Vista Verde Ranch, Luxury Guest Ranch
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch"
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch
Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Archive for July, 2010

Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Horses and Hope

Date: July 30th, 2010

My friend has raised three great kids and has always loved the mountains and horses. She is struggling physically (menieres disease) and financially and lives in a dark basement apartment on a 40 acre ranch, on the eastern plains of Colorado, in order to afford keeping her two horses. The horses are her one connection to a better life she once had and provide her with the "mental therapy" she needs to sustain in her struggles. She can barely afford hay for the guys, let alone her rent.

While I’ve been helping her with things like food, hay and gas money, she would really like a get away. Financially I’m struggling as I try to help get a start up company off the ground and keep one kid in college and another finishing her senior year of high school. She has talked of getting away for a long weekend but financially it is impossible for her to do. A vacation has not been a part of her life for some time now. I would like to help her achieve that.

When I saw this contest and the fact that it had her love of horses, a ranch and the mountains I couldn’t help but think that this would be a trip that would lift her spirits and provide a renewed hope for her in 2013.

I imagine her stay as one that would allow her to be pampered a lot. She would sleep in without the worries of feeding the horses or mucking out the corral and shed they share.

She would rise and get a filling breakfast and head out to the horses. Her days would be filled with trail rides and being with the horses. I will warn you though, she would probably ask if she could help in the feeding or grooming of the horses as she loves them so much.

She might then head back to the lodge and spend the afternoon reading, napping and enjoying the beautiful scenery of the property on a snow shoe hike or another ride. She would return to the lodge and I would pay for her to get a massage after a session with your yoga instructor. She enjoys yoga and massages and finds it helps in her battle with fibromyalgia.

She would then enjoy a fabulous dinner in your dining room and would probably sign up for a cooking class with the chef. She rarely cooks anymore since she lives alone but this is another passion that could be renewed in her.

I hope you select her as you will be providing a great woman a chance to start the new year by being inspired to "fight the good fight" and giving her the gift of renewed hope.

Name: Jim Dickson
Company:
City: Highlands Ranch
State: CO

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Cooking Class with Matt and Pat

Date: July 30th, 2010

I just walked by the kitchen and overhead Frieda and Julie chatting and laughing with Chef Matt during cooking class. So I had to grab the camera and take a quick shot.

They were working on pulled pork nachos that had a mango salsa, roasted jalapeno and cumin bbq sauce and a little Manchengo cheese mixed in there too. While they were busy prepping and cooking they were enjoying a little sip of Nuits-Saint-Georges Pinot Noir with Chef Pat. Ahhh, life is good here at Vista Verde Ranch.

Now they’ve moved on to learning how to properly use kitchen knives. Hmmm….Chefs, maybe you should have worked on that BEFORE you started drinking the wine?

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Time for Me

Date: July 27th, 2010

Hello, my name is Sue Lynn. I have spent the last 24 years taking care of my children and putting their needs and desires first. I have never seen snow and have dreamed of the day I would be able to go somewhere and delight in the wonder of it. I have also loved horses since I was a little girl and I am trying to save up so I can take lessons. I would be in heaven if I could have both at the same time. It is time for Me and my wants and desires. This vacation would be a dream come true. I would spend the morning in the stable helping to take care of the horses before breakfast, and after breakfast I would love to take a ride in the snow so I could enjoy the wonders of the winter snow and my surroundings. Back at the ranch for lunch and then a nice walk and fun in the snow. I would probably need a nap after, but a short one. I would then go back out to the barn to help with the horses and to spend time with them. A wonderful dinner would be next and then a cozy night by the fire and conversation with wonderful people. The best thing would be that I could do it all over again the next day.

Name: Sue Lynn Porter
Company:
City: Fort Walton Beach
State: Florida

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Cowhorse Clinic with Terry Wegener

Date: July 27th, 2010

Escape to Vista Verde Ranch for a weekend of cattle work with trainer Terry Wegener. September 30-October 3, 2010. Ride our horse or bring your own to focus on your skills working cattle- boxing, fencing and circling among other things. Ride hard and then enjoy our fabulous meals and cozy cabins. $950/person. Contact Stephanie at reservations@vistaverde.com for more information.

