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 superior 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!
Paul Klees – General Manager
Paul likes to stay busy, which he certainly does as both General Manager and 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.
Ami Cullen – Director of Equestrian Operations
Ami 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. She also spent several years practicing law as an attorney in Washington D.C. (Read her story about why she quit law to begin working at the Ranch) 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 oversees all equestrian operations, including our guest riding program, children’s program, member riding program and our herd of approximately 200 horses. Ami is often seen riding young horses and helping to prepare them for our guests, teaching horsemanship clinics and giving riding lessons.
Mike Cullen – Operations Manager
Mike is a graduate of the University of Colorado and has had various professional management and sales positions throughout his career. He is a true outdoorsman and passionate mountain biker so he naturally gravitated to C Lazy U Ranch. As Activity Director, Mike was integral in enhancing C Lazy U’s activities program outside of horseback riding, and he has also overseen the entire ranch hand and landscaping team, which is the central nervous system of the ranch. Currently as Operations Manager for C Lazy U, the ranch is lucky to have Mike on the team and his infectious smile, love for the outdoors, amazing customer service and hard work ethic can be seen in everything he does.
Brady Johnson – Director of Sales and Marketing
Brady is 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.
Mackenzie Brenneman – Children’s Program Director
Mackenzie first fell in love with the C Lazy U Ranch in 2010 when she spent her first summer working as a Kids Counselor. After that summer, the ranch was her home for the next 9 years where she did everything from running the Children’s Program, working in the barn as a wrangler, to Membership Director. In 2019, Mackenzie put up her cowboy hat for a few years to work for a local non-profit organization that provided recreational and social programs for children and families facing pediatric cancer. Mackenzie has a strong passion for working with children and horses, and she is so excited to join the ranch family again as the Children’s Program Director. Mackenzie and her team will not only make certain that your child is paired with the perfect horse for the week, but better yet they will also ensure that your child makes lasting friendships and lifelong memories filled with adventure! In her spare time, Mackenzie volunteers for Grand County Search and Rescue and enjoys spending time in the backcountry with her husband Brian and their adorable wirehaired pointing griffon named Mugs!
Kate Jankoski – Director of Human Resources
Kate was born and raised in Steamboat Springs and graduated from Colorado Mesa University with a double major in hospitality management and human resource management. She started her journey at the Ranch during the summer of 2017. Although she planned to move on to the next adventure after the season ended, she couldn’t bring herself to part ways with the place she now calls home. Kate is proud to take on the important role of filling the Ranch with staff members who represent the culture of C Lazy U Ranch which makes guests feel like they are at home. Each year Kate loves that she gets to fulfill the dreams of employees and watch them leave with memories that will last a lifetime.
Nick Mentzer – Member Services Director
Born and raised in the Eastern plains of Nebraska, Nick graduated from a rural high school and attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln where he enrolled in the College of Engineering and received a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management and a minor in Business. Nick then proceeded to travel the world as an amateur climber and avid mountaineer. His adventures took him throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and South America before settling back in the plains of Nebraska where he began his journey in the world of construction working as a project manager for LeGrande Excavating in Lincoln. Five years later, Nick again felt the call of the mountains where he opted to pick up and move to Granby to begin working for Jeff Johnston at The Roofing Company while tandemly moonlighting for Granby Fire. Having found his home in the hills, Nick spent nearly ten years working with TRC, starting as their Senior Project Director prior to becoming the Operations Manager and ultimately the General Manager (and partner) in the business. Deciding it was time for a change of pace, he jumped headfirst into the world of hospitality at C Lazy U Ranch. Nick enjoys the serenity that the mountains offer him and lives with his wife Erica and their two dogs (Zoie and Ripp) in a small cabin on 10 acres near Williams Fork Reservoir. Among many active hobbies, Nick enjoys hiking, camping, snow climbing, weightlifting, and CrossFit.
Rebecca Quesada – Rooms Division Manager
Rebecca is a Colorado native and a long-time Grand County local. Rebecca began her career in hospitality/property management at the age of 18 and has held several positions within the industry from Reservations, Group Sales, Event Planning, Timeshare, Housekeeping, Front Desk Manger, to Operations Manager with a few well-known property management companies in Winter Park. After taking a 5-year break working in the Insurance and Financial Service industry, she decided to return to hospitality when she was offered the Rooms Division Manager position at the Ranch. Rebecca is excited to use her experience to help provide guests with the best vacation possible. When Rebecca is not working at the Ranch, she is busy raising three kids, boating on Lake Granby, fishing, or hiking a Colorado 14er!
