FX Excursions

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Family-Friendly Ranch Vacations Can Be Luxurious

by Felicity Long

Sep 5, 2018

© The Resort at Paws Up


Dude ranches are a perennial favorite with kids, but can the words “luxury” and “ranch” be in the same sentence? Luckily, Ultra Ranch Vacations is going glam with a handful of “money-is-no-object” vacation experiences whose vibe and amenities are designed to rival a posh, 5-star hotel. These select ranches are curated from two websites — www.top50ranches.com and www.ranchweb.com — dedicated to helping guests find the perfect dude ranch vacation, according to Gene Kilgore, responsible for the sites and for the creation of the first edition of Ultra Ranch Vacations.


“The growing and evergreen population of the ultra-wealthy — and their exclusive travel planners — need information about how and where to enjoy vacations that provide exclusivity on all levels,” said Kilgore. “A quietly expanding community of ultra ranches are fitted out to serve this clientele. The first properties in our brand-new category, Ultra Ranch Vacations, are akin to the high-elevation suites that Singapore Airlines now provides its wealthiest customers.”


He noted the list of A-list ranches is expanding, but slowly, as each one has to pass what Kilmore refers to as his litmus test of qualifications.


“There’s no wiggle room for slippage when guests are paying well over $1,000 a night,” he said.


Most of the properties, which include Wyoming’s The Lodge and Spa at Brush Creek Ranch; and Montana’s The Ranch at Rock Creek, The Resort at Paws Up and Triple Creek Ranch, are all-inclusive, Kilmore said, noting each ranch is judged on a number of categories, including accommodations, cuisine, service and ranch adventures.


“These ranches are recipients of some of the most prestigious national awards in the hospitality industry,” Kilgore said. “They go up against the finest resorts and hotels in the world to achieve their accolades. Our website is now able to reflect the reality that a ranch vacation can be second to none when it comes to pampering and luxury.”


He said the vacation ranch community is critiqued by his team on an ongoing basis for opportunities to expand the initial “ultra” list.


Some operations are large, offering accommodations and activities for up to 225 guests, while others are small, providing hospitality to just six guests at a time. The website explains when the ranches are hosting guests, how far they are from the nearest airport and the style of pampering guests can expect.


Ranch activities can include horseback riding, followed by relaxing massages; fly fishing for trout; trap shooting and swimming; as well as cattle drives; and, in some cases, full-service children’s programs.


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