Sundance, Utah

Living in Sundance, Utah

Iyna Bort Caruso

Few places are as associated with one individual as Sundance, Utah. The area, once a small ski resort known as Timp Haven, was purchased, renamed and re-envisioned by Robert Redford in 1969 who would go on to found the Sundance Institute in 1981 to support independent film and theater. Four years later, the Sundance Film Festival launched, now one of the most prestigious, taking place every January mostly around Park City.

Though thousands of film buffs descend on the area to hole up in dark screening rooms and workshops, vacation homeowners come for the lifestyle. And the lifestyle is active. Some 450 acres are prime for skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing, most of them on challenging trails. The state’s best ice climbing spots are nearby. Winter, of course, is high season in Sundance. But not everyone is drawn to cold-weather pursuits. Those in the rental market have noticed a pickup in summer bookings in recent years. The area offers miles of single-track mountain biking trails and alpine hiking trails, fly fishing on the Provo River, horseback riding and river rafting, making Sundance a growing destination beyond winter. Outdoor theater and concerts are part of the summer activities.

Sundance is 13 miles north of Provo on Mount Timpanogos in the Wasatch Mountains. Mt. Tim, as its referred to locally, dominates the view at more than 11,700 feet and is one of the most recognizable landscape features in the region.

Demand for properties in and around Sundance has been consistent, particularly mountain homes that have dramatic views. Condominiums, ski-in, ski-out estates, residences in prestigious gated communities and buildable homesites catch the attention of vacation homeowners. At the top of the market are bold, statement-makers that take their cues from the lush landscape.  Several homes by designer, artist and cabin builder Bron Roylance are particularly noteworthy for the way they incorporate materials like salvaged doors, reclaimed barn wood, recycled tin and old fencing into his homes.