Utah’s Sanctuary: New documentary about Great Salt Lake, Saltair

07 Dec

GSL Flyer (Facebook)Last summer I was contacted by BYU Broadcasting to provide commentary for a new documentary about Great Salt Lake and Saltair.  I had a wonderful time working with Director Rob Sibley and his crew, and I think the documentary turned out great.

The 54 minute piece, titled Great Salt Lake: Utah’s Sanctuary, covers the history, wildlife, art and recreation of Utah’s inland sea.  The recreation section is where I come in.  I discuss some of the lesser known, early resorts along the lake’s shores in addition to Saltair.  In addition to the commentary, the documentary features some rare film from the old days and some stunning aerial footage– all set to a masterful ambient soundtrack by composer Marden Pond.

The broadcast premiere was 12/6, with a repeat tonight (12/10) at 8:30 on KBYU 11.  For non-locals, I’m told it will be available on-demand later this month.  Check it out, and let me know what you think!

For vintage and modern photos of the Great Salt Lake and Saltair, like my Facebook Page  “Try to Sink.”  Then come back and enjoy some of my previous pieces on Saltair:

Ghost towns? How about a ghost resort?
Lakeside beach resort makes for a delightful summer outing
Old Saltair: Ruins are all that remain of “Coney Island of the West”
Saltair in flames: Video documents the ruin of famous Utah resort
Saltair’s spooky side shines in “Carnival of Souls”
So long, Saltair Train: Iconic rail car makes final departure from Saltair
The Beach Boys – Saltair Connection
UPDATED: The story behind those Beach Boys photos at Saltair

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4 responses to “Utah’s Sanctuary: New documentary about Great Salt Lake, Saltair

  1. Ann Mechtenberg

    February 17, 2016 at 8:36 am

    I visited the Great Salt Lake and came up Saltair in 2006 while my daughter, 12, at the time were on road trip from our home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We fell in love with the people and places in Utah. Well, I recently found some photos from our trip and was making a scrapbook page which has involved so research. We wondered when we were there what that building was all about. I came across your blog which have so enjoyed reading. I am fascinated with the time period that Saltair’s prime, “The Golden Age”. Are their any books about this time period in Utah? Similar to “Titanic” or “Downton Abby”. Were there any wealthy families or scandals associated with The Saltair? With all of the dancing and courting there should be some stories. Perhaps this might be an opportunity for you as a writer…maybe someone could pitch a mini-series or movie now that Downton is in its final season. I would watch or read it. Good Luck with saving it..such a beautiful place.

  2. bonnevillemariner

    February 17, 2016 at 7:43 pm


    I’m not aware of any books about this particular time period, unfortunately, but I’d love to find some myself! I’m also not aware of any controversy. I’ve never tried my hand at fiction, so that may be for somebody else. But there are lots of stories about the place. I’m actually compiling a bunch now for a future non-fiction book. I’ll weave in a lot of these stories as I piece together the construction and anatomy of the old resort. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Ann Mechtenberg

      February 17, 2016 at 9:43 pm

      I meant to ask about the charge of arson. Was anyone ever prosecuted? How was arson determined? Was the airplane hangar purchased by the same owner to replace Saltair II? Has the Morman Church ever been approached to get involved with a renovation project as it seems to be a big part of its history? Are there no historic preservation funds available? To bad it isn’t on the same site and architecture…the 1st on appears to be amazing. Wished we could have made it into the visitors center now and saw the model. Another day, another trip maybe? Thank you for posting the information as its history is fascinating. Thinking where there has been money, there has been gossip & scandal. Sometimes with the passage of time people seem to be more apt to reveal the skelton stories which is what is interesting. As with “Titanic” and “Downton Abby” the human story is what keeps one riveted.

      A book or a series was just a thought. Hoping you or someone reading your blog might have some connections or ideas on how to accomplish such a task. Thinking it might be a Hallmark Channel Project, they currently have a show “When Calls The Heart” which is set on the Prairie during this the late 1800’s time period and is one of their most popular series.

      My thought was as with “Highclare Castle” on ” .Downton Abby” it was having financial issues before the start of the BBC series started 6 years ago, it is now doing well with all the tourism. My daughter & I were there last Summer, its a very busy place. It was a distance from a town too but that did not stop visitors. As you may have known, “Downton Abby” has become an international phenomenon, the English are amazed at all the interest, especially we, Americans. People seem to have a hunger and interest for this time period. Rich in opulence and tradition, Hence, the Australian Billionaire, who replicated the “Titanic” and it will soon have its maiden voyage Just know that renovation would be so costly that it would take massive funding and public interest. When I become a Billionaire, I will contact you on how to become the Lady of the Lake’s benefactor. It will happen.(“The Secret”-Conceive, Believe & Achieve).(Ha, Ha)

      Really, I am sadden to think this beautiful structure, rich with history and on the natural wonder of Great Salt Lake struggles. Thanks for the note. I see the documentary is broadcasting again in March. I will try to catch it.. Good Luck with your endeavors. I look forward to reading your future posts.

  3. Alex

    February 22, 2016 at 6:05 am

    agh! I would LOVE to watch this documentary…know anywhere I could find it to watch online? Your blog is still my absolute favorite 🙂


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