Heber development on course for completion | ParkRecord.com

Heber development on course for completion

Alisha Self, Of the Record staff

It’s just what Park City and its surrounding areas need: another exclusive luxury golf community. If you’re rolling your eyes, you’re not alone. But Red Ledges, located in Heber City, strives to distinguish itself from other private residential developments,

The project is the unique vision of Fortune 500 executives Tony Burns and Nolan Archibald, who acquired about 2,000 acres to realize their dreams for an idyllic mountain recreation community. "We wanted to do something special and a little different, and the land lent itself to that," explains Todd Cates, the vice president and project manager for Red Ledges.

This weekend marks the grand opening of the main attraction of the community, a premier 18-hole signature golf course designed by none other than Jack Nicklaus. The golf legend, a longtime friend of Burns, happily agreed to impart his expertise and help create a course that complemented the diverse topography and natural surroundings in the Heber Valley.

The 7,770-yard course spreads over sagebrush-encrusted knolls, through patches of juniper trees and around red rock formations reminiscent of southern Utah. A paved trail for carts meanders through the course, taking golfers on a scenic wildlife tour along the way. The landscape is home to rabbits, deer and other creatures that seem unperturbed by the new developments.

The centerpiece and namesake of the course is the historic Red Ledges rock formation, which forms the backdrop for some of the course’s most picturesque tees. From hole #13, for example, the panoramic view spans from Mount Timpanogos to Deer Valley, with Deer Creek Reservoir nestled in the valley.

The course is meant to be accessible to everyone from beginners to experts. "Jack’s philosophy is to make this a playable course," Cates says. "However, depending on where you play from, it can be a very challenging course."

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The signature course is the first of many elaborate plans for development. Future amenities slated for the private community include a clubhouse, nine-hole Nicklaus Design short course, Jim McLean Golf Academy, Cliff Drysdale Tennis Academy, equestrian center, pools, fitness center and day spa. Hiking/mountain biking and equestrian trails will be etched into the landscape and open for public use.

The development will be completed in phases spanning over the next several years, says Cates. Of course, the state of the economy will play in role in the projected timeline. "We knew going into this that there would be downturns in the market," says Cates. "What we didn’t know was that the perfect storm the decline of the stock market, housing market, etc. would come together last fall." Still, the recession hasn’t deterred the executives from their original vision. All of the previously envisioned plans are in place, just on a more prudent schedule, says Cates.

The 1,200 lots in the development range from one-third to two-and-a-half acres. Some are designated as estate homesites and others will house predesigned cottages and villas that people can customize to their taste. The goal, Cates says, is to appeal to a wide range of people, from second-home owners to young professionals and families. Members of Red Ledges must own real estate in the community.

Another thing that sets the development apart from its competitors is the variety of recreational activities offered and the objective of assembling the best of the best in each area. The golf and tennis academies will be based on the teaching philosophies of renowned instructors. The residential design is under the management of the Park City-based Jack Johnson Company, and the golf course is being managed by Troon Golf. "It’s been a great synergy of so many different moving parts, people and organizations," says Cates.

The development also touts eco-friendly measures to preserve the mountain landscape. The golf course’s irrigation system uses water from sources other than the Heber community’s drinking-water reserve. The course developers strived to maintain the native plant and wildlife habitats rather than disrupting the environment. The entire area will remain at least 50 percent open space as well, notes Cates. "It’s a very environmentally conscious way of developing," he explains.

Red Ledges will mark its grand opening weekend in Park City at the Fourth of July celebration on Saturday. Watch for Red Ledges mascots Butch and Sundance a pair of Clydesdale horses as they tow a wagon in the parade. Then stop by the Discovery Center, located at 255 Heber Avenue, for refreshments and to check out what the community has to offer.

For more information about Red Ledges or to make an appointment with the sales team, visit http://www.redledges.com or call (877) 733-5334.