Dude Ranch Life: Sitting around the pool eating bon bons

There is a joke between me and some fellow dude ranchers about how everyone thinks in the off-season we sit around the pool and eat bon bons.  Ok, first of all, that would be a little cold right now.  But what do we do when the ranch is closed?

If you would ask Bill, it’s all about removing, tightening, replacing, and repairing.  Those cabins need a lot of love, and let’s just say his favorite day isn’t hairball day.

Up at the barn, the past week was spent focusing on growth.  Although we spend a lot of time in clinics during the season, that’s when we’re sharing our knowledge with the guests.  The off-season is a time for us to learn more, try out new things, and expand our teaching toolbox.  We packed in 3 different clinics with 3 different horse trainers last week, and I must say it felt a little like drinking out of a fire hydrant.  But, it was a blast getting together and learning from these talented trainers and playing with some of our horses.  We even got a first ride on Wingo during one of the sessions!

Speaking of growth, in between booking reservations and answering questions Devyn has immersed herself in an intense yoga teacher training this fall to layer onto her previous training.  She’s been at the studio in Steamboat almost every day, and doing a ton of work to growing as a teacher.

And that’s not the only learning that’s happening.  Right now Ben is at a Wilderness First Responder course getting his credentials updated and Ted attended a similar course the previous weekend.

To help get the word out about our winter vacation packages Catherine, Isaac, and I went to the Mountain Time Expo in Dallas a few weeks ago, and got to meet a ton of folks from the Dallas area who are interested in outdoor adventure vacations.  With direct flights to Steamboat from Dallas during the winter months it’s an easy trip to get to Vista Verde.

As I write this, Zach is interviewing another staff candidate.  Between interviews, calling references, and making the hires, he’s a busy guy filling up our winter season with some great folks in addition to those returning in December.

The laundry machines don’t get much of a break during the off-season, and Hannah is making sure they keep going as she wraps up the deep clean of all the cabins and rooms.

Chol seemed pretty happy to spend a chunk of his time a few weeks ago trying out new wines with a revolving door of wine reps coming to visit him.  Now the boxes of wine are showing up, so you’ll all get to enjoy the rewards of his extensive research….sigh, what a tough job.

There is just so much that happens behind the scenes and during the off-season it’s all behind the scenes!  In between this work, many folks are finding some time to visit family and enjoy a little R&R.  We pour our hearts into providing our guests with an amazing vacation experience, so it’s nice for us to enjoy being on the other side of the equation as a visitor elsewhere.

Pretty soon the staff will arrive for orientation and then we’ll be getting ready for our guests to arrive for their winter vacations.  We’re on the #CountdowntoWinter!