What is the difference between a good trip and the vacation of a lifetime? The answer is simple: personal service. By this we mean the kind of friendly, dedicated service that can only be provided by people who love their jobs and in turn strive to make guests feel welcome and pampered. At the C Lazy U Luxury Guest Ranch, we go that extra mile to welcome you and make sure you have a great time: we call it 5-Spur Service and it is what makes our Colorado dude ranch “Miles Above Ordinary.”
Meet the C Lazy U Staff: Dedicated to Providing the Best Colorado Family Vacations!
David Craig brings more than 25 years of hospitality experience to C Lazy U. His diverse background includes resort, luxury hotel and membership club experience. His career began on Cape Cod, Massachusetts where he engaged in a variety of resort property management positions including both back of house (housekeeping and engineering leadership) as well as front of house (front desk leadership). David spent 11 years in Aspen and Snowmass Village with roles at the Hotel Jerome and Stonebridge Inn where he was the General Manager. He has worked at the Inverness Hotel Resort & Conference Center in south Denver and honed his 5 Star luxury product and service skills while spending 9 years at Denver’s boutique Hotel Teatro, ultimately as General Manager. During his tenure there he briefly oversaw C Lazy U ranch while the ranch consulted with DiNapoli Capital Partners. Most recently, David was Senior VP at the luxury membership travel club Inspirato, which has since grown to more than 10,000 members – many of whom have had the pleasure of enjoying C Lazy U.
David is the former Chairman of the Board of the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association (CHLA). In 2015, he won the CHLA Hotelier of the Year Award, an honorable distinction reserved for people who dedicate their careers to the Colorado lodging industry. David is married to Kristin and has two stepdaughters. He joined C Lazy U as general manager in 2013.
Assistant General Manager Dale Heckerson is the eyes and ears of the ranch. You will rarely see Dale without his radio (or a bag of popcorn – we make it fresh throughout the day) walking the grounds, making sure everyone is happy and taken care of, and that everything is in its place. He is dedicated to customer service and makes sure every guest is treated like family from arrival to departure, always remembering names and guest facts for each person that passes through the ranch. Dale is also an intricate piece of the staff puzzle, training and managing over 90 employees to ensure we provide that signature 5-Spur Service in every aspect of the ranch for which we have become known.
Paul Klees compliments Dale as our Director of Operations at the C Lazy U. Paul is also known as the Ranch Project Manager and handles all capital improvements, including room renovations and upgrades throughout the ranch. As he likes to stay busy, he also serves as Hunting Manager for our Luxury Hunt business in the fall and spring. Paul isn’t all business though; you will most likely see (and hear- he’s quite enthusiastic about this part of the job) him on a horse helping out in the barn, in the dining room making sure your dinner is 5-Star perfect, or branding by the campfire late at night. The poster child of a well-rounded cowboy, Paul often appears in photos of magazines writing about the C Lazy U, and as such has fondly been nicknamed the “face of the ranch” by his friends.
Director of Operations, Ami Specktor, began her ranch story as a long-time guest of the Ranch. Prior to joining the ranch and beginning her career, Ami was an accomplished equestrian who competed in Hunter-Jumper horse shows along the East Coast. Ami spent many years practicing law as an attorney in Washington D.C. Her love of the ranch, the Colorado mountains and horses attracted Ami to C Lazy U in 2012. She is an integral piece of the ranch and helps oversee daily guest and member operations, our Member barn, Member Services, the Lazy You Spa, housekeeping and our general store. You will also see her helping Head Wrangler Bill Fisher prepare horses for guests, teaching horsemanship clinics and giving riding lessons.
Special emphasis is placed on making sure you and your horse get along, and Head Wrangler Bill Fisher personally interviews you upon arrival to evaluate your riding ability and get a feel for your personality. “I make sure I match you with the perfect mount,” says Bill. “After all, you’ll be companions for your entire stay.”
Bill was recently given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association for his dedication and enduring contributions to the Ranch and the community. This prestigious award recognizes those in the hospitality industry who have made a marked impact on others with an extraordinary dedication to hospitality over an expansive career. Of 45,000 professionals involved in Colorado’s hospitality industry, only 37 are recognized in the annual awards ceremony, and only Bill received the supervisor categories’ Lifetime Achievement distinction.
Brady Johnson is Director of Sales and Marketing, making him responsible for all marketing and advertising efforts at the C Lazy U along with booking group events and retreats. But don’t be fooled by this job description because on top of these efforts you can always count on seeing him taking guests on guided mountain bike rides, or leading a ropes course session in the summer, and leading cross-country skiing tours as our guests’ mountain host in the winter. The C Lazy U is the perfect home for this avid outdoorsman because he gets to show guests the experience of a lifetime from the moment they find us online or through friends, to the day of their departure.
