Nestled into a colorful hillside and valley adorned by mountain views, red rocks and spectacular sunsets, Red Ledges is a Heber Valley oasis where two Utah-raised Fortune 500 CEOs turned family land into a family-focused, private luxury community.
The Red Ledges development celebrated its 10-year anniversary in October 2017, but the vision for this community began more than 40 years ago when founding partner Tony Burns began accumulating the land. About 30 transactions later, the project came to fruition on about 2,000 acres of total land that’s also now home to an 18-hole championship Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course and 12-hole golf park, equestrian center, tennis club, swimming pool, spa and other luxury amenities.
In just the first three months of 2018, Red Ledges closed $13 million in real estate deals — more than double of any of its first-quarter totals over the last nine years. The success is a testament to the vision Burns had four decades ago for this exclusive residential community.
The developers of Red Ledges have roots in the region, some going back generations, making it feel more like a shared community vision than a real estate development.
“The love of the land and the beauty of what it all has in store is something that drew us here,” Burns said of the development team. “This isn’t a group
of investors that came in from out of town that want to maximize their dollar for a year or two and then take all of the capital and go somewhere else — we’re embedded here.”
The Heber Valley, just down the Wasatch range from Park City, is a breathtaking valley with a diverse landscape. For anyone who enjoys the outdoor lifestyle in the Mountain West, it’s a location that truly offers something for everyone.
“Here at Red Ledges, we never really wanted to do things the biggest or the most expensive, but what we wanted to do is we wanted to be real,” said Mitchel Burns, chief operating officer at Red Ledges. “We wanted to be in touch with the land and with the mountains and in the environment.”
The architecture throughout Red Ledges speaks to that authenticity, he added, thanks to careful planning for how they’ll fit in with the natural landscape. The golf course blends in with the natural surroundings, using native grasses and 100-year-old Utah Juniper trees that the developers relocated around the property in order to preserve them.
“Even when it came to laying out the cart path, I made a decree: ‘Thou shall not touch a tree.’ So, our cart paths are very windy because they wind in and out of all the trees,” Mitchel Burns said.
Respecting the setting and all of nature’s beauty isn’t something all developers consider, but it was a necessity for the team behind Red Ledges. Tony Burns said the ultimate success of the project over the long-term is directly related to its protection of the environment.
The Park City area is full of passionate residents who’d rather hit the trail than hit the couch. Those folks certainly find a happy home at Red Ledges.
Red Ledges’ winter activities include skiing at nearby Deer Valley, whose Jordanelle express gondola is about 15 minutes from the community’s gates, or residents can opt for a more lung-burning cross-country ski at yet another Olympic venue – the Heber Valley’s Soldier Hollow.
In the summertime, options are practically limitless, with highlights including hiking, biking — both mountain and road — hunting, fishing and horseback riding. Plus, Red Ledges’ Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course was named “Best New Private Course in America” by Golf Magazine when it debuted in 2009.
“We wanted Red Ledges to be kind of that base camp and we wanted to provide that kind of luxury offering and take something that’s the wild wilderness and the rugged West, but give it to you with a little bit of a luxury setting so that you have a base camp to operate out of,” Mitchel Burns said.
Red Ledges offers an activities coordinator who leads residents on various activities. She’ll ski with members twice a week in the winter and lead hikes on various trails, including up Mount Timpanogos, in the summer. The activities coordinator can also arrange guided fly-fishing trips, snowmobile adventures, ski boat rentals or any excursion for which residents are interested.
While the most alluring amenity at Red Ledges is simply its location, the developers left no stone unturned in providing other luxuries for its residents. Those things have gradually increased over time as more and more homes have been built within the community.
Mitchel Burns said they didn’t want to build every amenity upfront because there weren’t enough people living there yet to bring life to those activities. Now, as the community has grown over the past 10 years, more and more things are coming on board. This year, for example, a new Village Center is opening up featuring a resort-style pool complex and casual dining.
“We’ve got a lot of family activities going on,” Tony Burns said. “We just don’t want to be a second home where you come in for a day or two every few months and no one knows you and there’s nothing to do, we want it to be where you bring your children and your grandchildren.”