Group Event in the Heritage Lodge

Group Event in the Heritage Lodge

A recent study commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association and conducted by Oxford Economics, explored the return on investment for business travel. The study looked at companies that cut back on business travel during the recession versus those that didn’t.

The findings, which might seem counter-intuitive, were that "businesses that continued to send employees on the road during the recession were more profitable than those that cut back on business travel.”

There is also evidence for similar growth for business meetings and group events. Although initially projected at only 5.2%, “group spending is expected to increase 6% this year to $115.9 billion.” (usatoday.com)

Read more on Business Meetings or Bust…

TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award[

TripAdvisor 2013
Certificate of Excellence Award

While we’re normally satisfied with a few kind words or a hearty warm hug from our guests, it’s always nice when the travel industry experts recognize us as well, especially when it’s a heavyweight like TripAdvisor.com. 

Best of all is the fact that TripAdvisor’s ratings are based on the comments from the good folks we serve, our guests, and if they’re happy, then we’ve done our job well. And frankly, we’re delighted — Thanks!

Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch is pleased to receive a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence,” said Susan Jessup, Partner owner and General Manager at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch. “We want to express our appreciation to the fine folks who have communicated their Sylvan Dale experience on TripAdvisor. Our team is passionate about sharing the beauty of our ranch with others and this certificate of excellence will help us continue doing what we love.

Check out the Press Release for full details…feel free to share with your friends and family too.

To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months. — TripAdvisor.com

Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch, west of Loveland, Colorado, encompasses about 3200 acres, 5 square miles of foothills beauty, a naturalist’s paradise.

This is "up-and-down country." Elevations range from 5140 ft. along the Big Thompson River in the Big Valley to 7340 ft. on the north slope of Palisade Mountain above Cedar Park. That is some 2200 feet of elevational range, a greater range than in 15 of the 50 states!

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Old hay rake in Cedar Park ⇱

Read more on Elevation and Biodiversity…

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Water pump in the River Pasture ↗

If you live in Colorado, you know we had a rather dry winter… but then along came April.

Average precipitation for Northern Colorado in April is about two inches, but this past April brought more than four inches of water to the region, and with the rain, greener pastures.

Last night brought a steady rain that continued into early afternoon. The result of all this spring, Colorado precipitation is a delightfully green, and wet, landscape.

I hope you enjoy these fresh photos taken around the ranch this afternoon—no need to get green with envy—we’re happy to share the views! If you think you know where some of the ‘less obvious’ shots were taken, post your answers below.

Related Stories:

And, speaking of “green,” do you know about Sylvan Dale’s green practices? Since 1946, “green” practices have been integral to the Ranch.

Our Sustainability Mission:
To apply practices in our daily work routine that support a sustainable operation in harmony with the natural environment through the principles of ‘Reduce-Reuse-Recycle’.”

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Dave and Art at the Cow Camp grill ⇱

One of my favorite spring rituals at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch is the first trip to Cow Camp—to make sure facilities are guest-ready. Until April we had about the driest winter on record, so the trail would have been passable about any time. When snow finally arrived—in what was officially spring!—we got a typical foothills winter’s worth of moisture in a couple of weeks. So the 4-wheel drive trail has been muddy and impassable. This is the first week I could get in without tearing up the trail or burying my pickup!

Read more on Sylvan Dale’s Cow Camp Looks Beautiful!…

customer-experience

source: printwand.com

So, why do I say “the customer is always wrong?” Sure, it’s provocative and grabs attention, but here’s the deal, more often than not, it is true! Why? Because you and I always have expectations.

Whether vague or deeply imagined, you anticipate what to expect when you get here.  And depending on whether you came for an adventurous dude ranch vacation or a relaxing bed and breakfast getaway, or for a destination wedding, or for our trophy fishing experience, company retreat, or horseback-riding adventure, your anticipation of each activity is bound to conjure up some images.

Read more on The Customer is Always Wrong…

Loveland Visitors Center

Loveland Visitors Center
(source: http://visitlovelandco.org)

This past Saturday was a gorgeous Loveland kind of day…ideal for kicking off another Summer of fun things to do in Loveland.  Sylvan Dale showed off our Western hospitality with free Pony Rides and Horse Drawn Wagon rides.

We’re thankful to all the nice folks who came out and had fun.

Being There

How often are we only partially present, not completely aware of all that is happening around us? More importantly, how often do we fail to connect with the people right next to us, to give the gift of investing ourselves in active, conscientious participation?

A powerful reminder about the importance of “being there.”

It is so easy to be distracted, to allow our focus to really become no focus at all. What we miss is the moment, and it will never return. ‘Now’ is the only time we own, so let’s be sure to show up. To truly connect with others we need to be ‘there.’

To do this you and I must be fully present, and it can be hard to do when we live our lives in environments that are conducive to distraction.

Sometimes we just need to get away from the familiar so we can notice what has been right in front of us all along.

There is one thing we can do, and the happiest people are those who do it to the limit of their ability. We can be completely present. We can be all here. We can… give all our attention to the opportunity before us. — Mark van Doren

There is No Substitute

Discover an environment especially crafted for being there, and creating memorable moments; give a Dude Ranch Vacation a try.

We’ll see you there!

Apache

May Horse of the Month — Apache

Apache was purchased from the weekend head wrangler, Lonnie Salyer, in 2008. He is a buckskin paint gelding.

