One of Utah's oldest resorts will be closing in December, but only for renovations.
The 125-year-old Homestead Resort in Midway will temporarily close the second week of next month so rooms can be upgraded and the 18-hole golf course improved.
The resort is scheduled to reopen in April 2012.
According to Homestead director of recreation Chris Boscoe, not all of the resort's activities will be shuttered, however.
"We will have the crater open for scuba diving and swimming," he said. "The golf course will be open for snowshoeing only. We are developing five trails for snowshoeing, two easy, two more difficult and one most difficult. ... We will not have cross-country skiing available, but skis will be available for rent that can be used at Wasatch Mountain or Soldier Hollow."
The popular sleigh rides for groups, couples and sleigh-to-dine will also continue nightly at 5 p.m., using a course on the golf course. The packages will utilize the nearby Zermatt resort.
The first phase of the improvements will involve upgrading bedding packages, drapes, carpeting and televisions in guest rooms. Additional upgrades will involve improvements to the golf course, including a modernized irrigation system and rebuilt tee boxes, sand traps and cart paths.
"Our goal is to invest in the Homestead Resort's future and sustainability in a manner that will best serve our guests, employees and the community as a whole," said Steve Eddington, managing partner of Legacy Homestead LLC. "We look forward to welcoming back our treasured past guests and introducing the Homestead to a new generation of guests when we reopen in April for a beautiful summer season."
Park City-based Gemstone Hotels and Resorts took over management of The Homestead and the nearby Midway property Zermatt last September. The two properties offer about 500 rooms. In announcing the management change, resort management said it would focus more on activities involving the arts, education, health, well-being and recreation.
Homestead employees who typically would work during the winter will fill open positions at Zermatt or at Gemstone's Sky Lodge Resort in Park City and Sundance Resort. Some will be assisting with the refurbishing.
The Homestead will host the 13th annual Midway Creche Dec. 2-5, before closing. The event, open to the public, offers people a way to get into the Christmas spirit by viewing a collection of nativities from all over the world.
The free event also features live musical performances, a children's room with dress-ups, crafts and family photographs. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday through Monday.