owners were looking for during the transition. The goal, he explains, is “to create more attractiveness to the downtown area with entertainment, dining, lodging all in one spot.” Already the group has ignited plans to reinvigorate the pedestrian plaza behind Zoom and SKY Lodge this summer. The goal is to transform the space into an “entertainment core” with live music and dynamic programming designed to pull people off the street and create a destination in the lower Main Street plaza.
Of course, SKY Lodge and its revamped brand extensions would be at the heart of this dynamic expansion. Part of the litmus test will be the brand’s ability to convert already existing buildings with storied history. The old Silver Queen Hotel across from SKY Lodge will be transformed into a 12-unit condo-style hotel with two- and three-bedrooms, full ownership ultraluxury residences with hot tubs, fully-equipped kitchens, large family rooms, Bose stereo and outdoor decks. On the ground floor will be a casual fine dining restaurant focused on small plates.
“The owners saw opportunity with a great little hotel that had business potential. It needed more TLC but they saw the vision of how it can play a role in revitalizing downtown Old Town Park City,” explains Mikula. In short, he says the directive was: “Let’s put a luxury operation in downtown Park City that fills a niche that wasn’t filled before.”

Mikula says the new SKY Lodge brand appeals to a clientele seeking the stylish amenities and feel of a luxury apartment one might find in the heart of Manhattan, but with the large-scale expansiveness typical of the West. In fact, the SKY Lodge website boasts: “There’s nothing small here—from over-sized private bedrooms, lavish baths, spacious great rooms and plentiful dining seating, and a multitude of perfect touches and finishes throughout…the feel is of an over-sized downtown loft space converted into a chic hotel suite in downtown Park City.”

A third location at 692 Main Street is being turned into a diverse meetings and conventions space that Mikula says can be used for everything from board meetings and fashion shows, to cocktail receptions for 200 people.

But perhaps the most exciting evolution of the SKY Lodge brand is happening in the kitchen. Overseeing all food and beverage for the brand and part of the vision for SKY Lodge’s new direction is Executive Chef Christian Ojeda, a seasoned veteran of fine dining who comes to Park City via Napa, where he ran the kitchen at Calistoga Ranch & Spa, an Auberge Resort property. SKY Lodge’s new culinary direction—in the new restaurant as well as Table One and Tavern—reflects locally-sourced, healthy “California cuisine” to which Ojeda is accustomed, utilizing the natural flavors of ingredients at their finest, and using oils and creams sparingly, explains Mikula.

“I’ve dined all over the world and I’m excited to see what he can do,” says Mikula. “It’s the most exciting thing we’re doing.”

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