Across the travel industry, it has been a summer like no other, and the guest ranching industry has faced its share of challenges. But with the true pioneering spirit of the Old West, ranchers (even those not located in the West) have responded with creativity, optimism, and a slew of new offerings.
Here’s a quick roundup:
Out in New York’s scenic Hudson Valley, Rocking Horse Ranch Resort has been around for more than 50 years, but it’s not resting on any laurels. The news: this year brings a new Super Wii Room, a Red Ryder shooting gallery, and a giant indoor water park (by fall). That’s in addition to their horseback riding and other family fun. Call 800/647-2624.
At Colorado’s C Lazy U Ranch & Resort, extra service is on the menu this summer. The news: Dubbed 5-Spur Service, it is what makes the C Lazy U “Miles Above Ordinary.” When you arrive, Head Wrangler Bill Fisher personally interviews you to evaluate your riding ability and matches you with the perfect mount– for your entire stay. From there on, a concierge makes sure you’re never bored, offering everything from spa treatments and yoga, to mountain biking, trap shooting, archery, whitewater rafting, and more. Call them at 970/887-3344 or click on the above link.
Now here’s big news: Diane, the proud new owner of Texas’ Running R Guest Ranch (as of April 1st) reminds us that the National Day of the American Cowboy is coming up on July 25th. The news: “The Running R Ranch is going to be the title sponsor for our town’s activites,” says Diane. And it sounds like it’s going to be a hoot; check their website for more details (the link above) or call 830/796-3984.
In Philo, California, the lovely and peaceful Highland Ranch boasts that “wildflowers are bloomin’ and the pond is just cool enough to cool you down! Think of a collection of cozy lodging cabins scattered around a 125 year old ranch house nestled among the most majestic trees you’ve ever seen.” Besides riding and mountain biking, there’s yoga and skeet shooting. The news: Last-Minute July Discounts are available. Until December 31, 2009, there’s a 10% discount. Call 707/ 895-3600.
Other ranches have a roundup of bargains this summer. Below, we list a few. As you can see, bargains are everywhere in ranch country this year; for a complete list of more ranch deals, go to www.ranchweb.com/special.htm
At Arizona’s Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch, you can really get a feel of the Old West, while you enjoy the grandeur of the Northwest Arizona desert. The news: August 1 to August 31, 2009 brings a discount: ~30% off a 3 night special for stays in August 2009; call them at 866/444-4471 or 928/727-8270. Oh, and in other news, there’s a new puppy, Nova, at the ranch (a Catahoula Leopard/Lab mix).
And at White Stallion Ranch, outside Tucson, they’re looking ahead, hoping to kick off their season with great deals. The news: A Labor Day Weekend Special (Doubles $450* per person and Singles $550; * plus tax and 15% service charge) arriving September 3rd and departing Monday, September 7th, 2009. This four night-five day package includes lodging, all meals, ranch activities and airport transfers. There will be three rides daily and one Sunday morning ride, or just enjoy amenities such as the recreation room, the pool and redwood hot tub, the fitness center and massage therapy.
Triple Creek Ranch is an intimate, all-inclusive resort for adult travelers offering magnificent elegance high in the Bitterroot Mountain Range of the Montana Rockies. Their rates include gourmet meals, house wine and house cocktails, Pool, Hot Tub & Fitness center; Hiking, On-Ranch Trail Rides, Downhill Skiing, Cross-country Skiing, Snowshoeing, Fly-Casting lessons, Tennis, Putting green and much, much more. The news: Right now, they’re offering a special promotion, a Last-minute Summer Escape package, good for stays from now through August 31: 15% off stays + $100 ranch credit.
Moose Head Ranch, near Jackson, Wyoming. Boasting spectacular views and a great fishing program, Moose Head Ranch is privately owned and operated, yet surrounded by Grand Teton National Park. Panoramic vistas of the Teton Mountains are everywhere; while you’re out for a ride, you’ll likely see elk, bison, mule deer or antelope up close. The news: Last Minute Vacation Specials – 20% Discount (approx); 20% discount on stays over 4 nights for summer 2009 only.
British Columbia, Canada
Up in beautiful British Columbia, the Sundance Guest Ranch is offering two special packages this year. The news: from July 1 to September 3, 2009, ask about the 25% Discount/Kids’ Summer Special. And ask about the 10% “Greenhorn Discount” for referred first-time guests; returning guests should ask about “Trail Credits”. Call them at 800/553-3533 or 250/ 453-2422/2554.
For wholesome family fun in the Old West tradition, rodeos are a good bet (and a bargain for the all-day entertainment you get). July and August are big rodeo months, with major events all across the country (and in Canada, too). For a complete schedule, go to www.ranchweb.com/rodeo.cfm
Here’s a roundup of some of the biggest this month:
California Rodeo Salinas
July 12-19, 2009
Catch the spectacular finish of one of California’s biggest events: this weekend features a mini parade (Friday), a downtown horse parade (Sat and Sun); all days feature the big evening and Grand Entry and Rodeo, kids corral, and loads of entertainment. For details, go to www.carodeo.com/ or call: 831/ 775-3100, Toll Free: 800/ 771-8807. Tickets: 800/ 549-4989.
Kansas Largest Night Rodeo
July 15- 18, 2009
Pretty Prairie, Kansas
Pull on your boots, put on your hat, and join in the fun!
You’ll find the country’s best professional cowboys, top-quality stock, and prime family entertainment in this aptly named Kansas town. For more, check www.pprodeo.com/ or 800/638-2702 (Starting June 27, 2009)
Last Chance Stampede & Fair
July 21- 26, 2009
New Grandstand Show Package: “Five Shows for $65″ includes general admission tickets to Country Music Stars Little Big Town with Kristy lee Cook scheduled for Wednesday, July 22nd at 7:30 p.m. General Admission tickets to Thursday Nights PRA rodeo and the Demolition Derby, plus reserved seats in Section 5 of the new grandstand or the east bleachers for Friday and Saturday performances of the PRCA Rodeo. Lewis & Clark County Fairgrounds; www.lewisandclarkcountyfairgrounds.com/ or call 406/457-8516.
Through- Sept. 26, 2009
Every Saturday Night 7:30 PM
Celebrating 55 years of professional rodeo, it’s been called the oldest weekly running rodeo in the U.S. Set in rural Salem County, New Jersey, Cowtown brings it, with all seven rodeo events sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, from bareback bronc riding to girls barrel racing. Come and join hundreds of cowboys and cowgirls as they compete in the traditional sport of the Old West, rodeo. Refreshments are available at the rodeo and parking is free. For more, www.cowtownrodeo.com/ or call 856/ 769-3200.