Skip to main content

Highlands Ranch Resort in Mill Creek

07/22/2015 03:44PM ● Published by Melissa Mendonca

A Gathering Space

August 2015
By Melissa Mendonca
Photos: Michelle Hickok

In the story of man vs. nature, if a man walks away, nature will reclaim its dominance in any given space. Such is the case of the newly opened Highlands Ranch Resort in Mill Creek. What is now the main building was once a 1970s-era private building created for large family and community gatherings, with a huge kitchen and gathering space.

Abandoned in the 1980s, surrounding seedlings took to vigorous growth, and within a matter of years, passersby couldn’t see the building for the trees.

Kevin Wilsey knew it was there, however, and found himself prone to moments of wonder and yearning when he drove by while visiting from Loomis. Having grown up in Cottonwood in a family that escaped to Mill Creek for vacations, he had attended some of the gatherings at the building and had fond memories of his childhood escapades there. “That’s how I know the area so well,” he says.

When the day came that he drove by with his brother and found a “For Sale” sign on the property, he knew it was time to move that wonder toward action. The initial call set in motion a multi-year journey of negotiating the land sale from the Nature Conservancy, clearing trees from around the building, extensive restoration and the addition of seven boutique cottage units that blend in with the surrounding environment.

When Highlands Ranch Resort opened in June of this year, it was as a labor of love and a challenge to the building sensibilities of Wilsey, a contractor and owner of Discovery Doors in Rocklin, and his partner, Wendy Rehberg, who has trained herself as the innkeeper.

“All of the lumber in this building, for the most part, was milled on the property,” says Wilsey, who just couldn’t part with the wood during the main building’s transformation into a stunning resort that honors its sense of place while emitting a sense of high style and luxury.

“We literally had to strip every wall,” he says. “Pretty much the whole building has been repurposed one way or the other.” Half the fun of exploring the resort is finding the small details that add up to an overall sense of surprise. An old gate post became the legs of the reception area, complete with rusted metal rings and moss clinging to the wood; the massive double doors of the entry way were created from old deck boards. Above the bar hangs a black wrought iron chandelier that the couple commissioned to add a wow factor that matched the rustic yet elegant theme of the place.

The resort building houses An Artisan’s View, a fullservice restaurant under the direction of chef Joe Symmes of Chico; a full bar; and a banquet room for private gatherings of up to 120 people.

The five cottages around the main building have been designed for views that take in the surrounding Childs Meadows, and to provide privacy for their occupants. Two buildings are large and can be split to accommodate two parties, or opened up to be one big home for larger groups. The remaining three buildings are designed as romantic getaways.

Tying the buildings together is a fire pit in the middle of the walkways leading to each cottage. It welcomes occupants to come out and enjoy the community of the resort and the stunning night sky.

For as much as Wilsey and Rehberg have done to create a beautiful place of welcome and relaxation, they also know the surrounding beauty of Mill Creek and Lassen Volcanic National Park are the real draw to the area. “We want people to get out, enjoy the park, go fishing, enjoy the lake and then come back here and relax,” says Wilsey. After much debate, they even decided not to put TVs in the bar so that guests can truly unplug and get away from it all.

As he stops to reflect on the time, effort and details it’s taken to get to his opening day, a period of more than five years that included him selling his 5-acre property and home in Loomis, Wilsey says, “It was a pretty big leap of faith.” But he adds, “This has always been a dream.”

The story of Highlands Ranch Resort rewrites the narrative of man vs. nature to one that finds man and woman in harmony with nature, able to appreciate the wonders of forests, meadows and mountains while attending to the human need to unwind and rejuvenate in beauty.

Highlands Ranch Resort
41515 Hwy 36 East • Mill Creek
www.highlandsranchresort.com • (530) 595-3388




In Print, Life+Leisure
  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/24/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Wildcard Brewery 5th Anniversary Party

    11/24/2017
    02:00PM — 09:00PM

    Wildcard Brewing Company is excited to announce the 5th Anniversary Party on Friday, November 24,...


  • Cascade Christmas

    11/24/2017
    02:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • Wildcard Brewing Co. Foodie Friday

    11/24/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    On Fridays from 5pm-8pm, we bring you the best of both worlds: a frothy pint and a flavorful plat...


  • Cascade Christmas

    11/24/2017
    07:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • The Redwoods Christmas Boutique

    11/25/2017
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Honestly, Santa's getting older and he can't keep doing that last minute stuff! Come on down to ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/25/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Start Up Saturdays | Winter Market

    11/25/2017
    10:00AM — 03:00PM

    Easily shop local this Holiday season at the Start Up Saturdays Winter Vendor Market where local ...


  • REDDING RANCHERIA

    11/25/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2017 IN THE WIN RIVER EVENT CENTER FROM 10:00 A.M. TO 4:00 P.M. FOR INF...


