Breck Dockstader | A Father’s Vision becomes a Son’s Passion
Holding an old picture of a small blond boy standing in front of a wooden lodge, it’s hard to believe this dark haired man, standing just north of six feet, once posed for that picture outside the resort that became his family’s passion.
Breck Dockstader, General Manager of Cliffrose Lodge & Gardens, and his siblings are working together to keep their father’s love for gardens and Zion National Park alive.
“I grew up at my dad’s feet here,” Breck said. “So we’ve kept dad’s dream front and center.”
Breck’s father made Cliffrose his own special place by adding small but meaningful details all throughout the property. One of the specifications Breck’s father required was for every guest to see the beauty of the park and the gardens.
“Nothing faces the road or parking lot,” Breck said. “Here, every room faces a view.”
Another defining feature of Cliffrose is the unusual rock designs you will find on the façade of every building on the property. Known as “ring rocks” to Breck and his family, the round rock is sliced in half to reveal a unique design inside.
“Dad said that every building has to have a ring rock on it,” said Breck. “So every new building gets a ring rock.”
Large trees are found all throughout the gardens. One in particular towers above the rest in height and also in meaning. This tree is actually one of the Dockstader’s family Christmas trees that Breck’s dad replanted, bringing a little bit of their home to the gardens.
Walking through the greenery of the grounds, the sound of the Virgin River trickles in the background. Breck explained another exclusive feature of Cliffrose is the sandy beach his father created.
“Dad laid tree trimmings on the rocks alongside the river,” Breck said. “The trimmings trapped the sand and eventually created this sandy beach. There is about three feet of sand on both sides of the river.”
This oasis in the middle of the desert was actually used in a music video by The Piano Guys, a well-known group of musicians who play renditions of popular songs. Their piano and cello cover of Phillip Phillips’ “Home” shows Jon Schmidt playing a black grand piano on the beach facing the breathtaking view of Zion National Park.
Cliffrose’s close proximity to the world-renowned park is one that no other resort can boast.
“It borders Zion, so you can basically throw a rock from your room and hit it,” Breck said.
All of these features are unique to Cliffrose, but the most meaningful piece is a slab of concrete imprinted with the little hands of the Dockstader children when Cliffrose was first built more than 20 years ago. Breck said it means so much to him to work at the place his dad made so special.
“This place has always been home,” Breck said. “It’s priceless to work in such a beautiful place.”