Hal Feinberg’s parents Fred and Susan introduced Hal and interior designer sister Marni to unique travel experiences at a young age. Today he is designing and opening Clear Sky Resorts, glamping domes that take “wow” to a whole new level.
Co-owner Hal “gave birth” to resorts recently at both Glacier National Park and Grand Canyon just two weeks apart. Guests sleep in private domes unspoiled by nature with the tag: “Explore the land without sacrificing creature comforts.”
After a bar mitzvah at Temple Sinai and while at Riverwood High School, Feinberg played competitive tennis, allowing him to visit far-reaching areas of the U.S. to enhance his appreciation for travel. Post college, he published a European travel magazine to further cement his travel bug.
“Through these experiences I had an interest in accumulating ideas to culminate in a luxury resort that had themes of stargazing and swinging chairs. My goal is to have guests “draw drop” beginning when they enter our check-in welcome dome.”
With the help of sister Marni Ratner, they created a spectacular lobby dome, which includes a 26-foot-tall ceiling, an 800-square-foot panoramic window, oversized swinging chairs, and a beautiful Instagram wall at each location, making for memorable experiences.
The Grand Canyon location, which has 45 guest rooms, opened May 28, and Glacier National Park with 16 rooms opened June 10. Costs range from $295 to $575 per night.
In terms of seasonality, Glacier is only open four months a year, and Grand Canyon six months. To moderate weather, there is heat and air conditioning in each luxury unit, an HVAC with mini split climate control. Domes are constructed of steel bars with an insulated mylar material covered by PVC canvas.
Grand Canyon has a food truck with a dining dome and Glacier has a restaurant. Dining is onsite, but cooking is not supported inside individual domes.
While Glacier is 97 percent full for the season with a few remaining openings, Grand Canyon is filling up quickly, having just opened bookings.
Coming out of COVID, Feinberg said, “People are anxious to get out. Domestic travelers are way up from normal, while foreign travelers are down until things open up more. 2022 should be very busy as many Americans have newly discovered national parks travel since they are not going out of the country. This has opened up a lot of new travelers who otherwise wouldn’t have discovered the beauty of national park travel.”
Feinberg fulfilled his dream of unique activities on site. Grand Canyon has a glow-in-the-dark frisbee golf course, lit animal night walk, projection dome for 360-degree movie viewing, jump pillow, trike track, playground, volleyball court, oversized chess, oversized Jenga, s’mores by the firepit nightly, a bar/lounge in the spectacular welcome dome, live music, astronomy viewing and outdoor movies on varied nights. Nearby is the famous Route 66 in Williams, Ariz., 25 minutes away and includes Bearizona.
At Glacier, they have a plethora of yard games, live music and movies certain nights a week, oversized chess and more.
Ratner, featured in the AJT Chai Style Aug. 2, 2018, helped design the welcome dome and crafted the layouts for each guest dome.
She recalled, “A couple years ago while on a family vacation, Hal shared his vision for the Geodome resort. He pulled out a napkin sketch of a typical dome. I said, ‘let me put it into AutoCAD, it will take 10 minutes!’”
Three and a half days later, after collaborating with him 24/7, they designed, tweaked and re-tweaked the typical domes and added a staff dome and giant welcome dome as the ultimate “design/build” project. Ratner’s staff at Studio M Interiors then replicated the Glacier concept with full construction plans for Grand Canyon. She concluded, “This was definitely our most unusual project yet, and experiencing it in person recently [at the grand opening] was amazing.”
Clear Sky is fielding requests for weddings, putting them on hold until 2022 due to COVID. They are booking family reunions.
Clear Sky Resorts tout: “Happiness is starry skies and dusty boots.”