Profile: Tim Singewald of DC Bar Guest Ranch
Tim Singewald didn’t start out life on a guest ranch, but it was his lifetime goal to own and run one. And he made it. Today, he’s owns and runs BRIDGER WILDERNESS OUTFITTERS/DC BAR GUEST RANCH in Pinedale, Wyoming. But his path to ranching was circuitous, involving pre-med studies, working in the Arctic, and finally working in the city, as a vice president in banking.
“It was my goal to retire at age 30 and move to the woods,” says Singewald. “I was making good money in the city, with the country club membership and all, but I gave it up to live and work on a ranch.” That was 27 years ago, and he wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. But it hasn’t always been easy.
“The first year in the guest ranch business,” he remembers with a laugh,”I took no salary–the ranch needed every penny.”
“We grew up on Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and a variety of TV westerns where the cowboy way of life was always in front of people,” notes Singewald. “We learned from them how to treat your friends, how to tell the truth.” And to want to visit a dude ranch.
But today’s young people don’t really “get” what a guest ranch is, he feels. “I have found that the majority of the population have no idea what a Guest Ranch or a Dude Ranch is. A better way to describe it [a guest ranch] to today’s younger travelers might be to call it an adventure ranch or learning ranch.”
“I’d call it American Eco-adventures,” Singewald contends. “And to compete in today’s market, we have developed a lot of programs that teach a whole variety of outdoor skills—how to find edible plants, pack a backpack, catch a fish, build a survival shelter.
Indeed, visitors can find plenty of experiental learning on a ranch, and so many travelers are looking for that. “Ranchers might learn to explain to the public: you don’t just have a great time at a ranch; you learn something while you’re doing it: Have fun, learn new skills, and spend your vacation dollars at home,” he suggests.
Still, Singewald is optimistic; “as an elk hunter, I’m the definition of an optimist,” he explains. “…We chase one of the most elusive, majestic creatures on the continent, hoping that through some miracle it will all come together. My goodness – it’s amazing how it all works out sometimes. We’ve learned to keep working and work hard and things work out.”
Details: BRIDGER WILDERNESS OUTFITTERS/DC BAR GUEST RANCH has Two trophy class fishing rivers in the valley, scenery, adventure, horses, fishing, hunting, family guest ranch activities, beaver pond full of trout and overnight pack trips. For more information, click on BRIDGER WILDERNESS OUTFITTERS/DC BAR GUEST RANCH, or click/go to www.bwo.com.