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

THE VVR JAR

Date: July 27th, 2010

Our family has been blessed to vacation at VVR during the summer both times. It’s a magical place filled with wonderful people that make it very special. It has been a few years since then and I can honestly say we talk about it all the time. For our family unlike many who have made VVR a vacation destination, it takes quite a bit of saving and sacrifice to get there financially. My husband and I both have birthdays in December so the whole month is about gifts. This year my son said I want to go to VVR for Christmas! I couldn’t agree with him more. It is something we have talked about since visiting there the first time several years ago. We have always chosen the summer in the past because of the extra costs involved in a winter trip for us. Flights are one of them, and the other is the clothes. We live in Florida and would need to invest in an entire wardrobe before setting foot in all that powder. So after explaining to my son its not easy to just spend that kind of money, I put his love for VVR to the test. I put a mason jar on the counter and labeled it Sammartino’s Vista Verde Christmas! He immediately went to his piggy bank and dumped all the cash he had into it. Then he rolled all his coin for me to take to the bank to add to it. He had $72. Later that week we were running around doing errands and he wanted to go to Outback for dinner. Now here is a test! I offered to go to Outback or pick up some chicken at the local grocery store and bring it home. The difference we saved would go to the VVR Jar. He chose the latter. Amazing! Since this is the season of giving his class chose a local family struggling with medical bills to buy Christmas presents for. I of course gave him the money requested by the teacher but he wanted to give some of his own. He didn’t have any left since it just went to the jar a few days before. I could see he was struggling with this, so I told him it was ok to take the money he put in the jar and give it to the family. They needed it. He said “Are you sure mommy, I know how much you want to go?” I explained even though it would be a very special trip, it was more important to help the family in need and we would still be able to go back to VVR one day. So he decided to give half and keep half in the jar. After having the jar since the beginning of December I thought it would be old already but to my astonishment he even put the little bit on money he got for Christmas straight to the jar, as did I.

Name: Mary Sammartino
Company:
City: Vero Beach
State: Florida

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Yoga Retreat at Vista Verde

Date: July 27th, 2010

Treat yourself to a Colorado yoga retreat at Vista Verde Ranch. September 30-October 3, 2010. Each morning Kelli King will lead a vigorous yoga practice followed by riding, hiking, biking or fishing in the afternoon. Take a deep breath for a gentle practice before dinner. $950/person. Contact Stephanie at reservations@vistaverde.com for more information.

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Listen… it’s that sweet silence

Date: July 22nd, 2010

Listen.
Can you hear it?
It is the sweet silence of the mountains.

That is the first thing we will hear waking up in our cabin at Vista Verde. Oh, then there’s the occasional neigh of a horse and that gentle pitter patter of snowflakes hitting the porch roof. It is the first of our three days back at beautiful Vista Verde. We had to come back. What better way to celebrate our 15 year Anniversary. We had to taste the Chef’s delicious meals and laugh with Stephanie in the lodge. We really needed to sit down at another gourmet breakfast and have the rosy faces of Steve & Kelli come in to find out what everyone wants to do that day… oh the decisions! I think we will start with our favorite -a horseback ride together through the quiet trails and in the afternoon definitely time to warm up some skis. We were so excited and anxious our first visit as neither one of us had skied before- but with such great instructors showing us how, we didn’t even fall once and cannot wait to finally try again. As a Floridian, it was sheer joy to also attempt my first sled ride. That certainly needs to be in our plans for the perfect visit. I am sure I will laugh again many times going down that sled hill along with my gratitude to the snowmobile ready to bring me back to the top again. Yes, that will be the start of day 2 followed by some indoor arena horse riding. Certainly we want to plan in feeding the horses on the hayride- so much fun with the other guests! Perhaps a wine tasting that evening and a sing along in the lodge. Day three, well that will be the brand new effort where we will finally try some local dog sledding and definitely put in for the night snowshoe walk. That was an incredible highlight last time too! Of course each evening we will soothe into our cabin hot tub on the porch and listen for those coyotes in the distance. Yes, this is the way our ideal trip would be, sheer relaxation and happiness. Notice I didn’t mention being online for even a second this time while on vacation. That is one of the fantastic treats of vacationing at this ranch-logging off and never looking back. Facebook and the blogs will have to wait till we get home to hear all about our glorious anniversary and how Vista Verde was be THE perfect place to return to the snow together to toast to our love.

