This place in the mountains, amid nature's casualness toward death and birth, is the perfect host for the inspiration of ideas: harsh at times, life threatening in its winters of destruction, but tender in attention to the details of every petal of every wildflower resurrected in the spring. Nature and creativity obey the same laws,
to the same end: life.

- Robert Redford

Centuries ago, the Ute Indians retreated to this canyon to escape the summer heat and hunt the abundant game. By the beginning of the twentieth century, the Stewarts, a family of Scottish immigrants, had settled the canyon. While the first generations were mostly surveyors and sheepherders, the next generation saw excitement and opportunity in the snow-laden slopes beneath Mount Timpanogos.

In the fifties, the Stewarts opened Timphaven, a local ski resort which boasted a chair lift, a rope tow, and a burger joint named Ki-Te-Kai, Maori for "Come and get it!" (One of the Stewarts had served as a Mormon missionary to the islands.)

In 1969, Robert Redford bought Timphaven and much of the surrounding land from the Stewart family, and Sundance was born. Rejecting advice from New York investors to fill the canyon with an explosion of lucrative hotels and condominiums, Redford saw his newly acquired land as an ideal locale for environmental conservation and artistic experimentation.
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