Kristann Gillies (second from right) and her family is working towards creating a family recreation park on their 98-acre ranch located just north of Fairview. The ranch, which has its own mini-lake stocked with fish, will be titled #RanchLife Adventures, and Gillies says it will offer something for all ages. The family plans to increase and improve the offerings every year.

 

Family wants to create an adventure

park with ‘something for all ages’

 

By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

Apr. 26, 2018

 

FAIRVIEW—After finding her own personal paradise on 98 acres on the north end of Sanpete Valley, a businesswoman and her family want to share it with others by opening a ranch-themed adventure and recreation destination.

After living in multiple cities and states, Kristann Gillies moved from Highland to her new home, a 98-acre ranch on the outskirts of Fairview.

“After searching all my life, I finally felt like I was home,” she said.

Homer Morrill (right) and Jennifer Gray (left) stalk the forest in a game of dodge-bow. Tactical games like dodge-bow, airsoft and paintball will all be recreational offerings at the ranch, says Gillies.

A successful businesswomen who has built and sold several profitable businesses before coming to Sanpete County, Gillies said she finally found a place where she could be happy. But it wasn’t long before her entrepreneurial spirit started giving her ideas.

Since moving here more than three years ago, Gillies has farmed and raised livestock on her land, but she saw more potential in the spacious property on Day’s Road, just north of Fairview.

“Ever since I came onto this property I had an immediate vision of the possibilities,” Gillies said. “I wanted to create a safe sanctuary, in beautiful surroundings, for families to enjoy together.”

Her vision, which she has named #RanchLife Adventures, is an ambitious plan to transform 28 acres of her 100-acre property into a place with music and dancing, fun and adventure—a ranch-style getaway to offer visitors of all ages wholesome fun and entertainment.

“My mom’s goal is to create a place where families and friends and loved ones can come together and have something positive and exciting to do here,” said Ashlee Morrill, one of Gillies’ adult children. Morrill and her husband Homer are just a few of the family members that are pitching in to see this project come to fruition.

“This is a family business and everyone has their part to play,” Gillies said. “We are all partners in this.”

Her children and their spouses have moved to the county to contribute to the project in various capacities. They are building five houses for all of them to live in.

The project is being developed in stages. But she has plans to open this summer and is aiming to offer activities like archery tag; softball; paintball called TacWars; a sprawling “haunted ranch” hidden among a grove of juniper trees; movie nights with Dutch oven dinner by the shores of a small lake; and, eventually, other entertainment like live music and dancing.

Emory Stewart plays the character of Pennywise, the evil clown from Stephen King’s horror novel, and will be a fixture in the #RanchLife Adventures “Haunted Ranch” area, which owner Kristann Gillies says will be a 45-minute experience unlike anything the county has ever seen.

“This is a three to five year business plan,” she said. “We have a lot of stuff we are working on, but we decided to do it in stages because there are so many things we plan to do. If we create it good enough people will come from all over the state.”

She said the ranch will grow each year, adding things like a large corn maze, overnight bunkhouses, pumpkin patches and a ranch village that will sell hot chocolate, toys and crafts.

She plans to use beepers for activity queues, so people don’t have to wait around in a line for their turns. The beepers will just go off when they get to join in the fun.

There will be both yearround and seasonal activities. “Next year we hope to have a winter wonderland, complete with professionally lit trees, a little kids’ sledding area, Santa Claus and a reindeer petting zoo,” Gillies said.

Although she does plan on having some winter offerings, Gillies said the park will likely close for a couple months each year to give the family a chance to take a break and travel.

She meets with the county in early May to get the permits to proceed and will apply to have the road paved to reduce dust from the potential traffic.