Yes, that mountain silence is certainly calling out to us… don’t you hear it calling out to you too? Listen….

Name: Cathy Billoni
Company: Atlantic Dental
City: Tampa
State: Florida





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Touring Colorado

Date: July 22nd, 2010

I have had the pleasure of serving on the board of the Colorado Dude and Guest Ranch Association for the past 7 years. One of the parts of that job that is really fun is inspecting other ranches. Each member ranch is inspected every 3 years and then any ranches that want to join get a fairly in-depth inspection.

I’ve done one member ranch inspection already this summer and took Bill along with me as he had never been to any other ranches. It was fun to have him along for that visit and we enjoyed sharing our thoughts on that Colorado ranch on our drive home. This week I had to go visit two ranches who are applying for membership in the Colorado Dude and Guest Ranch Association. It was a whirlwind tour through several counties to get to these two ranches and spend some time getting to know them. The biggest treat for me was I got to spend the night at one of them and enjoyed a nice dinner with their guests and manager. It reminded me how fun it is to be a guest! I love the Steamboat area and our landscape here, but it is refreshing to be reminded of the diversity in Colorado. I went from the most extreme mountain passes with craggy rocks and snowcapped peaks to the farmland of Colorado, home of fresh peaches and cherries, then back over another pass with a lush forest and multiple lakes off of every turn in the road, then into the rocky, dry high desert with sagebrush and amazing rock formations, and finally back home to beautiful Steamboat Springs and my favorite ranch, Vista Verde. Hey, there’s a reason I’m still here after all these years. It was great to catch up with our guests again this morning and find out what adventures they’ve had the past couple days. There’s never a dull moment and it sounds like there have been memories made for everyone, and still more to come!

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Dream Getaway For Two

Date: July 13th, 2010

My first visit to Colorado was a couple of years ago. We flew into the Denver airport, hopped into a rental car to travel on to Steamboat Springs. I will never forget seeing those beautiful snowcapped mountains for the first time. So much better in person rather than on a calendar or postcard. Breathtaking.
We were staying at a condo in Steamboat Springs so that we could see our son, who just happened to be working at Vista Verde at that time. We had heard so much about the ranch and what it had to offer, and just like the mountains, had to see it firsthand to believe how peaceful and beautiful it was. Upon arrival, we found that everything we had heard was true! It was such a beautiful place – inside and out. Our son took us for a tour, and I instantly fell in love with the ranch.
Everyone on staff that we had an opportunity to meet made us feel so welcome. Although we were only visiting, everyone went out of their way to make sure we didn’t miss seeing all there was to see. Although the accommodations and staff were above the top, I have to say that the natural beauty that surrounded the ranch is what makes me want to spend a weekend there. The mountains, streams, horses, trails and beautiful snow provides such a wonderful, peaceful feeling.
My husband, Mark, and I live in Indiana. We have three sons, ages 21 – 26. Boy, does life change when you least expect it! Kids have grown up, and now my husband commutes weekly to Houston. You can imagine how limited our time is together – definitely has become all about quality rather than quantity. When I read that there was an opportunity to spend a long weekend at Vista Verde, I couldn’t wait to enter my story. I couldn’t think of a better place that would be more peaceful, beautiful, or perfect for us. Even if we don’t win, I am thankful for the opportunity to reminisce about such a beautiful place that is tucked away in God’s beautiful surroundings.

Name: Teri Knapp
Company:
City: Cicero
State: IN

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Farewell to Chef Rob

Date: July 13th, 2010

Life doesn’t always turn out as expected, and this summer has been that for Chef Rob. After spending some time with his family this spring he realized that those times with his folks are becoming more and more precious. After pondering the idea of moving closer to home, he surprised himself by deciding that it might not be that bad of an idea to leave the Rocky Mountains. He was even more surprised when a friend contacted him, asking him to consider moving back for a Chef job very close to his parent’s home.

Although we’re going to miss Rob and his culinary contributions to the ranch, we’re excited for him in his next venture.

