Posts Tagged ‘guest ranch’
Date: June 22nd, 2011
Most people enter the dude ranching business because they love people, horses, the outdoors, or just the Western way of life. Most don’t know that entering the business will have a profound impact on their lives.
It starts with finding out that the people you serve daily are really amazing folks. Wait a sec, suddenly you are becoming friends with those very people you take in as guests. And the staff you hire to make the dude ranch operation a success? Hey, you kind of like them too!
Here’s where the warning comes for those who consider the dude ranch business. Now that your friends with these folks, life becomes more meaningful. You find your self engaged in their lives. I think of the folks who I’ve cried for, wished for, and had heart ache for- Don, Guy, and Carol come to mind immediately. But I also think about those who joys I’ve been able to share. The new grand babies, new careers, new family ventures, marriages, beating the odds, and all those success that come in life. Long after guests leave from their dude ranch vacation, we get to hear those updates and rejoice with our friends. The multiple invites to amazing places that all of us receive from grateful guests are overwhelming. I’ve whooped it up in Bermuda, Chelsea and Amanda just had a memorable dinner in London, Ben is looking forward to front row seats at a big game, Steve and Kelli had a heartwarming visit in Montana, and Dace has sat at too many dining room tables reconnecting with guests to mention. Mary, we will make it to Florida one day!
And then there’s the staff. Those pesky young people who you have to put up with in order to get the job done, right? Not at this Colorado dude ranch. I just reluctantly sent an RSVP to Gabriella to decline attending her wedding. We’ve been able to watch these great people go into the world and do powerful things, fall in love, start families, and continue to grow. The notes of thanks from past staff in all of our desk drawers keep each of us going on the tough days.
Yes, it’s a rough job to work at a guest ranch, but we’ll take it a little longer. We hope to have many more of you cross our cattle guard as guests the first time, and drive across it on your way home as friends and family.
Date: June 22nd, 2011
In June of 2011, my family of 5 needed to head to Washington, DC for my husbands job. My youngest son was born in Littleton, Colorado and my other 2 sons spent the last 10 years of their lives in Highlands Ranch. When we moved, it literally ripped our hearts out. We enjoyed Colorado for 10 years and we love to ski and hike and camp. Washington, DC is far from Colorado and expensive for us to visit. My youngest son has not seen where he was born and I would love to show him. We have also never been able to stay at a dude ranch and Steam Boat Springs would be awesome! It would be fabulous to go back and visit the most beautiful state in the good old USA! Thank you for your consideration!
Name: suzanne arrison
Date: October 20th, 2010
Several of you have asked for an update on the foals so I finally took some time to go down and shoot some photos of them yesterday. They aren’t little babies anymore! It was so much fun to love on them, hug them, kiss them and get followed around the pasture trying to get the photos. It’s not easy to shoot a foal when they want to be right next to you. All of them are so friendly from the guests working with them this summer. And they are calm and relaxed, so I know they will make great guest ranch horses in a couple years for all of you!
The foals get another month or so to grow, play and hang out with their moms. Then, sometime around Thanksgiving, they will be weaned from their moms and Terry will take them down to his ranch on the other side of the mountains where they will spend the winter where there is less snow as it is a little harder to feed a growing adolescent at our Colorado winter resort. All of the moms except Mary Jane are in foal again (horse term for pregnant) and will be expecting early next summer. Our new stallion Whiskey will be the proud papa of all the foals next year and we’re excited to see his first foals.
So, I have a little challenge for those of you. Can you match the foal to the mom? I’ll post the challenge on our Facebook page to see who gets it right first!
Date: October 20th, 2010
My husband and I are 70, and 75 years old. I have breast cancer and my whole life I have owned horses and when I got cancer I gave them to my son not knowing what was going to happen. It broke my heart. One of my dreams have been to come to a ranch like yours but have not had the money to do so. I would love to come it would truly be a dream come true for us. Thank you.
Name: Addie Velharticky
Date: August 10th, 2010
We are right in the middle of a unique week for the ranch. Normally some of our guests are new to Vista Verde, and many have been here before. This week we are completely full with all new guests. It is fun to watch a full house of guests discover the Vista Verde Ranch experience together. No one here to tell them that they should try something, don’t miss this, or make sure you do that. We love having guests who have become like family here at the ranch, but it’s kind of fun to watch this group maneuver their way through the week.
