SolVista, Granby star in season premier of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting |

SolVista, Granby star in season premier of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting

Reid Armstrong
Photo courtesy of Granby Ranch

Granby Ranch and SolVista will be featured in the one-hour season premier of 19 Kids and Counting on TLC tonight, June 7. The show airs at 7 p.m. or 10 p.m. mountain time, depending on the provider, so check your local guide for exact times.

During this episode, 22 members of the Duggar family hop aboard their new tour bus and make the 14-hour road trip from their home in Arkansas to Granby, where they spend three days taking ski lessons, tubing, roasting marshmallows and making pizza at Seven Trails Grille.

Along the way they have to stop at Goodwill in Denver to gear up. Rather than purchasing $5,000 of new gear, they outfitted the whole family with snow clothes, gloves, hats and goggles for a little more than $235.

This is the first time skiing for every member of the family, and some pick up the new sport faster than others. Somebody on the crew calculated that, between them, the Duggars fell more than 250 times in three days of skiing.

For anyone unfamiliar with the Duggar Family, they have been sharing their reality with the TV world since 2004 when they filmed their first television special. At the time they had 14 kids and were pregnant with No. 15.

In 2008, their show became a regular season series. They now have 19 children (all bearing names that start with the letter J), one grandchild and a second grandchild on the way.

SolVista ski instructors John Conneely, Brittney Gosdin and Mike Hickman snag a starring role along side the Duggars, teaching them some keys to getting down the hill, making turns and, most importantly, stopping.

Local television station owner Mike Turner landed a lead role BEHIND the camera. As the only crew member who could ski, (the Duggar’s regular camera crew is from Arkansas) Turner became the celebrity, on-the-slopes camera man, capturing shots of the ski instructors, lessons up on the hill and a few VERY memorable moments where Jim Bob nearly crashes into a tree or a takes out the entire crowd at the base area.

Turner said the family created a real buzz at SolVista, with people coming out and taking their photo: “It’s a rock star presence they carry,” he said, adding: “The father is a total coach for his family. Everybody’s helping each other along. It’s a tribe.”

Marise Cipriani, founder/principal of Granby Ranch and her daughter Melissa become the Duggar’s personal hostesses, setting them up in Base Camp lodging and getting them a private, behind-the-scenes tour of the Seven Trails Grille’s pizza station with chef Karl Vogelbacher.

As a mother, Cipriani said she designed Granby Ranch, a 5,000 acre four-season resort community, as a place where kids could roll in the grass or launch a sled down the hill; where multiple generations could gather and enjoy activities together.

“Because of the economy, I’ve seen families return to simplicity, and to an emphasis on experience instead of things, and that is so satisfying,” Cipriani said. “We see families (like the Duggars) come here to be together, to be outdoors and active and get dirty and make memories.”

In a follow-up interview, family patriarch Jim Bob Duggar said, “We heard SolVista in Granby has a great family atmosphere. We were so impressed with the Base Camp Lodge and it was perfect for our family. We made special memories there and we would love to come back in the future.”

– Reid Armstrong can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610

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