Huntsville getting its first hotel, plus a high tech telescope

WEDNESDAY , FEBRUARY 07, 2018 - 5:15 AM

HUNTSVILLE — At first glance, you might think the under-construction Compass Rose Lodge is a barn with a silo.

But the new 9,600-square-foot, 15-room hotel will be one of only two hotels in the country built around a high-tech telescope, officials said. 

The silo structure on the building will house a telescope so advanced it is capable not only of exploring space but also of astrophotography and of assisting with space research.

Donated by Weber State University Physics Professor John Sohl, the telescope comes to the hotel with the hope of inspiring future scientists.

“If they just become interested in science and the universe in general,” his donation will be worth it, Sohl said. “It doesn’t have to do with astronomy as long as they are interested in science and being inquisitive.”

The highly technical device will require instruction by hotel employees for those who wish to use it, Sohl said.

In a community that values open spaces and an agricultural feel, the hotel’s developers wanted their facility to have a facade that represents and serves the community.

Scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, it will be the only hotel within Huntsville’s boundaries, officials said.

“We’re just excited to be a part of the community and help develop in a responsible manner,” said Jeff Hyde, owner and president of Bonnie and Hyde, the company building the hotel.

Open space also was a priority in the development.

“We are building with 70 percent green space on the acre,” Hyde said. “Locals can enjoy the atmosphere there.”

The hotel is a part of Huntsville Square, a location currently housing five businesses.

Also in the square are The Lodge, a reception center and meeting space; Ogden Valley SmokehouseDetours, a recreational rental and shake shop; The Blue Coyote Cafe and The Old Fire Station.

In the summer months, Huntsville Square also becomes home to Mountain Arts and Music, a venture that brings local artists to perform, company officials said.

The developers restored The Old Fire Station, built in 1936, by reusing and recycling many of the original materials, they said.

Dakota Hyde, Huntsville Square development manager, said the goal of the hotel and the overall development is to add to and preserve the beauty of Huntsville.

“The lodge is in the same location of the old elementary,” Dakota Hyde said. “We are not developing agriculural land that was prior undeveloped.” 

With a church and then two elementary schools at that location, Dakota Hyde said the hotel represents the next generation of buildings to go on the property.

“We are renovating and helping to rebuild downtown Huntsville,” he said.

Developers broke ground for the new hotel this month and are hoping to have the structure ready to open by the end of the year.

You may reach reporter JaNae Francis at jfrancis@standard.net or 801-625-4228. Follow her on Twitter at @JaNaeFrancisSE or on Facebook at Facebook.com/SEJaNaeFrancis 

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Nubiz Article

New Compass Rose Lodge Will Be Another Vital Part Of Downtown Huntsville Revitalization

HOSPITALITY & TOURISM

by Margaret H. Evans, Nubiz Writer | Wednesday, 4 October, 2017

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Entering the sleepy town of Huntsville nestled in the Ogden Valley, is like taking a trip back in time. Traffic is pretty much non-existent. People walking down the street are friendly and welcoming.

In the coming months, a new inn will offer visitors a place to get away from it all and enjoy a taste of Huntsville’s small town charm. Dubbed The Compass Rose Lodge, the new boutique hotel is expected to be up and running next summer, according to owner Jeff Hyde. Hyde and his wife Bonnie also own Huntsville Square, which sits kitty corner to the Compass Rose property.

“We designed the Compass Rose Lodge with strong agricultural design elements to honor Huntsville’s heritage as a farming community,” he said.

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Seventeen years ago, Hyde and his wife purchased what was then an abandoned area of historic buildings and revitalized it into a charming tourist stop. Businesses in Huntsville Square include Detours, which rents paddleboards, kayaks and beach cruisers; The Lodge, a wedding and meeting venue; The Blue Coyote Cafe, which serves weekend breakfast; Huntsville Square Barbecue, famous for its slow-smoked, dry-rubbed meats and homestyle side dishes; and The Old Fire Station, a historic enclosed venue that can be rented for weddings, reunions and other functions.

“There’s a lot of history there,” Hyde said of Huntsville Square. “When we bought the property 17 years ago, it was dilapidated and done. Fast forward to now. We’ve really stuck to the heritage of Huntsville. We wanted that small town charm. We didn’t want to come in and commercially develop it to be like Park City or Vail. It has its own essence. We call it the town that time forgot. We took an abandoned area and over 17 years have changed that.”

Huntsville Square pays homage to the water recreation and winter sports that are popular in the area. Old ski lift chairs are set up in the square where visitors can sit and relax. In a couple of different areas, old skis are lined up as decor along the sides of buildings. Paddles adorn the side of the Detours building.

The Compass Rose Lodge has been designed to complement what is already in place in Huntsville Square.

The new 15-bedroom inn will include a unique element in the form of a stargazing observatory that will be housed in the grain silo feature of the hotel’s architecture.

The observatory’s first telescope has been donated by Hyde family friend and Weber State University professor and physicist Dr. John Sohl. According to Hyde, something unique about the telescope is that Stephen Hawking, renowned physicist and cosmologist has peered through it.

The Compass Rose Lodge will also include meeting rooms and an upscale coffee shop that will be named First Lift Coffee.

Hyde is excited for what the new hotel will offer to the Huntsville community and those who come to visit. As he has studied hotels, he’s learned that more and more when people visit a place, they want to experience the town the way the locals do. This is the type of experience the Compass Rose Lodge plans to offer.

“This will really be a one-of-a-kind product,” Hyde says. A lot of people are really excited about it.”