McKenzie Ammerman oversees C Lazy U Ranch’s Children’s Program. McKenzie manages a team of certified counselors to ensure every child is safe and secure in our kids and teens program. McKenzie is a graduate from the University of Colorado and has been a valued member of C Lazy U’s team since 2013. McKenzie has extensive horseback riding experience with a skill for perfectly matching the correct horses to riders. Her team of young enthusiastic counselors provide ideal environment for child development, supervision and most important – fun! C Lazy U Ranch is lucky to have McKenzie’s leadership and personalized care and oversight of our counselors and kids in our kid’s program.
Mackenzie Brenneman is the Director of Member Services at C Lazy U Ranch. Mackenzie has held various roles throughout the ranch and has done everything from being a kids counselor, taking on the role of Head Kids Counselor, to working in the barn, wait staff and working in the Outfitters Cabin. Our Members love her and she oversees a crucial piece of the ranch managing the Member Services Program.
Mike Cullen is C Lazy U Ranch’s Director of Activities. Mike is a graduate of the University of Colorado and has had various professional management and sales positions throughout his career. Mike is a true outdoorsman and passionate mountain biker so he naturally gravitated to C Lazy U Ranch. Mike has been integral in developing and enhancing C Lazy U’s activities department outside of horseback riding and he oversees the entire ranch hand and landscaping team, which is the central nervous system of the ranch. The ranch is lucky to have Mike on the team and his infections smile, love for the outdoors, amazing customer service and hard work ethic can be seen in everything he does.
Heather Peters is the Reservations Supervisor, and her voice will likely be the first friendly voice you hear when you call to find out more about the C Lazy U Ranch experience and everything you have to look forward to. Also the resident Wedding Coordinator, Heather loves working with each bride to create a reality of their visions for the perfect ranch wedding. Feel free to give her a call any time for information about rates and availability, or to start planning your special day, at 970-887-3344.
Scott Klees is the Outfitters Cabin Supervisor and Groups Coordinator. Scott started out working as a wrangler at the ranch then transitioned to the Outfitters as a concierge, before taking on the role of OC Supervisor and Groups Coordinator. His vast knowledge of the ranch, its inner workings and professional background helps make Scott a great asset to all our guests and groups on ranch.
Kayla Hansen is the Lodging Manager here at C Lazy U; she joined us in the summer of 2016. She graduated from Colorado State University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management. Feel free to let Kayla know if she can specialize your cabin to make your stay more enjoyable!
Kelly Fowler is a Concierge for the ranch and usually the first friendly face you’ll meet when you arrive. Originally from Southern Pines, North Carolina, Kelly has been an integral part of the ranch since 2013. After graduating from High Point University, Kelly took a trip out West for a summer job as a kid’s counselor and decided she couldn’t get enough of the Colorado mountains. She can be found between the Outfitter’s Cabin, managing the C Lazy U Store ‘Old Louis’ Place’ and making sure your Lazy You Spa experience is magnificent. Also the resident Wedding Coordinator, Kelly loves working with each bride to make her visions for the perfect ranch wedding into a reality.
Xandy Keough is the other Ranch Concierge and one of the first people you will meet when you step into the Outfitters Cabin at C Lazy U. She will work with you before and during your visit to personalize your Colorado ranch vacation. Xandy’s main role at the ranch is making sure each guest has the best time possible by taking advantage of all that C Lazy U Ranch has to offer.
Executive Chef Dennis Kaniger comes to the ranch from a career that started in California. He has worked at top restaurants like Ma Maison, Spago, and Trumps and has owned his own restaurant in Kansas City. Dennis’s unique ability to create gourmet fare that also tastes like down-home comfort food has guests raving about the dining at C Lazy U!
Sommelier Elise Blann has worked in the restaurant industry for over ten years now. She discovered a passion for wine when she first began working in the fine dining industry around five years ago and obtained her Level 1 certification from the Court of Master Sommelier’s in October 2015. In April 2016, she passed the Level 2 requirements becoming a Certified Sommelier. For the past two years she has worked as a corporate trainer for PB&J Restaurants, Inc., alternating between bartending, training, working caterings and events, and opening new concepts in multiple states. She is excited for the opportunity to delve back into the wine industry and couldn’t ask for a better establishment or team to do so with than C Lazy U.
And last – but certainly not least – our friendly housekeepers, kitchen staff, wait staff, wranglers and children’s counselors who all keep coming back year after year to make your stay enjoyable.
With the sun setting earlier, the air turning crisp and the schools opening their doors for yet another year, it’s time to say so long to summer. Your family vacation at C Lazy U may feel as though it happened so very long ago, but there are still ways to keep that dude ranch spirit … Continue Reading »
An incredible ranch experience for our group of nine people - 5 adults and 4 children ages 6 - 11. We had never been on horses, but by the end of the week, the kids were loping and participating in the "showdeo". The attention to detail, the amazing food, the variety of activities for all ages, the lovely tented spa experience and the beautiful scenery all added up to the best vacation we have ever had!