Great Colorado Outdoors Meets Five-Star Style
The Ranch at Emerald Valley includes 10 beautifully appointed cabins, a central lodge with large stone fireplace and access to horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, fishing, photo opportunities and plenty of activity for families.
Since 2012 The Broadmoor’s ownership has invested at least $33 million in new and revitalized outdoor recreation assets. So why spend millions of dollars in mountain getaways at a five-star destination already near capacity during high season summer months?
Hotel officials were likely inspired by Broadmoor founder Spencer Penrose.
A sharp businessman, Penrose built and opened The Broadmoor in 1918, but he didn’t stop there. By the mid-1920s, he realized that the area’s mountain splendor would attract wealthy East Coast and European travelers to his hotel. In addition to purchasing the Pikes Peak COG Railway to transport visitors to the summit of Pikes Peak, he also bought two nearby mountain properties. Both Camp Vigil (today’s Ranch at Emerald Valley) and the site of the future Cheyenne Mountain Lodge were among his early acquisitions.
Over time, however, the two destinations – designed as mountain getaways – saw business ebb and flow. Today’s Cloud Camp, 3,000 feet above the Broadmoor Hotel, opened in 1926 as the Cheyenne Mountain Lodge. It featured a restaurant, rooms for rent and was advertised as a “honeymooners retreat.” The lodge closed to overnight guests in 1961 and was razed in 1976.
Emerald Valley, on the other hand, had several owners. Beginning in 1982, it was operated as a private guest ranch on U.S. Forest Service land. In 2012, however, the property became available for sale.
That’s when The Broadmoor’s owner Phil Anschutz and CEO Steve Bartolin, inspired by Penrose’s legacy, decided to restore both properties to pristine condition.
Their decision was well timed.
Bartolin notes that experts at this year’s International Pow Wow travel industry expo confirmed that American resorts could expect increased international as well as domestic booking inquiries. And both want more outdoor family adventure opportunities.
“Industry trends certainly support our focus on delivering a total Colorado experience. It’s already resonating with the market,” he says.
So if your bucket list includes fly fishing, nature hikes, mountain biking and horseback trail rides – all accompanied by chic, beautifully appointed guest cabins, cocktails and a chef-prepared dinner, you’re in luck.
This summer you’ll have two Pikes Peak region five-star destinations from which to choose: The Ranch at Emerald Valley and Cloud Camp, both owned and operated by The Broadmoor Hotel. Or, add a trip to the resort’s recently acquired Fishing Camp on the Tarryall River (preceded by a fly-fishing course at the hotel’s new Fishing School) and score an outdoor adventure trifecta.
“We’re excited to offer a real Colorado experience that incorporates the amenities our guests have come to expect,” Bartolin says, adding it’s no longer necessary to drive for hours to enjoy a mountain escape.
What visitor wouldn’t appreciate a staff of 40 or so ranch hands, attendants, wait staff and recreation personnel at their disposal? All-inclusive pricing includes all meals, beverages (except for premium brand liquors) and recreational activities. The advertised cost for this unmatched experience begins at $400 per night per person for Cloud Camp or $500 per person based on double occupancy at The Ranch at Emerald Valley.
Of course some may want to venture off-property.
In addition to fly fishing excursions– just a 90-minute drive into the mountains from either location – there’s also the option to spend the day at the Broadmoor Spa or play a round of golf. A simple phone call will summon a shuttle service to make it happen, he says.
The Ranch at Emerald Valley
This scenic base camp is just eight miles due west of the resort, off Old Stage Road. The Ranch’s carefully refurbished cabins and welcoming lodge are a far cry from yesterday’s cobwebs-and-bunk bed getaway.
All 10 cabins were designed to today’s five-star specifications and include WiFi, fireplaces, rich furnishings, and modern amenities. And after a long day on the trail, guests can look forward to a welcome soak in the hot tub.
Now in its second season, The Ranch at Emerald Valley’s first 2014 guests will arrive in mid-July. They’ll include family groups, off-site corporate retreats, honeymooners and those simply in search of a relaxing escape from hectic urban life.
Located at the 9,400-foot summit of Cheyenne Mountain, Cloud Camp overlooks the resort, plains to the east, Pikes Peak to the north and the Colorado Rockies to the west. It opens August 15 through October. Guests may choose to be transported by Jeep, guided mule, or enjoy a scenic two-hour hike while bags are transported to their rooms.
The site consists of an 8,000-square-foot main lodge inspired by the timber and stone lodges found in our national parks. In addition to a bar and dining area, the lodge has six guest rooms and a luxurious honeymoon suite. Eleven guest cabins offer exclusively designed furnishings and private porches. You’ll also find a breathtaking two-story fire tower suite – one of the world’s most unique accommodations – built atop a rock precipice with 360- degree views.
Again, your every need has been anticipated. Arrive at this scenic riverfront site – which includes five miles of private waters – and find comfortable overnight accommodations and full food and beverage service. The seven 1887 Colorado miners’ cabins have been fully restored and updated. Work is also underway to nurture the area’s fishery habitat.
With Penrose-like optimism, the hotel’s ownership is betting these new ventures will be profitable and will expand the BROaDMOOR brand.
“We have a lot going on,” Bartolin says.