Snow Mountain Ranch kicks off 50th anniversary celebrations this weekend
Fifty years ago, the site where the YMCA of the Rockies – Snow Mountain Ranch sits consisted of two ranches and not much else. Since Snow Mountain Ranch opened in 1969, the YMCA location has grown to cover over 3,000 acres and offers dozens of ways to recreate.
This weekend Snow Mountain ranch is celebrating that growth by kicking off its 50th anniversary with a winter carnival, guided snowshoe hikes, games, trivia and more.
“I’m pretty thankful that we can be a part of the Grand County community,” said Trueman Hoffmeister, center director for Snow Mountain Ranch. “We’ve touched a lot of lives through our programs and we’re looking froward to continuing to do that, not only for our guests but for our local community. (…) It’s pretty cool to think that’s gone on for well over a generation now.”
The events go all day Saturday and into Sunday and many feature the history of the ranch, including the guided snowshoe hikes to the Rowley Homestead, one of the original two ranches that made up the Snow Mountain Ranch property. This year is also the 100th anniversary of the Rowley Homestead.
On Sunday, there will also be a guided walk through Just Ranch, the other ranch that became Snow Mountain Ranch.
Snow Mountain Ranch was established when the YMCA of the Rockies – Estes Park became so popular that it didn’t have enough space or capacity to serve all of its guests. The Granby location was chosen for its proximity to Denver and the space available to provide and develop year-round sports and activities.
Hoffmeister explained that it’s important for the ranch to celebrate its history because it plays a big part in the guest experience.
“The ranch part of it was very much part of the life, it was kind of the laid back Colorado, the way you think of Colorado and I think through the years we’ve been able to hold onto some of that,” he said. “To be able to provide that unifying experience for families has been one of the most rewarding parts of my job. I get to hear a lot of people’s stories and how the YMCA becomes part of their family’s story.”
The weekend’s activities also coincide with the 35th annual Stampede Race at the Nordic Center, a tradition at Snow Mountain Ranch.
The celebration of Snow Mountain Ranch’s 50th anniversary will continue throughout the year, Kristen Spronz, brand manager for the ranch, explained, including a weeklong birthday celebration in July to commemorate the ranch’s July 15, 1969 opening date.
Spronz said that celebration will be like a homecoming week with themes and events everyday leading up to the ranch’s birthday.
“In the summer, we will have tons of historic programming,” she said. “That will be a really big celebration.”
Aside from celebrations, Hoffmeister said Snow Mountain Ranch will be reinvesting in its trail system to improve the Nine Mile Mountain trail and add new trails to the property. He said the ranch wants to continue building on its traditions and values.
“That’s what is so cool about the history that we’ve built up, is we have people who are invested in the experiences they had and they want to provide that for future generations,” Hoffmeister said.
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