Born and raised in Utah, the Bindrups know a thing or two about the Beehive State. The couple owns several homes around the United States, including a family home near Lake Tahoe and another near Yellowstone National Park. But even as locals, they assert that there’s nothing quite like a Utah vacation in the mountains. That’s why they can’t get enough of Sky Ridge Retreat, one of Deer Crest’s original ski lodges.
Ann and Jed Bindrup met at the University of Utah. They now live in Draper, about 20 miles south of Salt Lake City. Jed operates a cosmetic surgery office and Ann manages the business’ accounts payable department. It was an in-state ski trip two decades ago that inspired them to one day own a home like Sky Ridge Retreat.
“We had the opportunity to stay in a ski-in, ski-out lodge at Deer Valley Resort about 20 years ago, and we loved it! So we decided someday we wanted to buy a place there. It became a goal of ours, a dream even. In 2015, we were finally able to make our dream a reality.” After buying Sky Ridge, they spent a year renovating the estate to fit their mountain home vision, adding stone floors and fireplaces to make it “more Deer Valley.” In the fall of 2016, the project was completed and it was made available for rent. Sky Ridge is a popular vacation home in both the summer and winter and is especially sought after during the popular Sundance Film Festival that takes place each January in Park City.Owning a home in Deer Crest is everything the Bindrups could have imagined. “We just love spending time there,” she says. “It has an amazing location with some of the best views and the best ski-in, ski-out.” As a ski family, they take every chance they get to enjoy their Deer Crest home on the hill.
Sky Ridge Retreat is the perfect place for a family reunion, and of that, the Bindrups are the perfect case study. The couple has eight children between the ages of 12 and 27. The 10 of them gather for a ski trip each winter and try to go at least once more during the summer. “That was part of our vision when we bought it. We wanted a great big kitchen and dining area. We also wanted each bedroom to have its own bathroom, and not all of them did so we built them. The home had a small balcony, but we expanded that too to accommodate our big family.”
Sky Ridge Inspiration
Sky Ridge’s 1950s-style concession area is inspired by Bindrup’s childhood, a time during which she found herself constantly surrounded by 45 RPM records and other period pieces at the radio station her grandfather owned. KNAK 1280 AM was a go-to for music on the dial in Utah at the time. At the height of their success, the Beach Boys performed in Utah several times a year, and they were friendly with Bindrup’s grandfather, Mr. England, who frequently played their songs on his airwaves and aired live interviews with them. While England’s daughter Shirley (Bindrup’s mother) was attending the University of Utah, she worked at the radio station. She once borrowed her father’s car—a 1963 Ford Thunderbird—to go study at the university library. But instead of doing as she had told her father, England drove herself to Shore’s Drive-In, a nearby hamburger shop, to hang with her friends. When her father found out, he revoked England’s car privileges. The Beach Boys later caught wind of the story while hanging out at KNAK, and it inspired them to write their catchy hit single: Fun, Fun, Fun.
“Well she got her daddy’s car
And she cruised through the hamburger stand now
Seems she forgot all about the library
Like she told her old man now
And with the radio blasting
Goes cruising just as fast as she can now
And she’ll have fun fun fun
‘Til her daddy takes the T-bird away.”
Not surprisingly, Bindrup’s childhood family home had a jukebox filled with her mother’s 1950s and 1960s music collection. That, along with her own childhood memories at the radio station and the Fun, Fun, Fun story, inspired Bindrup to theme Sky Ridge Retreat’s basement according to a bygone period in time. She saw Sky Ridge as an opportunity to recreate a piece of that era, adding a jukebox of her own, plus James Dean and Marilyn Monroe posters, and miniature model Harley Davidsons to a popcorn machine left behind by the previous owners.
“At our house, we have a popcorn machine too and the kids love it. This popcorn machine was already there when we bought Sky Ridge Retreat—I added the soda machine, the ice cream machine, the freezer drawers, an ice machine, and a jukebox. Now it’s like an old-fashioned ice cream shop down there!”
A Deer Crest, Utah Pioneer
In the late 1990s, LCC Properties Group, a real estate investment and development company focusing on California and Utah, developed a 600-acre community at the Deer Valley Ski Resort. The only mountain resort ranked #1 by SKI Magazine readers five years in a row, Deer Valley needed an exclusive gated community to complement its world-class slopes. That community now houses more than 120 luxurious homes, but Sky Ridge Retreat was one of the first four built in 2000.
That meant the home’s original owner essentially had his pick of the location. He settled on a piece of land that to this day enjoys undisturbed views. Bindrup boasts that not one room in the house is without one, from the massive wraparound balcony from which you can see Deer Valley Resort and its mountains, to the large, modern family kitchen with windows overlooking Jordanelle. Being one of the area’s original homes also gave Sky Ridge the advantage of finding prime real estate that offers direct access from its front door to a private ski trail on the hill. If you don’t already have your day pass, you can ski down that trail directly to the bottom of the Jordanelle Express Gondola to buy one. But if you do have your pass already, you can get right on the Mountaineer lift which takes you up to a peak with five different hill options.