KITCHEN & DINING ROOM
Food and Beverage Director
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
School: CU Boulder
Cholly started of as a Sous Chef at Vista Verde in the winter of 1998. He proceeded to stay on the ranch for approximately nine years before leaving to pursue Artisan bread baking skills. It didn't take long for Cholly to realize that Vista Verde was his true home, and he returned as Executive Chef in 2012 with his wife, Alaya, whom he met at VVR. They have a little boy named Eamon and love spending time with him along with their little girl, Saoirse! Some of Chef Cholly’s interests include: hiking, fly fishing, camping, bow hunting and bread baking. Cholly is also a lifetime member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and a member of The Bread Baker’s Guild of America since 2004.
Hometown: Mohawk, NY
Jason comes to us with many years of experience as a chef. He is excited to join the Vista Verde staff, and is even more excited to be in Colorado for another beautiful summer. During the winter, Jason loves to ski and snowmobile, and even brought his own snowmobile to the ranch! During the summer, he loves hiking and fly fishing.
Pastry Chef and Sous Chef
Hometown: Front Royal, VA
Previous Job: Bitterroot Ranch
A life-long love of food and family led Melissa to a career in pastry arts, with a love of horses not too far behind. She attended the New England Culinary in Vermont and after graduation worked in both catering and fine dining. After nearly 8 years working in the hectic Washington D.C. metro, she decided to take off for some adventures in the west. After one season in Wyoming, she found her tribe here at VVR. When not in the kitchen, she loves to hike, go out on the all-day rides and ski. Nathan and Melissa were married in October 2016, a ranch wedding and a perfect match.
Hometown: Roanoke Rapids, NC
Sarah absolutely loves to travel. One of the main items on Sarah's bucket list is her desire to visit all 50 states and climb the highest peak in each of these states.
While she has worked in Colorado for the past 6 months, she hasn't quite found the spare time to summit Mt. Elbert's glorious peaks, but is still determined to try!
Whenever she is not hiking and dreaming of hiking, Sarah enjoys slower past-times such as reading, singing, and trying out foods of all ethnic backgrounds.
CPR, AED Certified
Hometown: Bloomington, IN
Jake has always loved nature and the great outdoors. Camping and hiking is his idea of a fun weekend, all learned from being a Boy Scout and even achieving eagle rank. Jake is a geek of the highest caliber. Anything from Dungeons and Dragons to anime if it's nerdy Jake has probably done it. However just because he is a nerd doesn't mean he doesn't like sports. Jake loves skydiving and archery. Jake is excited to be working at VVR and being back in the states.
Hometown: Hopatcong , NJ
School: Thomas Edison State University
Katelyn is joining us from New Jersey for her first season on the ranch. She is excited to be a part of the team this winter and is looking forwards to trying many of the ranch activities. Katelyn is an artist and spends much of her time oil painting. she also enjoys writing and has even had one of her short stories published.
Hometown: Dayton Tx
Previous job: Waiter at Fish Tales
Alex is joining us from the great country of Texas. He is a huge fan of fantasy fiction literature, his favorite author is J.R.R. Tolkien and has read the ``Lord of the Rings`` books three times. Alex is a former Cadet Gunnery Sergeant in Dayton High School MCJROTC and is a proud Eagle Scout. Alex also loves Dungeons and Dragons and Magic the Gathering. Fun fact: Alex once spent 24 hours straight binge watching ``Doctor Who``.
Hometown: Bogalusa Louisiana
Previous job: Lead cook Las Vegas Marina
Josh has been cooking for 20 years and has traveled all around the world. He is a huge fan of all sports, especially football. Being from a warm weather environment, Josh is excited to try all of the exciting winter ranch actives, especially ice fishing. We are excited to have Josh on the crew for the winter.
Hometown: Harrison, ID
Previous Job: Wrangler/ Fishing Guide at Red Horse Mountain Guest Ranch
Tim Joins us for his second winter at Vista Verde. He spends his summers working for a Guest Ranch in Harrison Idaho taking people on horseback rides, fly fishing trips, and mountain bike tours. Some of Tim's other favorite activities include ice fishing, snowboarding, and hunting elk and whitetail deer. Fun Fact: Tim is a huge science fiction fan!
Hometown: Woodland Park, CO
Previous job: United States Marine Corps
Hometown: Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
Previous Job: Server, Hiking Guide
Having been a server and hiking guide, Mark was looking for a place where he could combine both of his passions and the ranch seemed like the perfect setting. Mark's fun energy make him a great fit at the ranch and we are excited to have his extensive serving experience on our team.
CPR, AED, Crowd Management, First Aid Maritime Security Awareness, and Basic Firefighting
Hometown: Nashville, TN
School: University of Tennessee Chattanooga
Damon loves traveling and meeting new people in new surroundings. His hobbies include hiking, cooking, and reading. When he is not doing any of those he is probably watching sports. Damon played baseball for 12 years. He also spent a year travelling the Hawaiian Islands, bartending on a cruise ship. This is Damon's first time in Colorado and he is very excited for all the adventures he is going to have here. Damon especially likes to help the people around him. Fun Fact: Damon really enjoys skydiving! He has jumped in 3 states and looking forward to adding more to the list!
Hometown: Melville, NY
Previous Job: Grand Canyon Camper Village
Lexi has spent the past 5 years travelling around the United States. During that time she worked at 3 different National Parks. Lexi likes to spend her time reading and being outdoors. We are excited to have her as part of the team. Fun fact: Lexi was adopted at birth
First Aid, CPR, AED
Hometown: Wellington, Florida
Previous Job: Bartender at Alaskan Dream Cruise
Rae comes to us from her previous job in Alaska but she is quite the nomad. In school she studied anthropology at the university of central Florida. Rae comes from a large family and enjoys travelling, hiking, and fishing. She loves stand up comedy, especially SNL.
First aid, CPR
Hometown: Birmingham, MI
School: Grand Valley State University
Growing up in Michigan, Christina developed a love of the outdoors, adventure, and snowboarding from from an early age. She went to school at Grand Valley State University where she majored in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Christina has a long history with guest ranches and this is the third one she has worked at. She is excited to join the VVR team and spend her winter hitting the slopes at Mt. Werner.
Hometown: Eau Claire, WI
Previous job:Waitress at the Brickhouse Cafe
Abigail recently completed a semester at sea. For this program, she spent six weeks in Woods Hole, MA studying oceanography and nautical science, then six weeks sailing the North Atlantic/Sargasso Sea, ending in Grenada. During her free time, she enjoys doing yoga, curling up with a good book, exploring nature, and spending time with loved ones. she is very excited to join the VVR community! Fun fact: The last restaurant Abigail worked in was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on the Food Network Channel.
Hometown: Clark, CO
Ethan is one of the few staff members who can claim Clark as their hometown, having grown up in the area. Ethan joined us at Vista Verde in the summer of 2017. Since then he has worked in housekeeping, dishwashing, kid supervising, and now serving. Ethan is energetic, optimistic, and compassionate, and outgoing. He loves film and entertainment and plans on attending film school in the fall.