IVINS – A new resort to be built in Padre Canyon next to the Tuacahn Center for the Arts will be Southern Utah’s first five-star resort, attracting visitors from all over the world.
“A five-star resort just plain doesn’t come online very often, anywhere, so for that to be happening in Ivins is quite remarkable,” Ivins Mayor Chris Hart said. “It’s huge for the city.”
Ivins has been pushing to become a destination city for a dozen years, Hart said. Because the city is so small, any significant commercial development has to be brought in from the outside, rather than developed based on population.
“Sentierre is kind of on a whole new level from anything that has been built in Southern Utah yet,” Hart said, “because it will be a five-star, world-class resort that will attract visitors from all over the world.”
While Red Mountain and Movara are both outstanding resorts, Sentierre is a “little bit of a different animal, very high-end,” Hart said. The resort will broaden the reach of attraction to the area and benefit residents by increasing the tax base and contributing to the transient room tax.
The new Sentierre Resort Hotel and Residences will be located south of Tuacahn, bordering Snow Canyon State Park and the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, Sentierre Vice President of Operations Jessica Mousley said.
The resort is being built on a 43-acre parcel of property that is desert tortoise habitat and originally belonged to Tuacahn. Although it is surrounded by the Red Cliffs Reserve, the piece was left out when the Habitat Conservation Plan was created 20 years ago to protect the endangered tortoise, HCP Administrator Bob Sandberg said.
“It was all excluded at the time, however, they didn’t fence all of it and so there’s been tortoises on it up until the point that they fenced it and requested that we do a clearance,” Sandberg said. The property was checked for tortoises three years ago and the few animals found on the property were moved to the adjacent reserve.
Sentierre has been working with the HCP Advisory Committee, the Red Cliffs Reserve and Snow Canyon State Park to finalize plans to build trails through the resort which will tie into the existing trail network in the reserve.
“We plan to be a resort that’s accessible to everyone, it’s not going to be a closed resort and we expect to have a very strong relationship with Tuacahn, where our proximity and our functions benefit each other,” Mousley said.
“I think everybody thinks (the property) is part of the Reserve,” Mousley said. “There are currently trails moving through it, and we’ve worked very hard to make sure that we don’t deny access to that.”
Maximum capacity at the high-end hotel will be 360 guests, Mousley said, in 105 rooms. In addition, the resort will include 42 privately owned homes. Sentierre is expected to employ 210 people when it opens in 2018.
Construction on the project is expected to begin this spring, possibly in April. Construction will take a little under two years.
Sentierre is aiming to be a four- or five-star facility, but that won’t be official, Mousley said, until after the property is built and then inspected by Forbes Travel Guide, the organization that owns the only legitimate star-rating system for the hotel industry.
Average prices at the resort will be in the range of $600 or more, and the focus is on being a “family destination resort for wellness, relaxation and enjoyment of the outdoors,” Mousley said. Each guest will be assigned a “path guide,” whose function is to help guests create and plan a unique experience for their stay.
Plans for expansion of Sentierre include locations in Park City, Hawaii and San Basilio, Mexico, Mousley said. For more information visit the Sentierre Discovery Center at Ancestor Square, 2 West St. George Blvd. in St. George, or visit the website.
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