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By Glenn Arnette, lll


While out in Colorado this past month working a couple of Dude Ranches, I asked the question. “What is the difference between a Dude Ranch and a Guest Ranch?” The answer was, “Nothing, they are the same!”

To me a Dude Ranch is a rustic, real Western, down to earth kind of experience. A Guest Ranch is more upscale, more expensive and a down to earth kind of experience. Which do I like best? BOTH!

My latest opportunity was when I was invited to stay at the Premier Guest Ranch, C Lazy U, located in Granby, Colorado. This is absolutely, without doubt, a first class operation. First of all, it is a real working ranch for guest to visit and enjoy. They not only offer Horseback Riding, the list of activities will blow your mind. From Massage Therapy, Tennis or Fly Fishing, Hiking, Yoga, Mountain Biking, Trap Shooting, White Water River Rafting, Hot Air Ballooning, Gold and Guided Fishing Tours just to mention a few. Now that is a Guest Ranch.

Chris Koch, Assistant Manager and Operations Manager took me on a tour while I was there and he was the most personable guy I have ever met. He went out of his way to see that I was completely introduced to the Ranch. The guided tours to the tops of the mountain overlooking the Ranch was breathtaking. Most guests go by horseback on this trail, but today I decided to ride in a van. One spot was where breakfast is served once a week to the guests as they over look the valley and snow capped mountains. The homes surrounded the Ranch are out of Architectural Digest and hang on the side of cliffs that offer spectacular views. Where has this place been all of my life? Back to Chris for a moment, he is one of the best Ski Instructors in Winter Park, Florida during the off seasons at the ranch. As he said to me, “When I get through with you on the slopes, you will be skiing!”

You know about the 5 Diamond Hotel ratings, but have you heard about the Spur Ratings. Well, the C Lazy U Ranch has the top rating of 5 Spurs! That should tell us something. The Staff was exceptional! They greeted you will smiles, grand hello’s, and did everything to see that each guest was comfortable. When I met Ashleigh Pirayesh, the Ranch Concierge, I new this trip was going to be top notch. She had everything planned for my time at the Ranch. Let me tell you about my room. With over 15 amenities in that little basket in the bathroom, I knew I was ready to party! Wait, no TV? No Phone in the room? What am I going to do? RELAX! Everything about the room was emaculate and I had a large picture window overlooking the horses. Quiet, oh, yes! Very quiet at night and you sleep like a baby in the coolness of the hills. By-the-way, no air conditioning! You don’t need it! Nature takes care of the rest.

From the barns where I found a “Horse Whisperer” talking to his horse and the horse listened to the brilliance of Claus Muhlbauer, who heads up tennis and fly fishing, the Ranch has talent! Claus took me fly fishing for my first time, gave me a lesson, told me to try and then said I was a natural. (He probably tells everyone that, but I believed him!) As a matter of fact, he would cast the line with a wollybug on the end and tell me to listen as the fish were “watching it”. I cracked up! Then I caught two very large trout. So, congratulations Claus, you are the man. Now he tell me I have to spend $500 for an upscale rod and reel. (Guaranteed for life!) He is also considered to be a fantastic tennis player and coach. And he is just one of the many Staff members who will help make your vacation come true.

I have never seen children enjoy being with there family as much as I did at the C Lazy U Ranch. The activities programs for kids allow Mom and Dad time to enjoy their vacation as well. One night while there I enjoyed the Kids Carnival where they planned games for the adults to play. It was Redneck Golf, Spoon and Egg Run, Bobbing Apples, Bean Bag Toss and more. Prizes were given if you had enough points and I worked my self to death an got a deck of cards with bullet holes in it. Gaylene Ore came out for the night and she dropped her face into a bucket of water and bobbed apples. She did good!

The kids eat earlier than the adults and then they are off on other adventures while the adults have their meals. From gourmet food prepared in the kitchen for those n the dinning room to a cookout of Prime Rib to Ice Cream Sundaes, you will never find a bad meal. There is a cocktail hour every night around 6:30 for an hour and in the mornings you can have coffee outside by a roaring fire served hot from the white metal coffee pot on the fire. I was surprised to see so many people up for their coffee.

Meeting friends is definitely in order while on the Ranch. Everyone greets any newcomer and welcomes them to their table or a place at the bar. It is really a family place offering everything to enjoy.

Horseback Riding is a must! From the beginner to the most professional you can ride the hills and see what I considered to be “Cinemascope Vista Views”!

Breathtaking, goose bumps and more. The Wranglers offer lessons, take you on morning or afternoon rides, and help you enjoy being a Cowboy for the day. By-the-way, they do all of the hard work by saddling up and unsaddling your horse. That is not easy! I was amazed at all they have to do being a Wrangle. I thought it was like being a Cowboy just riding and sitting on a horse!

To thank some of those I met is a must! Lori Fowler, at the Gift Shop was wonderful. We had drinks together and enjoyed the Prime Rib night and a jewelry show one night. Pat Braun, the Receptionists was my first contact, Russell Sharpe, one of the Ranch Hands, Wranglers Paul Klees, Delly Cottingham, Mark Kronberg to the Director of the Kids programs, Sheryl Shustran. Each was special! Oh, I can’t forget Peteym the donkey!

Until next time go to for the latest stories! You can also email me at [email protected]