IT'S NOT AN UNFAMILIAR NAME . . . the Homestead. The resort, nestled at the base of Wasatch Mountain State Park in Midway, evokes memories in one form or another for many Utahns.

The feelings of nostalgia - a complete sense of retreat into pleasant and peaceful times past - still pervade the Heber Valley site.The Homestead, however, has a new look.

With the arrival of the present owners, Jerry and Carole Sanders, nearly two years ago, the trademark resort has undergone a major housecleaning. Remodeled rooms, new guest rooms and a golf course in progress are but a few of the changes.

Still familiar to longtime Homestead guests is the homey, comfortable atmosphere. There are fireplaces, cross-country skiing, horses to ride or pull old-fashioned runner sleds and snowmobiling.

The kitchen, too, has been through a renewal. With the arrival of Robert Harper, executive chef, the Homestead menus retain some of their comfortable familiarity, yet enjoy an infusion of Harper's contemporary creativity.

Harper learned to "love good food while working in the glory days of the Hotel Utah." The chef worked at the Ambassador Club and the Hill Air Force Base Officers Club before assuming the top job at the Homestead.

Harper describes the evolution of the resort menu: "We stress the basics in cooking. Using continental principles, with an emphasis on classic dishes; we stress style, but use basic methods. We watch the trends and include specialty entrees for variety, but our clientele depends on the familiar at the Homestead."

The Homestead conjures up old memories while eliciting new feelings of contentment. Midway beckons adventurers of all ages to retreat into a "classic country resort" any season of the year.