In the summer months, we witness a transformation from when our guests arrive to when they depart. With some groups, the transformation is more dramatic than others.
In the summer we have a 3-night minimum, so guests stay longer than in other months. Some family reunions, weddings, and Yoga retreats stay even longer, between 4-7 nights. Our guests travel from all over the world, but the largest contingency is from the Denver metro area, Texas cities, and California. We try to advertise with direct honesty, real pictures of the property, the interiors of the cabins, and descriptions of the mountains.
The map on our “Find Us” page is accurate and shows that we are nearly 4 hours from the Denver airport. However, there is no way to explain to some people how remote and pastoral Avalanche Ranch truly is, and how a cabin here is different from a 4-star hotel room. Their imagination does not have the experience or imagery to capture it.
Often people are wound tight from the city when they show up at Avalanche Ranch. Their expectations are not in line with our reality. We do not have Uber service here, and there is no cell service on the property. The nearest coffee shop is 20 minutes away. Our wi-fi speed is only 3mbs compared to their 100mbs at home. We do not service the cabin daily. Their anxiety on arrival is palpable.
Two days ago, Ally, who works in the office, came up the hill to the office holding two iced coffees from Starbucks. Most days she merrily greets guests and chats idly on arrival. That morning she felt an intense stirring in the guests with envious stares. “Where did you get those?” one of the guests inquired, audibly longing for an iced coffee from Starbucks. She said it was like she was holding a golden chalice and maybe there was a chance of coffee mugging (no pun intended).
That incident was day 2 of a 7-day family reunion. What we witnessed the rest of the week was them settling in, slowing down and melting into country living. They adapted to the occasional mouse, the self-sufficiency of our accommodations, the lack of cyber access. When this group departed, they were much calmer. “Mellow” is the perfect word to describe them. Maybe even transformed.
This is not uncommon at Avalanche Ranch. A group last year showed up from L.A., New York and other cities around the U.S. Their arrival was intense and uncomfortable, they took jabs at what they saw as our insufficiencies. We tried to comfort them, but we cannot conjure Uber or technology or the Ritz Carlton. We are who we are. The beauty of the experience is that they left in a completely different state of mind. They were happy and healthy and peaceful. They loved Avalanche Ranch!
Our departing guests act as testimony to the success of life at Avalanche Ranch. They may not be aware of the transformation, but we see it as a pat on the back. It shows us that we’ve done our jobs and offered the kind of peace and relaxation only a place like Avalanche Ranch can bring to city dwellers.