Summit Sky Ranch housing community embraces stargazing |

Summit Sky Ranch housing community embraces stargazing

Summit Sky Ranch gave a small tour of the construction site for the new housing community. As a dark sky community, lighting in the area will be minimal and shielded in order to better see the night sky. Their tour coincided with the supermoon on Nov. 14.
Kailyn Lamb / |

On Nov. 14, Summit Sky Ranch gave a small tour of the construction site of the new housing community. The neighborhood will be a dark sky community, meaning that lighting in the area will be minimal and shielded. The tour coincided with the supermoon, allowing tour attendants to see the potential of the dark sky project at Summit Sky Ranch. Tom Everist, the project developer, opened the tour by talking about his passion for the night sky.

The community will also include a new observatory with a 20-inch refractor telescope that will be used by professional and student astronomers. A live stream from the telescope will be sent to the Aspen House community center for residents to enjoy. Mark Laurin, a local astronomy enthusiast, has partnered with Everist on the observatory project.

Laurin said that a sky without stars could be another devastating impact of global warming.

The planning for Summit Sky Ranch includes plans for 240 single-family homes. Tricia McCaffrey Hyon said that 70 homes have already been sold, and that about a quarter of those have been to Summit County locals. The first homes are on track to be completed this winter. Homes will range between 1,500 and 4,000 square feet and start in the $600,000 range. The entrance of the Summit Sky Ranch will have a local park for the town of Silverthorne. Everist has also been working to restore lakes in the area from gravel quarries.

The neighborhood is located in the lower Blue River Valley. It is bordered by the White River National Forest on the west side. It joins two other dark sky communities in the state: Westcliffe and Silver Cliff. Both are southwest of Pueblo.

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