In the fertile valley on the western slope of the Colorado Rockies is a guest ranch that proves the perfect getaway for small corporate meetings. Flanked by the dramatic Book Cliff Mountains, The High Lonesome Ranch in Debeque, Colo., makes it nearly impossible for attendees to escape. And who would want to?
At High Lonesome's epicenter are the ranch headquarters and cookhouse. Both log buildings are from an authentic pioneer homestead. But don't let the ranch's rustic ambience fool you. Recent renovations have made the conference facility, which accommodates up to 30 people, a state-of-the-art venue. Executives can broadcast presentations in surround sound on a 65-inch flat screen, using their choice of a personal laptop via the ranch wireless network or the conference center computer. Groups can also use guesthouses and cabins for breakout sessions.
Accommodations are spread across two primary guesthouses that feature comfortable common areas for evening socializing with refreshments. Guests use the ranch's golf carts to get around.
A fleet of vehicles driven by ranch staff transports guests to more than a dozen recreational activities, including horseback riding, mountain biking, white-water rafting, golf, fly-fishing, and sporting-clays shooting.
Dinner at the ranch is a casual affair, with renowned Texas chef Doug Atkinson serving innovative contemporary ranch cuisine such as a wood-fired cowboy rib-eye with red chile steak butter, or an oak-roasted pheasant breast with habanero-peach chutney. He often chooses to grill outdoors where guests can watch, talk, and participate as they sip local wines and stargaze by the fire pit.
For fly-fishing enthusiasts, High Lonesome Ranch's newest addition is the K-T Ranch in nearby Meeker, featuring 3.1 miles of the White River and three world-class spring creeks. Guests overnight in a 4,200-square-foot, four-bedroom, tin-roofed farmhouse, built in the 1880s, that accommodates eight, a stone's throw from the river.
The ranch is only about a 30-minute drive from either of two area airports — Grand Junction Regional Airport (Walker Field) or Garfield County Regional Airport.
Check it out online at www.thehighlonesomeranch.com.