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?
The drive from one of two area airports — Grand Junction Regional Airport (Walker Field) or Garfield County Regional Airport, each about 30 miles away, is sure to engage your group from the start. Visitors view an abundance of wildlife — wild horses, elk, mule deer, and pheasant — seemingly supervised by the bald eagles soaring above.
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. Several recent renovations have made the ranch's 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, hiking, mountain biking, nature tours, massage therapy, white-water rafting trips, wild-horse tours, golf, cooking classes, winery tours, fly-fishing, or sporting-clays shooting. One recent group favored an orienteeringevent while others combine morning meetings with afternoon activities.
Dinner at the ranch is a casual affair with top-chef flair. Renowned Texas chef Doug Atkinson is at the helm during dinner hour, bringing 20 years of culinary mastery and innovative contemporary ranch cuisine to the table. You'll find sensational dishes 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. Breakfast is hot and hearty, featuring Southern cooking delicacies and The High Lonesome's own special blend of roasted coffee.
For the fly-fishing enthusiast, High Lonesome Ranch's newest addition is the K-T Ranch in nearby Meeker, featuring 3.1 miles of the White River as well as 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, just a stone's throw from the river.
The Orvis Co. selected High Lonesome Ranch for a Double Lodge Endorsement for Fishing and Wing Shooting, an impressive distinction in an incredibly competitive arena. Check it out online at www.thehighlonesomeranch.com.
Aspen Chamber Resort Association
Experience Colorado Springs
(800) 888-4748, ext. 132, (719) 685-7632,
(800) 480-2010, (303) 892-1112
Vail Valley Chamber and Tourism Bureau
Park City CVB
Salt Lake CVB
(800) 541-4955, (801) 534-4900