For generations, Utah’s Bear Lake, often called the “Caribbean of the Rockies,” has been a favorite playground for summer fun and outdoor recreation. Now, the area’s first-ever glamping resort is preparing to make its debut.
According to its founders, Conestoga Ranch will redefine Bear Lake camping for families and groups. In addition to serving as the perfect base camp for Bear Lake vacations, Conestoga Ranch is an ideal place to overnight for those traveling the Rocky Mountain states. The resort is located about midway between Salt Lake City, Utah and Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
Opening July 1, Conestoga Ranch will encompass 18 acres, accommodate up to 160 guests at a time, and overlook the lake’s sparkling turquoise-blue waters. The resort is specially designed to make camping easy, cozy and comfortable. For overnight accommodations, guests can choose from glamping tents and authentically styled conestogas, or covered wagons. Both the tents and the wagons will be outfitted with soft beds and fresh linens. The tents will boast en suite bathrooms with hot showers. Resort amenities will include a game tent, main Lodge with restaurant and bar, shake shack, Bath House (bathrooms, showers, laundry), and activities field. Paddleboards and other water recreation equipment will be available for rent. On-site diversions will include live entertainment and rodeos.
Conestoga Ranch is a collaborative effort between Tom Hedges, Tom Hendrick, Larry Bettino, Mike Knapp and Rich Smart.
“With glamping’s popularity skyrocketing in the West, my partners and I recognized the potential for an upscale, comfort-camping experience at Bear Lake,” says partner Tom Hedges. “Bear Lake has the perfect blend of family-oriented tourism, mountain and lake recreation, and potential for new development. Our vision calls for a glamping resort of unprecedented scale in Utah.”
Resort plans call for accommodations and upscale amenities that will cater to families, couples, corporate retreats and family reunions. Located in the timber-framed Lodge, the Campfire Grill will serve breakfast and dinner, and prepare customized picnic baskets for daytime outings. The dinner menu includes gourmet, grilled steaks and salads. Patrons can watch cooks in the demonstration-style kitchen bake pizzas in a wood-burning oven. The Campfire Grill—and a small bar accessible through saloon-style swinging doors—will offer a carefully curated selection of craft beers and fine wines.
Adjacent to The Lodge will be the game tent—a kids’ haven with ping-pong table, arcade games and video games—and activities field. The resort’s General Store will carry a selection of vacation essentials, along with Kobe-style beef hot dogs and s’mores for campfire snacking. The Conestoga Ranch Shake Shack will whip up creamy raspberry shakes all summer long.
In addition to eight traditional-style glamping tents, the resort will feature 16 custom-crafted conestoga wagons for overnight accommodations. The wagons are mobile to allow the formation of customized “encampments” for optimum flexibility, ideally accommodating the number of guests in each party.
“The wagons will add an Old West ambiance to the resort, and a uniquely fun sleeping experience,” notes Hedges. “Whether they choose a tent or a wagon, guests will camp in complete comfort, without having to sacrifice precious vacation time prepping for their visit.”
Once the resort location and concept were established, the partners formed Canvas & Company and began manufacturing the tents and wagons. They are built in a shop just south of Garden City, Utah. The tents and wagons are now available for purchase outside of the glampground.
Conestoga Ranch will have a soft opening in late June to introduce the resort to Bear Lake locals. The July 1st official opening will follow. Reservations are now being accepted. For more info and reservations, visithttp://www.conestogaranch.com.