Here is a great little read on the history of what is now Skyline Ranch Resort.
1915-1944 – Massanutten Canning Factory
The Shenandoah Valley is rich in Civil War and other history before 1915. However, the earliest record of the site that would eventually become Skyline Ranch Resort shows that the land was originally home to the Massanutten Canning Factory where tomatoes, beans and soup were canned under the “Massanutten Brand.” During WWI soldiers on the battlefields of France dined on these Shenandoah products.
1944-1960 – Burke Family Farm
The canning factory eventually closed and became part of a 1,935 acre farm that stretched all the way South to the Shenandoah River. Mr. Burk, the owner of the farm, passed away in the 1950’s, and the land was inherited by his son, Wilson Burke.
1960-1973 – Birth of a Campground
Visitors to the area wanted to camp near the Shenandoah River on Mr. Burk’s land. So…..after a lot of sweat and hard work, Wilson Burke opened a campground called “Massanutten Camp Forest”. He built the Li’L Country Store himself with an apartment upstairs. The swimming pool was added in 1968.
1973-1978 – Sale of Campground
Wilson Burke, now 67, sold the campground in 1973 to Mr. and Mrs. Henry Frenzel who operated it as a public campground through August of 1978.
1978-1984 – Stable Added
Raymond C. Kates, a prominent attorney in Front Royal, and his wife Geraldine purchased the campground in 1978. Mr. Kates was a horse lover and built a stable in 1979 adding horseback riding to the campground’s recreational activities.
1984 – Skyline Ranch Resort Begins
In 1984, William H. Bunning Jr., a developer, and his wife Floy purchased the campground with a dream of creating a family-oriented resort with amenities and activities for all ages. The campground was converted to a private, “membership only” campground called “Skyline Ranch Resort”. The theme was to project “a Little Bit of the Old West Back East”.
1984-1990 – Skyline Expansion
Skyline is upgraded with the addition of luxurious 9,000 sq. ft. clubhouse, a modern waste treatment facility, rental cabins, RV units, mini-golf and much, much more.
1990 – Skyline Awarded “5 Star” Status
In August, 1990, Skyline Ranch Resort was the recipient of the prestigious “5 Star” Award by Coast to Coast Resorts making it one of the top 75 resorts in the Coast to Coast network of over 500. Skyline has received “5 Star” status each year since.
July 1995 – New Ownership
David M. Lonsway and another investor from Rockford, IL, purchased the resort to take it to the “next level”. The goal of the new owners was to further upscale the property, add luxury accommodations and begin selling deeded ownership interests.
October, 1995 – First TreeLoft Chalet Started
In October, 1995, Skyline begins development of Skyline TreeLoft Village, a secluded, upscale area of the modern, luxurious chalets. Construction of the first Skyline TreeLoft Chalets is started.
November, 1995 – Sale of Deeded Ownerships
Campground members are the first to be offered a unique opportunity to become deeded owners of Skyline Ranch Vacation Ownership Resort with all the rights and privileges of ownership.
December, 1995 – RCI Adds Skyline
Resort Condominiums International (RCI), the largest and oldest vacation exchange company in the world, adds Skyline Ranch Resort to its list of 2,850 luxury resorts worldwide.