SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) — A Utah resort has become the first DarkSky-Certified Resort in the world, but there’s a catch.
A glamping location called Under Canvas Lake Powell – Grand Staircase has achieved a new title by becoming the first DarkSky-certified lodging area.
DarkSky International, formerly known as Dark-Sky Association, was founded in 1988 and is the “recognized worldwide authority” on combatting light pollution, according to its website.
DarkSky says it began certifying official International Dark Sky Places (IDSP) in 2001 with now over 200 places certified, 20 of which are in Utah. In addition to the IDSP conservation program, DarkSky is now certifying overnight lodging areas that meet the criteria, which includes being able to see the Milky Way.
While the Under Canvas Lake Powell property is the first to receive the certification, it also was a partner in developing the new program. Applications to be certified as part of the DarkSky Approved Lodging program have not yet opened, which made it impossible for other properties to compete for the first slot.
The program is new as of this month and will consider certifying campgrounds, hotels, resorts, and other overnight visitor accommodations with “exceptional” starry nights and nighttime environments, according to DarkSky.
DarkSky says the new program intends to set a new standard in the travel industry to help protect the night sky from light pollution.
According to Visit Utah, Utah has the highest concentration of certified Dark Sky parks and communities worldwide. Some local certified national and state parks include Arches, Zion, Canyonlands, Goblin Valley, Antelope Island, Bryce Canyon, and Capitol Reef.