The art of grooming, and we’re not talking hair

Most mornings in the winter you’ll see our Bombardier MP+ out grooming the ski trails, piloted by Charlie Cammer. Although we don’t get Charlie out on skis much, he fully understands what makes a ski trail ideal and takes great pride in laying down the perfect courderoy for our cross-country skiers. On mornings like today, Charlie enjoys watching the sun come up from the comfort of his cab, music playing and the view not so shabby.

For anyone who has spent some time with Charlie, it’s no surprise that he is really the guy running the show behind the scenes here at Vista Verde.

Charlie grew up in Catskill Mountains in New York being put to work by his parents running a boarding house, or what we might call a bed and breakfast these days. When he was 25 he headed out West and ended up in Steamboat Springs. He spent his first summer driving a delivery truck for a lumber company. Later he managed a 1,200 acre cattle ranch while raising 3 kids, 2 of whom returned to Steamboat after their schooling and 1 who is currently in school after 2 tours of duty as an Apache helicopter mechanic.

In 1999 Charlie joined us at the ranch to oversee what we officially like to call, Everything Outside. Well, over the years, Everything Outside has turned into Mostly Everything. On any given day, you’ll find Charlie coordinating the driving schedule, planning staff outings, developing new programs for guest activities or mentoring his ranch hand crew, in addition to coaching many of our managers through their days. In addition to being a great rancher and seeing the big picture of what we’re doing here at Vista Verde, Charlie understands hospitality, and we all would be lost without him here at Vista Verde Ranch.

In his rare time off, Charlie has spent a lot of time building houses with his wife Barb. His most recent project is his timber frame house up by Hahn’s Peak, nestled in an idyllic grove of aspens overlooking Farwell Mountain, Big Agnes and the Continental Divide. He claims that he’s not sure which is better, the sunsets or the sunrises. What we can guarantee is that he saw a spectacular sunset this morning while grooming in the Bombardier!