October at Vista Verde

So, the dude ranch season ended September 30, and many assume we all pack up and take off for the Bahamas, or something like that.  Although the thought of that is kind of attractive with a weather forecast of snow this weekend, there are no umbrella drinks in my future, or others here at the ranch.

Right after we close each season, we have the pleasure of sitting down in the Great room for two solid days, and break down the season step by step.  The theme of our end of season meetings is “what worked and what didn’t”.  Note the sarcasm in my use of the word pleasure, as getting a dozen people who are used to being outside all day and on the go at all times to sit down in meetings for two full days is not exactly an easy feat.  There is a lot of squirming, and a lot of gazing out the window at the fabulous view, and maybe even a bit of day dreaming.  But, it is a very effective time as we can map out what we need to do in order to make the next year even better.  We take the feedback we received from all of  you, the input from staff, and the experience we all have to look at whether everything we are doing is making this the best dude ranch experience we can possibly provide to our guests as well as the best work experience for our staff.

Following that, many of the crew took a 3 day break, while a few of us continued on the meeting track with some long range planning and strategy sessions.  We had staff head out all over the state of Colorado, as well as some even going further on their adventures.  We all reconvened at the ranch on Sunday, in time to check in a business retreat group.  Some meetings, a lot of fun later, they headed out this morning and we have our second round of business retreats here having meetings in the Great room this morning.  On Saturday, we will officially close the doors and most of the staff will head down the road for their next adventure in life, or just a break before the winter.

With the ranch moving towards off-season, those of us who are sticking around will be getting to those hefty to-do lists, and tackling them before we start ramping up for the winter season.  More to follow in the coming weeks on what people are working on during this time.  For me?  An email newsletter should be coming in a couple weeks.  Setting up the outfitters for the winter so we have plans in place for dogsledding, massages, etc… Updating the website.  Getting all the winter guest information in place so we’re ready with schedules, program information, etc…  And the list goes on.  Luckily, much of it can be done inside as the weather may turn cruddy pretty soon here.  Don’t start your snow dances yet, but it’s not far away.