Tami Burkett – Equine Health/Veterinary Care Manager
Tami joined the C Lazy U team in 2009 as a seasonal wrangler. She has a degree in Equine Science and Management with a minor in pre-vet, that she received from Delaware Valley University. Her love and passion for horses developed at a young age in Pennsylvania with her family’s horses and continues to grow every day. She competed for a few years in high school, but her real love is caring for and looking after the health of horses. Tami works very closely with our vet and farriers to ensure our herd is healthy and well taken care of. When Tami isn’t nurturing our horses you’ll find her riding young horses, sharing her horse knowledge with guest and staff, leading a trail ride or even riding on a jingle.
Cory Untch – Executive Chef
Cory and the C Lazy U share many similar operating philosophies including celebrating farm to table offerings, using local purveyors, developing health-minded menu selections and exploring the possibility of creating in-house food provisions. Cory comes to the C Lazy U Ranch with an impressive resume that shows an extensive 5-star culinary history including 10 Years with Ritz-Carlton and the following 7 years with other 5-Star hotel properties including Little Nell, (Aspen) and The Hermitage (Nashville). Cory is coming to us most recently from Vermejo, a Ted Turner privately owned ranch in Raton, New Mexico.
Cory has an innovative approach that will celebrate the foods of the Great American West, will put unique twists on some recognized favorite staples and will involve all senses in the culinary experience. He is a collaborative leader who believes in inspiring the team and working closely with the front of house to ensure a fabulous service experience that supports his culinary creations.
Tony Collier – Sommelier
Tony has a B.A. in History from the University of New Mexico and following college he took on some very exciting endeavors as a Park Ranger, Ski Lift Operator and a Semi-Pro Soccer Player. It wasn’t until he found Fine Dining in Naples, FL in the early 2000s that it all clicked for him while enjoying a bottle of 1991 Monte Bello Ridge and a bone-in prime cut filet. Tony was enlightened and realized the beauty of discovering the perfect food and wine pairing. He spent 7 years in Sedona, AZ showcasing and building his skills as a Sommelier, Manager and Server. Following this he ventured on to Dallas, TX for 7 years running a wine bar, teaching wine classes and providing private tastings. Tony even enjoys his passion for food and wine in his time off and says, “I’ve spent nearly all of my vacation time over the past 10 years visiting wine regions around the world tasting local food and wine honing in my passion for both.” Tony isn’t just an expert on gourmet dining and fine wines. He has other passions that align well with the ranch and he is an avid reader, he enjoys hiking and spending time playing his bass guitar.
Rocky Harriman – Chief Engineer
Rocky Harriman (Yes, that’s his real, given name!) joined the C Lazy U team at the end of February as the Chief Engineer. He is tasked with the maintenance of the Ranch, including facilities and equipment. Originally born and bred in the Western US (Washington, Alaska and Big Bear, CA), he found himself in Ohio for the last 11 years. Yearning for the mountains, snow and adventure, he and his wife, Maggie, moved to Grand County to join the team at C Lazy U.
Rocky spent his formative years working at a ski hill and Happy Hill Ranch in Omak, WA where his father trained Percheron horses. He’s always had the “tinkerers” bug and an engineering mind, taking apart and rebuilding motorbikes and household appliances at the tender age of 12. Problem solving mechanical issues is his passion and to be able to do it in such an idyllic valley is a dream.
Rocky earned a diesel technology degree at WYO-Tech, a technical college in Laramie, WY, where he later returned as a faculty member. Other technical job skills he brings to the Ranch are welding, construction, mechanics, hydraulics, and heavy machinery operation. He is also a skilled project manager and has led teams of 25 employees.
Xandy Keough – Group Coordinator / Group Sales
Like many others, Xandy immediately fell in love with the Ranch and has made it her home. She found her passion in customer service curating a vacation of a lifetime for guests and groups alongside a team of top-tier service professionals. Xandy previously worked in the Outfitters cabin and oversaw the front office. Her main role has since evolved and is now focused delivering a top tier group experience through Group Coordination and Group Sales.
Natalie Munro – Reservations Supervisor
Natalie came to C Lazy U in August of 2017 as a wrangler. A South Georgia native, she has an Animal Science Degree from Berry College in Rome, Georgia. Natalie has a passion for animals, especially horses. She began riding at the age of four and has experience in several disciplines including eventing and hunter jumpers. While she thrived in her job as a C Lazy U wrangler, she wanted to learn other aspects of ranch operations. These days you will find Natalie in the office manning the phones as Reservations Supervisor, but don’t be surprised if you also see her helping out around the barn every now and then!
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.