Just "Dude" It – The Dude Ranchers' Association Blog
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Archive for 2011

For New Years Travelers are Trading the Ball Drop for a Boot Drop

December 13th, 2011 by Kim Jacobs

Instead of ringing in the new year in a crowded street, escape to a western dude ranch.

December 08, 2011 ) CODY, Wyo.- This year instead of watching the ball drop in Times Square, escape to a dude ranch where you can indulge on gourmet treats, have an adventure, or just enjoy the tranquility of the west. The Dude Ranchers Association has nearly 100 member ranches of the highest quality across the western U.S. and Canada. Here are just a few of the ways ranches will be saying goodbye to 2011:

Vista Verde Ranch in Steamboat, Colorado has a progressive New Years Eve dinner, traveling by skis or sleigh to each course, ending with a dessert extravaganza and boot drop in time to ring in the New Year.

• Historic Rancho de la Osa, just outside Tucson, Arizona, will be treating guests to a special gourmet 4-course meal after a day of riding, hiking, or relaxing in the hot tub. The New Year kicks off with brunch followed by a New Year Dudeo.

• At Hidden Meadow Ranch, in Arizona’s White Mountains, guest will spend the day horseback riding through the snow, snowshoeing, skiing, or maybe even ice fishing. As the clock counts down a few special surprises will top off an evening of tasty treats.

Contact the DRA to find additional ranch specials this holiday season and throughout the year.

Ranch Histories – White Stallion Ranch

December 9th, 2011 by Kim Jacobs

Another great Arizona ranch compliments of the Arizona Dude Ranch Association.

White Stallion Ranch was originally built in the early 1900’s and like most guest ranches, began its life as a cattle ranch. In 1940, Max Zimmerman of Chicago decided to move West and become part of the guest ranch industry in Tucson, which had over 100 ranches at the time. Max named the ranch MZ Bar Ranch and constructed 6 buildings for guests – complete with kitchenettes. The ranch changed hands again in 1948, when a governess to the Dupont family bought it and continued the ranch operation as well as providing housing for air Force personnel and their families. In 1958, Drew and Marge Towne bought the ranch and decided to rename it The Black Stallion after their favorite horse story. They quickly realized that the initials “BS” would be unacceptable, and thus, White Stallion Ranch was born!

In 1965, the Townes sold the ranch to Cynthia and Allen True from Denver, Colorado, which at the time consisted of 17 rooms, 17 horses, and 200 acres. By now the number of guest ranches in the Tucson had dwindled to 30 or so, and the Trues could see what the growth of the city was doing to these properties. They immediately began purchasing adjoining land as it became available, and the ranch grew to its current size of 3,000 acres. Cynthia and Allen dedicated the rest of their lives to the ranch and to raising their two sons Russell and Michael in the business. They succeeded, and to this day the ranch is owned and operated by the second generation Trues, honoring those same traditions of Western hospitality at White Stallion Ranch.

Ranch Histories – Tanque Verde Ranch

December 7th, 2011 by Kim Jacobs

Another great bit of information thanks to the Arizona Dude Ranch Association.

Tanque Verde Ranch – The rich and colorful history of this Arizona dude ranch begins with the Pima Indians. The “Tanque Verde” Ranch is named for the “green pool” and seasonal river that the Indians used as a source of water. They left behind numerous mortar stones and other artifacts as testimony to their passage.

In 1868 the land surrounding the tanks was purchased by Emilio Carrillo, a Mexican hacendado (the owner of a large estate) from Santa Cruz. After Carrillo’s death in 1908, Jim Converse owned the ranch and began inviting eastern dudes to participate in everyday ranch activities. He further extended the business in both the production of cattle and the involvement of tourists until 1955.

In 1957, Brownie Cote purchased the property. He expanded on the existing operation and developed the property into a successful combination of classic western dude ranch and world class resort. In turn, he began a legacy of quality and unforgettable experiences that the Cote family continues to maintain still today.

Ranch Histories – Rancho de los Caballeros

November 30th, 2011 by Kim Jacobs

Another bit of history from the Arizona Dude Ranch Association…enjoy!

Rancho de los Caballeros is a historic ranch resort and golf club situated on 20,000 acres of spectacular Sonoran desert. The Ranch first opened its doors in 1948 and has been owned and operated by the Gant Family since the beginning, and it continues to honor the grand tradition of the Spanish caballeros, the “gentleman on horseback,” who explored and settled the Southwest. The Ranch has a rich history that has made it what it is today, and though it has evolved over the years, The Ranch has retained the same personal service and charm since its opening.

The Ranch’s original construction consisted of 40 main guest rooms, main living room, dining room, saloon and office, swimming pool, one tennis court, barns, corrals, staff quarters and the Gant family home. An airstrip was built in 1951 to accommodate the private planes of early guests. The runway was 2,600 feet long and 120 feet wide and was once used by a DC3. Today, private planes land at nearby Wickenburg Airport. Dallas Gant, Sr., coined the term ranch resort to describe Rancho de los Caballeros in 1951, as he felt is was the best way to describe the property’s fusion of western activities and upscale accommodations.