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 skiing on the Ranch’s private ski hill 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.
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.
Kelly Fowler is the Concierge for the ranch, and usually the first friendly face you’ll meet when you arrive. She can always be found in the Outfitter’s Cabin where she will be happy to help you customize your vacation with activities both on and off the ranch, including trap shooting, white water rafting, spa services and day trips around Grand County.
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!
Wine and Beverage Director Shelby Peterson is the consummate wine professional and has been certified and educated by the Master Court of Sommeliers, Napa Valley Wine Academy, Society of Wine Educators, and San Francisco Wine School. Her passion rapidly becomes apparent when one observes her describe a bottle of wine. As if describing the attributes of a dear child, Shelby lovingly articulates the texture and feel of wine, the nose, the ability to pair and the history of the family that created it as well as the climate and conditions in which the grapes were developed. To participate in a wine tasting with Shelby is to enjoy a history lesson and a gastronomic experience that is truly unique. At the C Lazy U you will be able to develop your skills as an oenophile through Shelby’s carefully crafted wine menu, daily wine pairings, special events and tastings, and a new wine locker 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.
Children’s Program Director Nancy Ronalter is in charge of our world-class children’s program and manages our team of children’s counselors, entrusted with the safety, care and entertainment of your children at C Lazy U. Nancy ensures your child is assigned a horse that matches his or her riding ability, and the counselors make sure your kids have so much fun they never want to leave!
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.
Dude ranches are, of course, famous for their horses. Since the very first dude ranches made their appearance in the early 20th century, horseback riding has been central to the this quintessentially western experience. But do city slickers who aren’t into horseback riding still have fun at a dude ranch? The answer is a definitive … Continue Reading »
The attention to detail at the C Lazy U is beyond description. They truly do try to exceed one's expectations. The staff, the food, the horses, the service, the friendliness...all top-notch! This was my 3rd trip there and hopefully it won't be my last.