With prices skyrocketing, where will St. George’s resort workers live?

Developers of the Black Desert Resort say they are “quite far along” in the process of looking to develop off-resort housing that will be within financial reach to workers.

(Black Desert Resort) Construction of resort space underway at Black Desert Resort in Ivins.

Ivins • Once construction is completed on Black Desert Resort — featured recently in a Salt Lake Tribune article — in several years, the developers of the $2 billion mega-golfing, shopping and hospitality mecca taking shape in Ivins will be faced with a dilemma.

While the 630-acre southern Utah resort’s hotels and condos will eventually offer more than 3,330 living spaces to its guests, it will not have on-site houses or apartments for its workforce. There’s also little room at the inn or anywhere else in the St. George metropolitan area for residents who want to live and work in the area — especially not at affordable prices.

[Related: Water, traffic and visitors: How a $2 billion mega-resort in southern Utah plans to fit in]

Patrick Manning, managing partner of Black Desert Resort, acknowledges that poses a challenge, especially since he and other members of his development team plan to hire 2,500 workers to staff the entertainment complex.

It’s a challenge underscored by a recent report by Atwood Innovation Plaza, which found that a full-time worker in Washington County must earn at least $20.21 an hour to afford an average two-bedroom apartment without exceeding 30% of his or her income. Alas, the hourly wage for workers in the St. George area is less than $15 an hour.

“We’re really engaged at the city, region and state level with how to solve affordable housing — because we have to,” Manning said. “We are part of creating the problem, so we need to create a solution.

To that end, Manning said, the developers are “quite far along” in the process of looking to develop off-resort housing that will be within financial reach to workers, although he is not ready yet to announce where the homes will be located or other details.

Aside from the plan to develop lower-cost housing, Black Desert is already providing a home for the Utah Tech University golf team. Manning said the resort is leasing land to the university, which will have a short-game golf facility, a clubhouse with lockers and a game room on the resort.

“There’s not an NCAA golf team in the country that has a PGA course with a resort component as their home course,” he said. [Utah Tech golfers] “should be able to lure any visiting team that they want.”

Read more here about Black Desert, which the developers say will be Utah’s largest resort and city and state officials say will change the tourism landscape in southern Utah.