December 2008

Looking for an adventure?

Being at Vista Verde is like a playground for adults. There are so many fun toys, activities and new things to try, it can be hard to decide what to do next! This past week I was offered to join a trip out Rock Climbing with our outfitter, Rocky Mountain Ventures, and it was such a blast!

I definitely had my reservations. For one thing, my first and only rock climbing experience had been on a first date in an indoor gym, needless to say he is not still around and I have not climbed since. But everyone needs a little adventure in their life so I decided to give it a whirl.

I went with one other guest and it was like having our own private rock climbing session. It was so great, a girls day out with a rock climbing professional. We hiked into the Routt National Forest, which surrounds our luxury guest ranch, where we climbed a 5 – 6 and a 5-7 (in rock climbing terms, moderate level climbs). We both learned how to ‘repel’ and ‘belay’ for each other as well as scale the rock face.

Our guide, Kevan was so encouraging and patient. It was technically the ‘advanced rock climbing session’ offered later in the week, but I was by no means advanced. The other gal I went with, a guest at our ranch for the week felt the same way even after doing the beginners climb, but he helped us along and taught us all the tricks of the trade. We heard his stories of traveling the country to destination climbs, even using portaledges, which we learned is sleeping on a cot-like bed suspended on the side of a ledge! This did make me feel like my little adventure was nothing in comparison, but the view from the top was so beautiful. The sense of accomplishment you feel makes it all the more worth while.

Being eager to learn and hungry for a good time definitely made for a wonderful morning on the cliffs overlooking the guest ranch resort where I'm spending my summer. So if you have a desire to be adventurous and do something out of your comfort zone for a change, you will have to come and try out our awesome Rock Climbing adventures!  To top it off,  the rock climbing is part of the all inclusive rates at our guest ranch, so there is no extra charge for the experience.

Holidays at Vista Verde

We would like to wish all of you a very Happy Holiday season. We had fun last week combining Christmas with Hanukkah as they fell at the same time this year. So, we bounced between lighting the Menorah and spinning the dreidel to cutting down and decorating our Christmas tree and singing carols. The guests got a kick out of, or at least they humored us, the staff caroling from cabin to cabin on Christmas Eve.

The snow has been coming almost non-stop. Although some of us would like to see the sun, one really can’t complain when we get to ski fresh powder every day!

Many of our guests checked out today, and another group comes in this afternoon to ring in the New Year with us. So in between helping the housekeepers and checking on delayed flights, I wanted to send Holiday greetings out to all our friends!


Get Away From It All With a Colorado Horseback Riding Vacation

Recently Fortune Online posted an article titled: 3 Good Reasons to Take a Work-Free Vacation. It then went on to outline the three things you could tell your team back at the office about why you won’t be available to them while you’re on vacation. That got me thinking…

It’s no secret that we lead busier and busier lives. Technology provides incredible opportunity to connect and share information 24/7. It allows us to leverage our time and attention in both our business and personal lives. We can get more done faster, if we use it right.

But there is a point at which it all becomes too much. Instead of using our technology, we begin to feel as though our technology is using us. We feel as though we are held captive, at the beck and call of anyone and everyone who has our phone number or email address.

There comes a time when it’s nice to just unplug and get away from it all.

That’s where Vista Verde Guest Ranch comes in to offer the perfect mountain getaway.

As a luxury Colorado lodge and resort, we are not exactly off-grid. If you want to stay connected, you can. But we also make it easy to disconnect if that’s your desire.

Nestled privately at the foot of the mountains, it’s easy to believe that the rest of the world doesn’t exist. Our menu of family adventure activities will keep you excited and engaged: horseback riding, hiking, fly fishing, mountain biking, romantic (kid-free!) dining, wine tasting, and more! You’ll forget there’s even an office that misses you.

So during your next ranch holiday and horseback riding vacation, consider unplugging completely. We’ll provide the good excuses (too busy riding!) and let you to explain it to your team at the office.

He wants an Adventure and She wants a Luxury Getaway

Trying to plan a romantic yet fun getaway with your special someone? But the challenge comes when you want a romantic luxury resort and he wants an active wild adventure. How could you possibly accomodate both of you in one trip??

Vista Verde Guest Ranch has the perfect balance of the two. As a luxury guest ranch we offer the adventures and exciting experiences all nestled in the romantic mountains of Colorado.

During the summer he can enjoy white-water rafting, guided fly fishing and mountain biking while you enjoy peaceful trail rides, a massage or a cooking class with our executive chef! By meeting with our guides and wranglers before you take off on your excursions each day, they determine your destination and your path all right then and there while talking to you, tailoring and creating exactly the experience you are looking for. You can choose to go off with a wrangler for a scenic trail ride, while he learns the ropes on a mountain bike in our terrain park. Or take turns with eachothers favorite activities and do them all together! It’s your choice at this romantic all inclusive resort .