Now, although the group we’re playing with right now is made up of first time visitors, many have ties to the ranch that stretch farther than just this year. At least 5 of the families who are here were told about the ranch by friends who have been to the ranch in the past. We really appreciate that vote of confidence!
New guests on Sunday, family by Wednesday.
Date: August 10th, 2010
Falling on the meadows near
At Vista Verde we are bound to see the deer
Memories of childhood flood
My mind and soul as I gaze upon the
White powdery snow….
Love the cold, love the fire
Place so warm to sit and admire
Vista Verde Ranch…
Name: Marla Zanelli
Company: Prudential CA Realty
City: Del Mar
Date: December 5th, 2009
There is a big significance to weekends this time of year at Vista Verde. Because we are closed, all of us work (for the most part) Monday-Friday and take weekends off. Why is that significant? First of all, it’s significant because that means that we are all actually at work together 5 days of the week. Not only is that great because we all like each other’s company but also because we get a lot done when we can communicate more frequently! Second, it’s significant because we get just a glimpse of what it’s like to be in a “normal” job. Ok, I know that’s a bit of a stretch as ranch jobs are exactly normal in any sense, but it’s fun to just think we’re normal every now and then.
Once we open for the guest ranch season in 14 days, we get into a rotation so that there are very few days when all of us are working at the same time. It is a bit of a challenge to schedule a staff meeting when everyone has different days off, but we manage to find times here and there to make it work!
With that delightful bit of insight into life at VVR, I’m going to go back to the couch for a few minutes of reading the newspaper before my kiddos wake up from their nap!
Date: December 5th, 2009
I had never gotten on a horse before in my life. But after getting married in Beaver Creek, Colorado, my new husband and I started our all-American adventure in the sleepy city of Steamboat Springs, a quaint and charming town with lots of open land and a disproportionate population of horses. We had somehow wound up on very foreign territory at Vista Verde Ranch, a breathtaking and remote retreat where we were expected to ride and wrangle with the best of them. (When did I agree to this?) Good thing I’ve always had a soft spot for cowboy boots and hats. Hoist me up and let’s get saddled.
When I told friends we were honeymooning at a “luxury dude ranch,” most people were understandably skeptical. I’m not really known for my athleticism, I’m allergic to large, hairy animals (my husband aside), and I’ve never, ever expressed any interest in horseback riding – let alone dude ranching. Their concern was well justified. But luxury is something I am familiar with, and I held out hope that the two contradictory travel genres would cancel each other out and land me somewhere on middle ground.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by Stephanie, a genuine cowgirl training her horse and walking the grounds. She let us pet her kind-tempered companion and pointed us toward to our cottage where we’d be shacking up and playing house. “It’s our policy to leave everything unlocked around here so just walk right on in.” I laughed. Dan laughed… Oh, she was serious.
Our rustic two-story home away from home was anything but rough. This country-cute cottage was cozy and inviting with an open kitchen, large living area, master bedroom, two additional bedrooms, and two bathrooms. (At least if any intruders did sneak into our lock-free cottage, they wouldn’t have to sleep in bed with us.) The wood-burning fireplace made for cuddly, warm nights and the private patio Jacuzzi was a happy surprise. There are no TVs, but since our days were packed with vigorous activities, and our nights were meant for romantic rendezvous*, the lack of television was a welcome change. (*Read: we were so whipped from riding horses, hiking, and biking, that we’d pass out cold at 8 pm sharp.)
Have I mentioned I’ve never gotten on a horse before? I’ll tell you one thing: it’s a lot higher up than it looks. I sadly swapped my straw hat for a hard helmet. Safety over style, my friends.
The guests at Vista Verde – there were about 25 during our stay – generally stay at the ranch for about a week. It’s a comprehensive course, where one gradually learns the basic and not-so-basic skills of riding, and ultimately leaves an accomplished jockey. Dan and I, however, would only be there for two days. So we had to cram a week’s worth of training into 48 short hours. Thankfully, I had DB as my partner in crime.
DB was the horse I was assigned to ride (not to be confused with Dan Boyce, my new husband). A sweet, gentle creature, my handsome horse was a total mush – much like my other DB (awwwww!).