  • Cascade Christmas

    11/25/2017
    02:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tour

    11/25/2017
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • Cascade Christmas

    11/25/2017
    07:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/26/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Cascade Christmas

    11/26/2017
    02:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/27/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • North State Giving Tuesday

    11/28/2017
    06:00AM — 08:00PM

    Each year at Thanksgiving and the week following, we have a day for giving thanks, two days for g...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/28/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Winter Concert

    11/28/2017
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    The Enterprise High Music Department will be preforming several different song both from choir an...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/30/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/24/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Wildcard Brewery 5th Anniversary Party

    11/24/2017
    02:00PM — 09:00PM

    Wildcard Brewing Company is excited to announce the 5th Anniversary Party on Friday, November 24,...


  • Cascade Christmas

    11/24/2017
    02:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • Wildcard Brewing Co. Foodie Friday

    11/24/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    On Fridays from 5pm-8pm, we bring you the best of both worlds: a frothy pint and a flavorful plat...


  • Cascade Christmas

    11/24/2017
    07:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • The Redwoods Christmas Boutique

    11/25/2017
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Honestly, Santa's getting older and he can't keep doing that last minute stuff! Come on down to ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/25/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Start Up Saturdays | Winter Market

    11/25/2017
    10:00AM — 03:00PM

    Easily shop local this Holiday season at the Start Up Saturdays Winter Vendor Market where local ...


  • REDDING RANCHERIA

    11/25/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2017 IN THE WIN RIVER EVENT CENTER FROM 10:00 A.M. TO 4:00 P.M. FOR INF...


  • Cascade Christmas

    11/25/2017
    02:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tour

    11/25/2017
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • Cascade Christmas

    11/25/2017
    07:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/26/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Cascade Christmas

    11/26/2017
    02:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/27/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • North State Giving Tuesday

    11/28/2017
    06:00AM — 08:00PM

    Each year at Thanksgiving and the week following, we have a day for giving thanks, two days for g...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/28/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Winter Concert

    11/28/2017
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    The Enterprise High Music Department will be preforming several different song both from choir an...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/29/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Midweek Madness

    11/29/2017
    02:00PM — 08:00PM

    Visit either Wildcard location on Wednesdays and get $3 off a growler fill! Come by the brewery a...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/30/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/01/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Button, Zip & Snap Event

    12/01/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    12/01/17 10 am – 6 pm 12/02/17 10 am – 5 pm 2961 Churn Creek Rd, Redding, CA 96002 530-221-3970...


  • Strikes for Strays

    12/01/2017
    04:00PM — 09:00PM

    JOIN US AT STRIKES for STRAYS!!! ... Let’s ALL be a reason for the season!!! STRIKES for STRA...


  • World AIDS day

    12/01/2017
    04:00PM — 06:30AM

    December 1st is World AIDS Day. Join us in the Downtown Promenade for free HIV testing, informati...


  • Wildcard Brewing Co. Foodie Friday

    12/01/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    On Fridays from 5pm-8pm, we bring you the best of both worlds: a frothy pint and a flavorful plat...


  • First Friday on Main

    12/01/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Join us at Enjoy the Store Red Bluff, home to Cedar Crest Brewing and Vineyard, for live music, f...


  • Cascade Christmas

    12/01/2017
    07:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • Whitmore Christmas Bazaar

    12/02/2017
    08:00AM — 03:00PM

    The Whitmore Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. invites you to the annual CHRISTMAS BAZAAR on December ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/02/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Start Up Saturdays | Winter Market

    12/02/2017
    10:00AM — 03:00PM

    Easily shop local this Holiday season at the Start Up Saturdays Winter Vendor Market where local ...


  • On Saturday December 2nd from 10AM-1PM, The Friends of the Shasta County Libraries will sell gent...


  • Button, Zip & Snap Event

    12/02/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    12/01/17 10 am – 6 pm 12/02/17 10 am – 5 pm 2961 Churn Creek Rd, Redding, CA 96002 530-221-3970...


  • Whiskeytown National Recreation Area and Shasta State Historic Park Partner for the Annual “Old T...


  • Cascade Christmas

    12/02/2017
    02:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • A Celebration of Music

    12/02/2017
    04:00PM — 06:00PM

    On Saturday, December 2nd Dunsmuir will be celebrating the beginning of the holiday season with a...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tour

    12/02/2017
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • Cascade Christmas

    12/02/2017
    07:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/03/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • B--Monthly Free Concert & Open Mic

    12/03/2017
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    Redding - California State Old Time Fiddles Association, District 6 Free Old Time Fiddle, Bluegra...


  • Cascade Christmas

    12/03/2017
    02:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/04/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


Enter to Win!

Check out our sister publication, Enjoy Magazine: South Valley Living
Wedding Style Guide 2017
Enjoy Magazine Facebook
Enjoy Magazine Instagram Instagram
Enjoy Magazine Pinterest Enjoy Magazine

Enjoy Our Sponsors