In the evenings we all enjoy live music, barn dances, or a relaxing dessert on the deck. After the long days, snuggling up in the cabins or your own private hot tub are the perfect way to catch up on the activities you did and your favorite parts of the day. By taking advantage of the many activities that we have to offer you are sure to enjoy all of the experiences that both you and your other half are looking for.

It is the perfect place to take some time away to just enjoy eachother, the beautiful Colorado scenery and share new experiences together. From our formal coursed dinners with wine service to the family style lunches with staff we offer every end of the spectrum. We give our guests a down home comfortable and relaxed environment all while maintaining our AAA Four Diamond status.


A Cabin in the Woods

Yesterday we hitched up the team and slapped on the skis for a trial run through a new addition to our winter program- Lunch at the Homestead cabin. We will serve lunch out at the old Homestead cabin once a week this winter for all our guests. So the staff got to be our guinea pigs this time around to make sure we didn’t have any unexpected snafoos in the plan. It was beautiful out there with all the new snow we’ve received, and the food was delicious compliments to Chef Rob and his crew. If you’re joining us this winter, we’ll look forward to sharing this fun experience with you!

Creating a Romantic Mountain Getaway

It is something in the air?

Romance seems to abound here at Vista Verde Guest Ranch. I should know. I met my (now) husband here six years ago, and know several other couples who met here and are still together years later.

There’s something about the west that is just plain romantic. Gorgeous mountain vistas, a light breeze, adventure in the air – makes for the perfect romantic mountain getaway. Even an east coast girl like me can get wrapped up in the draw of rugged cowboy chivalry.

A few weeks ago, we had a young couple stay with us. She worked for us years ago, so she knew she was in for the ultimate romantic Colorado getaway – though I’m not sure she had any idea just how romantic it would get.

Her man worked with us behind the scenes to plan a private afternoon horseback ride to the cliffs. Chocolate-dipped strawberries, a bottle of bubbly and a beautiful view… plus, the all-important element of surprise. It doesn’t get much more romantic than that!

She got to say “Yes!” to a modern cowboy, fresh out of the stirrups and down on one knee – boots, hat and all!

Congratulations and best wishes to the newly engaged couple!

Who knows…. they just might be back to enjoy our romantic Colorado honeymoon cabins!

Whether you’re planning a proposal, special event, or simply looking for romantic vacation ideas, you might consider a Colorado luxury dude ranch. We have all the right elements for a unique and romantic adventure getaway.

The Vista Verde winter staff are here!

Monday afternoon the staff rolled into Steamboat Springs and then to the ranch to begin the 10 day information download called orientation. We are excited to have so many returning staff from last summer and winter. Steve and Kelli have the Dream Team up in the Nordic Center with 100% returners. Charlie has already deemed his crew of ranch hands as the A-team. So, it may turn into the A-team vs the Dream Team this winter. Dace and Rusty put together an agenda of fun activities mixed in through the next week or so to add a little fun to all the work they are doing. So, for starts, everyone headed into Steamboat Springs last night for a hard core bowling competition. I bet you didn’t even know Steamboat Springs has bowling? Bekah and her server staff took the lead for the night and showed everyone they know how to “serve up” a whopper of a win. Pardon the pun. Well, now it’s off to get my latte as Bekah has the girls practicing making espressos and lattes. Ah….life is rough here at the ranch.

Fall Not finished

Soon enough color will sweep the mountains of Colorado offering a painted site for fall vacationers of Colorado’s wilderness. Coming from Indiana, this seems like an early Autumn, but for the short summer’s of Colorado it is completely normal. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, but Before we know it the first snowflake will hit the ground. In morning when the horses run through the ranch from pasture to pasture, frost has already started to coat the ground. But it’s too early to talk about cross country skiing in Colorado, after all, only one yellow leaf has been found on the property so far. The trees encompassing the property are still all green, so this lonely aspen leaf must have floated in from somewhere else. But with the afternoon winds, (that are a sign of fall) the lone leaf could have drifted from 

Winter is Here!

I flew back in from California yesterday to find that winter had arrived while I was gone. Most of us took some portion of last week off to enjoy time with family and friends during the one major holiday that we aren’t open. Steve and Kelli were down in Denver and took Maddie to her first Nutcracker performance. Ben and Holly packed up their troops and drove down the Colorado Springs for some turkey time and Christmas shopping. Dace headed to Oregon to visit with his brother and family. Charlie was nearby with Barb’s family. Rusty and Bekah headed to another ranch to help their friends hosts guests there for the holiday. And the last guys standing- Rob, Matt and Bill enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast fit for kings here in the dining room while no one else was around. We all felt there is so much to be thankful for and hope you all enjoyed a nice holiday as well.

Now we’re back in action, gearing up for the staff to arrive next Monday. Today we hammered out the rest of the details of the holiday schedule and the logistics of all the festivities we have planned. Oh yeah, and then we all had to fill out our health insurance papers to switch to a new company. Yep, even here we have some paperwork to shuffle! 

I’ll get some pictures of the snow posted in a couple days so you can enjoy your view of the ranch via computer!