After a few minutes atop my mild-mannered mustang, I felt completely at ease and surprisingly confident. I didn’t need to clutch the reins with all my strength or scream commands. DB and I could practically read each other’s minds; we were getting on like an old-married couple. (Apparently horses lick their lip when they feel good about mutual communication, and DB looked like a kid with an ice cream cone.) Our trainers taught us how to turn, trot, and maneuver, and in no time we were racing obstacle courses and galloping home. It was amazing. I was doing it! And if we had stuck around for the rest of the week, Dan and I would have learned to herd cattle with our fellow vacationers. (I’m still so jealous.)
Guests are also encouraged to take advantage of other on-and-off property activities – like fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, and hot air ballooning. It’s a pretty spectacular destination for an action-packed (but admittedly exhausting) getaway.
Meal time at Vista Verde is an extraordinary experience. An all-inclusive, all-you-can-eat ranch, Vista Verde doesn’t want you to worry about expense, but rather enjoy the tasty morsels being served up morning, noon, and night. And after a busy morning “ranching,” the massive buffet-style lunch is a sight for sore eyes. There’s plenty to spare for seconds, and the comfort food couldn’t be any more comforting.
After a nightly happy half-hour, communal dinners are served in the deluxe dining room. Dan and I were lucky to feast on the delicious food and toast to our successful days at a table with our friends including a few incredibly cool staff members. That’s probably the best part about Vista Verde — it really is a community. You meet new people and make new friends and laugh, learn, and embrace life together. It takes you on an emotional journey on and off the horse. It’s unlike any other experience.
I was definitely disappointed when we had to turn in our saddles and part ways — and even sadder to say goodbye to DB. It turns out this city slicker has developed a love for life on the range. And my new cowboy boots are proof that you can take the girl out of Colorado, but you can’t take the Colorado out of the girl.
Vista Verde Ranch
Steamboat Springs, CA 80477
Date: May 8th, 2009
There are a broad range of dude ranches in Colorado as well as a broad range of Colorado resorts. The meaning of dude ranch, guest ranch or resort depends on who you ask. Some think a dude ranch is more rustic and a guest ranch is more upscale. Some thing a dude ranch is more of a working ranch while a guest ranch has other activities. Some think a resort should have nothing to do with dirt and animals and be more like Disney, while others think of a resort as a rustic non-hotel-like experience. At Vista Verde, we could be called a dude ranch, a guest ranch or even a ranch resort. We’re a working ranch in the sense that we have a herd of 80 horses who we keep year ’round, feeding them by irrigated hay meadows in the summer and by throwing stored hay off a sleigh pulled by a team of draft horses in the winter. We have acreage to maintain, fences to build and land to preserve. We’re a resort ranch in the sense that we have a diverse offering of activities besides just riding, and not all our staff wear cowboy hats for their specialties. We could also be called a luxury ranch by the upscale accommodations and high quality food. Whatever you like to call us, we hope those who are looking for a classy yet casual, adventurous yet safe, and remote yet accessible vacation experience will find their way to Vista Verde Ranch. It’s a place where relationships are built and renewed, memories are made and time slows down. Call us whatever you want, but when you’re here we hope you call it home.
Date: May 8th, 2009
Looking for a new romantic vacation idea? Get over lace, chintz and potpourri. A great romantic resort getaway features lots of shared activity outdoors that sparks lots of shared activity indoors.
That’s the experience of couples who visit Vista Verde Ranch, near Steamboat Springs, Colorado. After a day spent skiing, riding, sledding, snowshoeing or dog sledding, there’s nothing as tantalizing as returning to your private deluxe cabin and slipping into a steaming, secluded hot tub with your significant other. A gourmet, candlelit dinner and an impossibly star-filled sky add a dreamy finish to the day.
The small guest capacity at our ranch allows us to provide top notch service and an intimate setting. You can choose to enjoy a plethora of activities, or just relax and take in the peaceful setting. With over 600 acres, and surrounded by millions of acres in the Routt National Forest, you wont see any crowds here, and the only traffic jam is that of the horses lining up to be fed each day.
Our staff go out of their way to accommodate your wishes, the Chefs prepare delightful options at each meal, and the snow is pristine outside, just ready for you to put on your jacket and come out to play.
Just fly into the Steamboat/Hayden (HDN) airport in the winter, and we’ll pick you up and whisk you away to the ranch.
We have seen more and more guests at our luxury dude ranch looking for a unique way to reconnect and enjoy a romantic resort getaway that leaves lasting memories. Grab your sweetheart, and come join us at Vista Verde Ranch for a winter stay!