Apache used to be one of Lonnie’s roping horses, but since he didn’t have a need for speed, he just did not thrive at the sport.

This honest gelding has settled in very well at Sylvan Dale though. He loves working with the cows and taking our guests on trail rides! And his colorful markings make him very easy to spot in the herd.

Apache has also become very popular with the equine ladies and will usually hang out with Colorado and a small harem.

Visit our Horse of the Month page

Email, instant messaging, and cell phones give us fabulous communication ability, but because we live and work in our own little worlds, that communication is totally disorganized.

Marilyn vos Savant

lady-with-cell-phone.jpgIn the modern times we live, it seems everything and everyone is ‘connected.’ But, as indicated by Marilyn vos Savant, electric communication is absent the orderly benefit of a shared environment. Although there are a wealth of benefits to electronic connectedness, there are also drawbacks. Perhaps like me, you have noticed the following:

– Interacting via social media has commonly replaced what used to be a meeting, face-to-face…
– “Let’s chat” has a new meaning…
– Texting has replaced the whisper, and is becoming a modern addiction (I’ve seen people texting each other when they were sitting together!)

Being ‘connected’ can enhance our communication, and it has the potential to greatly increase the frequency of our communication (much like the telephone did) — this is good. However, it is wise to consider the quality and effectiveness of our modern communication.

Read more on To Connect, Disconnect!…

Members of the Warrior Transition Unit of Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, many still active-duty, and other American Heroes from the Cheyenne/Fort Collins Veterans Administration, enjoyed two days of fly fishing on our private waters this past weekend.

One trooper told me, “Ma’am, this is the most relaxed I’ve been in three years.  Thank the cooks, the guides, the owners, the donors and everybody behind the scenes for helping us have a much-needed break from our norm.”  You are most welcome, Sergeant Nathan!

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These smiles are almost as big as the fish that were caught!
Photo by Suzette McIntyre ~ www.PhotographyBySuzette.com ⇱


Read more on Wounded American Heroes ~ Fly Fishing & Healing!…

Amigo

April Horse of the Month — Amigo

Foaled in 1999, Amigo arrived at Sylvan Dale in 2006 with Cisco and LaGarita from LaGarita Ranch.

Amigo is a sorrel gelding with 3 socks and a blaze. He’s a great big friendly horse as well as a steady and hardy trail climber.

Amigo heads up our Adventure Rider Program with Krista as his beloved rider.

He also enjoys working with cattle, taking out trail rides, or winning Barrel and Pole events at our Friday afternoon Gymkhanas during the summer season. Amigo’s best friend is Pardner.

Visit our Horse of the Month page

"March Madness" Sylvan Dale Style ~ by Senior Ranch Guide, Bill Franz  970.635.9285

Every spring we ranch guides have annual chores to take care of before the season gets into full swing. And so it was Wednesday morning, March 20. I’d started out by working on Weldon Lake around 8:30. As I was paddling around I began to notice some midge activity and fish rising to them. I finished my work there and moved up to Island Lake to take care of a couple things. I saw a few heads there as well. After completing that chore I drove up to Mother Lake to put some tools away and start building the barley bales which keep Mother Lake free of moss all year.

At about 10:30 I looked up and the lake had erupted; midges everywhere and, I’d bet, every fish in the lake on the surface! There were rising fish from shoreline to shoreline. It didn’t matter where one stood to cast, every cast would have been at a rising fish! Did I say my rod was in the truck?
Read more on March Madness Fly Fishing…

Filed under Conditions, Fishing by on #

Thank you, Wallace Westfeldt of MudBug Co. and Front Range Anglers for this fly fishing report.  They have guided 4 trips to SDR since Wed the 13th.  For anglers who love to have the best gear, I must point out the excellent and VERY LARGE net that Wallace employs here.  Gotta have a big net for big fish!  Thanks, Wallace!

Lower Valley River: Too low to be of much use.

Main Ranch River: Clear of ice with low water. Significant midge hatch from about 10am-1pm. On Friday first dozen fish caught on #18 Adams and #22 Mole Fly fished as double dry. Later in the day caught on Poison Blue Tung and Copper Ribbed RS2. Low water limits the number of places to fish. Dining Hall riffle excellent as usual. North edge of Pyramid rock also had lots of fish rising. Not very good conditions for beginners. A reasonable cast is required.
Read more on Fly Fishing Report ~ Main River & Big Valley…

Filed under Conditions, Fishing by on #

Tee Cross Baron

March Horse of the Month — Tee Cross

Foaled in 2004, “Tee Cross” is a nice big stout bay gelding.

For such a big guy, he has the sweetest little pony face that you could just hug and kiss him all day long. I’m not sure he would like that so I wouldn’t recommend trying. He thinks he’s a big tough cow horse.

Tee Cross is proving to be a wonderful trail horse, very solid and sure footed. He really likes to go on the cattle drives the best, and is bred to be a great cow horse. His mother is “Tivios Cross Bar” aka. “Cassie” or “Mama Cass” as I call her. She has been one of our best guest horses since her retirement from being a broodmare.

Tee Cross’ sire is “Gold Dust Trail” a palomino stallion whose bloodlines go back to one of Sylvan Dale’s foundation sires, “Baronet Bar.” Tee Cross has a full brother, a palomino named “Sparkie Bar Rancher” and a full sister, a bay named “Sugar Tee Trail.”

Visit our Horse of the Month page