Wild Lily's main lodge.
Wild Lily Ranch was established in 1990 by dancer, gemologist, and chainsaw carpenter Mike O’Neil, who "built his lodge and two guest cabins without cutting down any more trees than he had to," according to a 2004 Seattle Times article. Mike was a lover of nature and a gracious host to all: “He was an equal opportunity innkeeper. People liked him and he liked them back.” A true craftsman, Mike spent 14 years building and expanding Wild Lily. From custom stained glass windows to a river rock fireplace inlaid with hand cut agates to log carvings and accents, Mike’s craft and spirit emanates throughout the property.
When Mike “Magic Man” O’Neil passed away in 2004 at age 60 from cancer, the future of Wild Lily Ranch was uncertain. By a matter of sheer coincidence and serendipity, Wild Lily fell into the lap of its second owners, Joe Puchot and Barak Gale. Joe and Barak had visited Wild Lily in August of 2003, before Mike’s passing, while some friends of theirs were staying as guests at the B&B. Avid hikers and Northwest outdoor enthusiasts, Joe and Barak were instant fans of Wild Lily’s magical charm. It was not until six months later that Joe and Barak, who were in the market to buy a piece of waterfront property somewhere in Washington, were randomly sent a listing advertising the sale of the Wild Lily property by a real estate agent. Even though they had never dreamed of owning or running a Bed and Breakfast, they were so inspired by the property that they decided to buy it and keep the legacy alive.
Barak took the lead as Wild Lily’s host, keeping it authentic to Magic Mike’s vision, even down to the infamous fresh-baked Morning Glory muffins served for breakfast. Over the years Barak worked as an advocate for the local environment and was involved in the campaign for the creation of the Wild Sky Wilderness. In fact, he hosted Patty Murray's staff at Wild Lily when they visited the area to research the bill.
Barak Gale, one of Wild Lily's second owners.
This past August, nine years after Wild Lily changed ownership, Joe and Barak decided it was time to pursue their dreams of exploring more of the country’s natural beauty. It was time to sell. Having been aware of Mysty Mountain Properties by way of their reputation and involvement throughout the Sky Valley, one of the first things Joe did was contact Mysty Mountain’s owner, Dave Faigin, just before officially listing the property on the market.
Mysty Mountain Properties (also known as VacationRentalCabins.com) emerged in 2003 after Dave bought his first riverfront cabin near Skykomish. It was not long after managing a few of his own vacation rental properties in the Sky Valley that other property owners approached Dave to help them make their second homes into vacation rentals. Over the last decade, inspired by the desire to share the beauty of the Cascades and all of Washington’s wondrous natural offerings with travelers from near and far, Dave has expanded Mysty Mountain to 30 vacation rental properties from Gold Bar to Leavenworth, and now even to Snoqualmie Pass.
When Dave was approached with the opportunity to buy Wild Lily, he could not pass it up. He partnered with local Seattle entrepreneur Skylar Keith and enthusiastically purchased the property, closing the deal on October 31, 2013. Moving forward, Wild Lily will no longer be a bed & breakfast but will instead be offered as a vacation rental accommodating up to 14 guests, as well as group retreats and events. Wild Lily will be available to rent beginning Thanksgiving weekend. Over the next few weeks Faigin and Keith will breathe new life into the property with some minor remodeling, refurbishing, and revamping. One thing is for certain, according to its new owners: “Wild Lily’s charm and spirit will be kept alive and intact for years to come.”