Rob will be handing off his role in the Vista Verde kitchen to Chef Matt, and Chef Pat will be stepping into Matt’s role for the rest of the summer. Both have been here for a long time so it’s a fairly easy transition.

We’re glad to have been a stop in Rob’s adventures in life. The stories and memories will last long past his final fabulous meal.

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

You’re Kidding Right?

Date: July 12th, 2010

I’ve been reading some of the wonderful stories people have submitted on the VVR blog and, believe me when I say, every person who entered the contest is deserving of a stay. I believe I’m already a winner since I’ve been fortunate to stay at Vista Verde 13 times over the past 15 years. I’ve met some incredible people, including guests and staff, and have managed to maintain many of those relationships over all these years, have eaten some amazing meals, gotten more exercise in a week’s time than I normally do during the course of a normal year at home, and had some truly incredible experiences like participating in a cattle drive. I find myself a little guilty saying this after so many of the posted stories have tugged at my heartstrings but, life has been pretty good to myself and my husband. Like so many people these days my life took an unfortunate turn a year and a half ago when I lost my job after 32 years, a job I loved and at this juncture would be impossible to reproduce. I’ve been doing volunteer work at Bideawee Animal Shelter in New York which has helped keep my spirits up but, it’s sort of difficult not having a place to go to every day and losing a community of friends, co-workers, and colleagues. So, I’m asking you to please send me back to Vista Verde Ranch which has always felt like coming home to me. I’m desperate to escape from this concrete jungle called The Big Apple so I can breathe that crisp Colorado air, surround myself with some genuinely good people, and reconnect with the important things in life. If I’m blessed with another stay I would give everyone working at the Ranch a big hug (maybe that would preclude me from winning this contest). head straight to the ski hut, put on my cross country skis, and spend some quiet time admiring all that beautiful scenery. I would take advantage of all the activities Vista Verde has to offer which is alot and hopefully recharge my battery so, when I get back to New York the search for a job won’t seem as daunting. Thanks for your consideration and, looking forward to seeing everyone real soon.

Name: Jill Erickson
Company:
City: New York
State: New York


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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Spotlight on Terry Wegener

Date: July 12th, 2010

Our horse trainer Terry Wegener has spent much of his life on Colorado ranches, but originally hails from Wisconsin. Terry fell in love with horses at a very young age, and his father sent him to work on a race horse farm with hopes of “getting it out of his system”. Anyone with a horse crazy child will tell you, in hindsight, that horses never leave the system. As an 8 year old, Terry was exercising racehorses and even rode in some races. In an effort to do what his parents wanted him to do, Terry attended University of Wisconsin and received a degree in Education. After two weeks of his first teaching job, Terry threw in the towel and returned to the race horse world. At that time he had a friend who put him in touch with a guest ranch in Colorado and next thing Terry was working at that guest ranch and stayed for 7 years. During that time Terry became involved in the cow horse world and began training under Monty Foreman.

Terry’s pursuit of the world of horses was sidetracked by a 3 year bout with cancer. Despite the grim outcome doctors anticipated, he was still able to persuade his love interest to marry him. Close to 15 years later, Terry and Annie are still enjoying their unexpected time together and living life to the fullest. Sharing a training venture in the Denver area, they have trained top level horses and both are active judges. Terry has trained World Champion AQHA reining horses, National Champion Arabian horses in reining and cow horse competition and multiple Regional Champions. He’s also coached amateur riders and their horses to World Championships and the NRHA Amateur Horse of the Year. In addition to winning all these awards Terry is also a NRHA, AQHA and IAHA judge and still judges several shows a year.

Terry has taken a step back from the show world at Vista Verde. He spends most of his time training our young horses, overseeing the breeding program and leading clinics for our guests. His love of horses and enthusiasm for the theories and techniques for becoming a better horse person are infectious. In the years to come we will have more horses available for sale- whether to head into the show ring or someone’s backyard. With Terry’s oversight we’re breeding solid minded, well conformed and kind Quarter horses. The string of 6 or so broodmares crossed with our two stallions will allow us to continue putting better and better horses into our riding string.

The Vista Verde riding program continues to improve under Terry’s leadership and with the help of his Assistant trainer Nicky and Head Wrangler Johanna. If you are looking to improve your riding skills, we would love to have you come join us for one of the Ranch Versatility Horsemanship clinics. We host them several times a year.

