Meet Your Host- Vista Verde Guest Ranch
Meet Ben Martin, who manages Colorado's Vista Verde Ranch, a luxury resort ranch 25 miles North of Steamboat Springs, Colorado with an emphasis on quality horse riding experiences.
"It is gratifying to hear our guests connecting through shared experiences," said Ben. "I don’t think it is unique to guest ranching, but I don’t know of a better venue to accomplish this mission..."
Equitrekking: What's your favorite aspect of owning/ running a guest ranch?
Ben Martin: Hands down – I get the opportunity to meet people from all over the globe. I get to hear their stories and share experiences with them. They are on vacation, so I see a different side of them than their co-workers see on a daily basis. I like to think I get to see the best side of people.
Equitrekking: What do travelers find most surprising when they visit your Colorado guest ranch?
Ben: The most common response, and the one with the most emotional drive, is that our staff are exceptional people. I have to agree. I get to work with some amazing individuals, and our guests get to experience them, as well. Many vacation destinations tout their staff as “the best”, and I am sure they feel about their staff like I feel about mine. However, I have a hard time believing that there is a staff out there who cares for and about our guests the way my staff does. I know that sounds arrogant, but I really believe they are special.
Equitrekking: What inspires you about your guest ranch?
Ben: Our mission statement reflects our belief that recreation provides memories, but relationships provide meaning. I am inspired to provide the opportunity for people to experience our natural surroundings in a variety of ways, but to accomplish it in the context of relationships – with their families and friends, our staff, and the other guests. It is gratifying to hear our guests connecting through shared experiences. I don’t think it is unique to guest ranching, but I don’t know of a better venue to accomplish this mission.
Equitrekking: What level of rider do you need to be to visit Vista Verde Guest Ranch?
Ben: We welcome all levels of riders. I really mean that. We would be honored to introduce our guests to a variety of outdoors activities, and we have the experts in each area to make sure that you have a great experience, whether beginner or expert. Reining trainer Terry Wegener runs our riding and breeding program, and he brings 40 years of experience to the ranch.
Equitrekking: Do guest's have a favorite trail or activity? If so, what?
Ben: Many of our return guests have favorite activities and trails. I would not be able to give an accurate answer as to which is most requested. Part of the attraction to Vista Verde is the variety of activities and trails, and the customization of each trip. Often the toughest decision you will make here is which activity you want to participate in. We have a high return rate because guests always leave feeling like they ran out of time before they ran out of activities, or there is so much more to learn and experience.
Equitrekking: What is most special about your ranch and location?
Ben: Beyond the staff, we have end-of-the-road privacy, with access to thousands of acres of Routt National Forest and the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness Area. Our remuda is well-trained and cared for, and we are careful about what we breed and buy. All of our cabins have been updated and remodeled within the last 3 years, and we have added a pool, indoor riding arena, and a new lodge. We have luxurious accommodations, food, and facilities, yet we retain our identity as a ranch- the hats, history, horses, and hospitality.