Vista Verde Ranch Luxury Resort Ranch in Steamboat Springs, Colorado Sat, 22 Oct 2016 02:09:30 +0000 en hourly 1 AARP – October 2016 Thu, 20 Oct 2016 15:15:56 +0000 People typically think of dude ranches as a great summer vacation option, but writer Gigi Ragland explores a number of great dude ranches that are open for guests to come explore a winter wonderland type of vacation in a recent article for AARP.  Read the article….

Chicago Tribune – October 2016 Thu, 20 Oct 2016 15:06:58 +0000 Writer Eileen Ogintz from visited the ranch last winter, and shares some thoughts on their experience taking a winter vacation at the ranch with her millennial age family members.  Read the article…..

Dude Ranch Life: Wrapping up and Moving on Thu, 13 Oct 2016 16:49:19 +0000 There is one thing we can always count on at the ranch and that is we have the most amazing people come through our doors who call the ranch home for a period of time in their life.  But, along with that guarantee is the guarantee that at some point many of these folks move on to their next step in life.  As we end the summer (fall at this point) season, we are having some sad farewells.  At the very same time, Beka is busy lining up the next generation of fabulous ranch staff to come in for the upcoming winter season.

There are many great folks who are packing up this weekend to head off as we close for the season, but here are a few notable ones who have had a great impact on the VVR community.

Erica and John (JT) Thompson, as well as baby Althea and Goldie the dog are moving to Florida to be closer to family with their own growing family.  Erica has been the constant in the kids program for years now–pouring her love of children and leadership skills into heading up the program and helping make each child’s vacation memorable.  Anyone who has eaten at the ranch can appreciate JT’s contribution as Chef de Cuisine.  He and Cholly have been the most amazing match of personalities and skills in the kitchen, and their partnership has been a key to the success of our dining experience.  Both leave big shoes to fill, but we have some amazing folks who are ready to step in and move forward.

Small but mighty, our little Sam is hanging up her spurs and heading off to pursue the next step in her life.  She will still be pretty close by, we hope, so we’re looking forward to hearing her stories of life in the “real world” when she stops by to visit.  Sam has been an instrumental part of our wrangler staff, and took over the reins of running the barn this year, and lead the charge to step up our game on training and setting protocols for proper saddle fitting, which is key to the horses well being.  We think the horses will miss her as much as we do!

And the list goes on…..Anna’s style will be missed heading up the dining room, and Grace who ran housekeeping is heading off to plan her wedding with fellow staff member Christian.  Mary, otherwise known as little Miss Sunshine, who has worn almost every hat at the ranch.  Rachel who has guided the Zirkel Circle what feels like a million times (but who can get tired of that hike?) as well as led the team of those who wrangle kids.  Then there is Tim, Tay-Po, Alexis, Hannah, Tom, Johnny, and Emily.

We thank these folks, along with the ones who have just made VVR a brief stop on their life journey.  It takes an amazing team of people committed to excellence in service to make the ranch what it is today.  It’s been a joy to work with all of these fine folks, and we wish them the best in their next ventures.  There are only a few moments to pause and wipe away the tears before we jump right back in to developing the next generation of VVR leaders.  It’s exciting to have new people to help grow and teach them the VVR way!

Chef’s Corner: Corn Chowder Wed, 12 Oct 2016 03:05:18 +0000 There’s a chill in the air, and a hearty soup is just the ticket on a cold day…..especially if you can eat it while sitting in front of a roaring fire with great friends!

Corn Chowder (makes 2 gallons)


4 ounces unsalted butter

1 ½ pound of bacon diced

2 large yellow onions, diced

4 carrots, peeled and diced

4 ribs of celery, cleaned and diced

15 small red potatoes, cleaned and diced

8 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups of corn kernels

1 cup all purpose flour

1 gallon whole milk

1 quart heavy cream

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup chopped parsley



  • In a large, heavy-bottomed pot melt butter and render bacon until crisp
  • Add onions, carrot, celery, garlic and corn and sauté until soft
  • Add flour and combine
  • Add milk, bay leaf and potatoes and simmer for forty-five minutes on medium-low heat while stirring to thicken
  • Season to taste and add parsley and serve

Chef’s tip:

When corn is in season, I’ll use whole ears (about 4-6 ears), cut the kernals off and throw the cobs in the chowder and then scrape the cobs into the chowder!

Packing for your ranch vacation Tue, 11 Oct 2016 17:35:56 +0000 Packing for your Vista Verde vacation can be a challenge, especially given the airlines weight restrictions on bags.  We try to help by having an in-depth packing list, and are more than happy to dole out advice over the phone or email.  But there is no way to get around the fact that there are potentially a lot of costume changes when you come here and want to try it all!

There are a couple ways we can help though!  Did you know that we are more than happy to receive a box of your gear that you ship ahead of time, and have it waiting for you in your cabin when you arrive?  We’ll even ship it home for you at the end of your stay.  And, if you’ve caught the VVR bug, and know you’re going to be coming back, we can even store some of those items that you’ll never wear at home.  We’ll package up your boots and hats and put them in a marked container to wait for your return.  No charge, just one way we try to help make this Western lifestyle a little more accessible for you!