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Best Ranch in the Land

Date: July 7th, 2010

Sung to the tune of Davy Crockett

It was the summer that Mimi turned sixty.
Vista Verde was the place and it sure was nifty.
After a week of heaven she had to go home
With hopes that someday she’d be back to roam.
Vista, Vista Verde, best ranch in the land!

Now it’s winter and Florida is hot.
But Mimi remembered a place that is not.
To see VVR covered in snow
Would really be something she’d like to know.
Vista, Vista Verde, best ranch in the land!

She’d ride Sugar in the snow or sun,
And in between have other kinds of fun.
Line dance, singing, and new friends she’d meet.
And treasured, remembered staff she’d greet.
Vista, Vista Verde, best ranch in the land!

Now Mimi is wishing she’ll win this trip.
If she does she’ll surely flip.
So she’s hoping you’ll like her song
And say to Mimi, "Ya’ll come along."
Vista, Vista Verde, best ranch in the land!

Name: Mimi Brown
Company: None
City: Ft. Pierce
State: Fl

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Frolicking Foals

Date: July 7th, 2010

The other day guest Amy N. caught some great shots of the foals out goofing off with each other. These foals are such babies in the sense that one minute they’ll let loose and just run and jump and buck and play and the next minute they’ll be flat out on the ground sleeping in the sunshine. Thanks Amy for sharing these shots!

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Best Ranch in the Land

Date: July 7th, 2010

Sung to the tune of Davy Crockett

It was the summer that Mimi turned sixty.
Vista Verde was the place and it sure was nifty.
After a week of heaven she had to go home
With hopes that someday she’d be back to roam.
Vista, Vista Verde, best ranch in the land!

Now it’s winter and Florida is hot.
But Mimi remembered a place that is not.
To see VVR covered in snow
Would really be something she’d like to know.
Vista, Vista Verde, best ranch in the land!

She’d ride Sugar in the snow or sun,
And in between have other kinds of fun.
Line dance, singing, and new friends she’d meet.
And treasured, remembered staff she’d greet.
Vista, Vista Verde, best ranch in the land!

Now Mimi is wishing she’ll win this trip.
If she does she’ll surely flip.
So she’s hoping you’ll like her song
And say to Mimi, "Ya’ll come along."
Vista, Vista Verde, best ranch in the land!

Name: Mimi Brown
Company: None
City: Ft. Pierce
State: Fl

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Fodors Choice Award – 2010

Date: July 7th, 2010

Thanks to Fodors for choosing Vista Verde as their recommended lodging choice for Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We love being a part of their great travel site.

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Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado Luxury Ranch

Bliss

Date: July 6th, 2010

Bliss and gratitude is what our time at Vista Verde Ranch would be! I know, without a doubt, that between the wonderful surroundings , the attentive and friendly staff, and the beautiful Colorado mountains, that a vacation with you would be the best ever! Looking forward to it! Most fun ever!

Name: Bill & Mary Kay Wright
Company:
City: Noblesville
State: Indiana

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Board meetings by the Pond

Date: July 6th, 2010

Yesterday afternoon we had our manager meeting out by the pond. It was a little distracting with the sound of the creek running out from the pond so everyone had to speak up just a bit to be heard. And the wind every once in a while blew through and rustled our papers. Oh, and at one point when they ran the horses out to pasture we lost a little focus while all of us watched the show. And after sitting through two other meetings leading up to the manager meeting, I was getting a little uncomfortable sitting in that lounge chair. But otherwise, it was OK. I supposed I could be sitting in some board room with the sound of traffic outside, but I’ll take this board meeting setting any day. And you can too! With our increased space from the Great Room addition last year, better internet service with the T1 line, and the addition of the indoor arena for team building events both summer and winter we are set up to host more meeting groups and business retreats at the ranch. Give me (Stephanie) a call or email if you’re interested in finding out more about meetings at the ranch.

On another note, we took our staff photo yesterday. It’s amazing to see how many people it takes to provide the experience we offer at Vista Verde. It’s a great crew this summer. If you haven’t had a chance to meet them yet, I hope you get to still this summer.

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