Contact one of us at the Front Desk if you have questions, or want to make arrangements for storing your gear at the ranch next time you visit!

Feasting Fort Collins – October 2016 Thu, 06 Oct 2016 17:16:35 +0000 Following a big tour of Steamboat, which included a stop for breakfast at Vista Verde, Kristen Mastre of Feasting Fort Collins wrote an article about her culinary experiences in Steamboat Springs.   Read the article…..

Itinerary for enjoying the fall colors on your way to the ranch Wed, 28 Sep 2016 21:02:19 +0000 The aspens are bursting with color, and we’re all trying to freeze time so we can enjoy this amazing moment a bit longer.  It’s such a fleeting time of year–autumn in Colorado.  The air is crisp, the skies perfectly blue in contrast to the big, puffy, white clouds….and then there are the aspens, the auburn ferns, the red berry bushes and scrub oak, and the golden grass.  It’s truly breathtaking.

So, why not extend your visit to Colorado just a bit and take in some of these amazing colors with fabulous views on your way to or from the ranch?  It’s a must do in my book!  There are so many beautiful spots, but here are a couple recommendations for leaf peeping drives:

  1. If you’re flying into Denver and are tight on time, how about taking a few extra hours and driving the long way through Rocky Mountain National Park?  Lots of aspens, most likely elk and other wildlife sighting, and the see-forever view at the top of the Continental Divide.  Pack a lunch and stop for a short hike on one of their many trails if you have a little extra time, or just stop when you get over the pass in Grand Lake for lunch before you head on towards Steamboat Springs and the ranch.
  2. Maybe you were able to fly in a couple days early to Denver, and you have some more time to go explore?  Then you should head up towards Vail on I-70, then turn off and go down past Leadville, over to Aspen, through Glenwood Springs, and then north on Hwy 131 to Steamboat Springs.  Stay the night in the cute town of Frisco, then a night in Aspen, but make sure to make some time to enjoy the hot springs in Glenwood Springs.
  3. Now, for those of you who are going to fly right into Steamboat Springs, how about renting a car and taking a day trip into the Flattops?  There is a gorgeous and remote drive from Steamboat to Craig, down to Meeker, and then into the Flattops.  You’ll come out in Yampa and head back up to Steamboat Springs.  This drive can be done in about 4-6 hours, depending on how many photo ops you stop for along the way.

There are some other great ideas for fall foliage drives, as well as hot springs stops in Colorado on the Colorado Tourism Office website.  Enjoy the colors as you scope out the many gorgeous vistas in Colorado.  We’ll provide you with many more while you’re at the ranch, but when in Colorado in the fall, take the extra time to soak up the beauty!

The Trail Rider Magazine – September 2016 Wed, 14 Sep 2016 04:06:16 +0000 While we’re in the midst of some beautiful fall riding weeks, an article came out from The Trail Rider magazine about an October riding vacation at Vista Verde.  It’s time to saddle up, and head out into the aspens!  Read the article…..

]]> – September 2016 Thu, 08 Sep 2016 19:00:57 +0000 In honor of National Yoga Month, writer Laura Powell put together an article about the 13 best hotels for yogis.  It was fun to see Vista Verde’s name pop up with a mention about our Wild Yoga program, which is one of our favorite ways to spend a fall day!  Read the article….

The VVR Love Factory Mon, 05 Sep 2016 16:37:56 +0000 A new name for the ranch has recently been put out there–The Love Factory.  Once again, Vista Verde has turned out another round of engagements.  Of course, it may have something to do with the age of our staff and the fact that we hire individuals who share a love of adventure, the outdoors, and serving others.  But, we’d like to think there’s just something in the air here at VVR!

Grace and Christian met last winter, when Christian came in as a new ranch hand who found himself stopping by the housekeeping world headquarters often to just check in and see if the housekeepers, particularly the head housekeeper, needed anything.  After dating all winter, taking a whirlwind spring road trip (the ultimate test of a budding relationship in my estimation), and then exploring the long term realities of their relationship this summer, Christian popped the question a few weeks ago up on top of Mt. Evans.  No surprise that Grace said yes!  Next up is a move to Georgia to get some time dating in the “real world,” before their May wedding.

On the heels of Grace and Christian’s engagement, a sparkly ring showed up on the hand of Melissa, our amazing pastry chef.  After waltzing into the ranch last year, and capturing the heart of our loyal Nathan, the two of them are headed down the aisle this fall.  There may not be two people more perfect for each other, and their relationship is a great testament to having patience and waiting for the right person to come along.  No matter what pursuit these two follow, they both give it their all and don’t quit until the job is done.  Nate has finally met his match in finding Melissa, and we’re thrilled, both for them and that we hope that means we’ll have an endless supply of pastries for several years to come!

Next up is Beka and Michael’s wedding in two weeks, which will be an intimate, casual wedding with a backdrop of golden aspens and brilliant fall colors.  If you’ve ever needed a shot in your arm to remind you of young love and a romantic recharge, just come to Vista Verde, otherwise known as the Love Factory!