Red Rock Ranch has been a family owned business for over 40 years. As a result, we have seen, experienced, and overcome many challenges. While the COVID-19 scare has presented us with a unique challenge, this situation, too, will eventually pass.
Our staff and guests are like family to us. Their health, well being, and ranch experience is paramount in our decision making process for the up and coming spring/summer season. We are currently evaluating and adjusting where necessary to prepare and be ready for these seemingly uncharted waters.
The Red Rock is a seasonal operation and boasts a hefty 7,200’ elevation, It is not currently open during the winter months. Spring has finally found the Upper Gros Ventre. We are able to drive vehicles in and out of the ranch as of early April, 2020. Spring projects are in full swing.
What We’re Doing To Keep You Safe
We are in close contact with the Teton County Health Authority and are reviewing CDC guidelines daily. We have robust protocols and procedures for maintaining safe conditions for both our guests and our staff. Based on these factors, we are optimistically pushing forward with our season beginning the 24th of June, 2020.
To our Staff and Guests, this means the ranch will be in a pristine and pure state come “start” time. Warming weather in the spring means long, sun-shiny days and every opportunity to sustain conditions for great health. Nature and the great outdoors seem to lend themselves to great healing and cleansing powers. We anticipate this spring will lead to that environment.
Below are our new procedures and protocols for all whom enter the Ranch:
Guest arrivals will be staggered to allow for timely check in and less exposure to other guests. Guests will be directed to their assigned cabins, rather than the Ranch Office, for check-in.
Guests will be visually screened for symptoms. A self-declaration of wellness and waivers will be required for each guest. Any guest displaying symptoms of COVID-19 may be required to leave the premise or isolate in their assigned cabin until they are verified as non-infectious.
Guest check-out will be conducted at each cabin location to ensure adequate social distancing. Guests will also be picked up by service or escorted to parking areas on a family by family basis.
Social and Physical Distancing
We have capped our guest occupancy at approximately 50% to allow best practices for social distancing and physical distancing. While this presents some obvious financial burdens, Red Rock Ranch feels these smaller numbers will reduce risks and improve the modified guest experience for 2020.
Guests will be encouraged to practice good social distancing during travel to and from the ranch.
Ranch Staff will not allow large groups to accumulate. This should be relatively easy to accomplish with a 50% occupancy cap.
Specific emphasis will be placed on frequent hand-washing and sanitizing, social distancing, and Cough and Sneeze Etiquette. There may be times when the donning of a face mask is appropriate.
Guests are also under obligation to report any illness or symptoms immediately. Anyone who begins showing signs of infection will be asked to self-quarantine in their cabins.
Staff Wellness & Training
Staff Wellness is being monitored prior to the season and the staff is being brought onto the ranch in phases. This allows us to validate their wellness from their homes, while traveling, and while acclimating to their summer ranch residence.
Staff wellness will be monitored twice daily throughout the entirety of the season. Any staff showing symptoms will be quarantined and not allowed to work.
Red Rock Ranch has added guest services staff and has trained staff in our policies for social distancing. During the month of June, Red Rock Ranch Guest Services staff will conduct mock activity trainings to ensure we are able to maintain a safe environment for all.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
All cleaning and sanitizing practices have been evaluated, verified, and validated according to CDC Guidance. The cleaning and sanitizing of common area touch points throughout is increased in frequency. The cleaning solutions and sanitizers used have been selected for their ability to mitigate COVID-19.
Guest cabins will not be cleaned on a daily basis, based on Teton County Health Department guidance. Instead, guests will be given basic cleaning materials and directions to clean surfaces in their own cabins during the week. Guests will also be asked to bag and seal their trash in the trash liners provided. Trash bags are to be and placed outside your cabin for daily disposal by ranch staff.
Guests may request extra towels, linens, or other extra supplies throughout their stay. Special arrangements for cleaning may also be requested on a case by case basis. Guests cabins will be cleaned and sanitized by experienced and trained staff prior to the guest’s arrival.
All ranch gear (e.g., bikes, fishing rods, hiking sticks, saddles and tack) will be assigned on a guest by guest basis. Wipe down of this gear will be performed on a daily basis. Guests will also be required to store their assigned gear in a manner that makes it difficult for others to inadvertently use it.
Dining at the Ranch
All dining areas and common areas will be intensively cleaned on a daily basis.
The dining experience will likely exclude any buffet style service. Instead, we are designing the dining experience around individual family units.
Each family will be assigned a specific, socially distanced assembly area outside of the lodge. Servers will escort each family into the dining area for seating, enabling good social distancing practices. Families will be served plated meals at their tables. They will be asked to remain at their tables until a server is available to escort them out of the dining area(s).
Buffet service is not likely.
For meals served during activities like the Breakfast Ride, we are currently evaluating the possibility of offering service lines. Each family unit would need to assemble together and only specific family units would be allowed on the service line at any given time. Trained staff members would serve guests out of the service line. Guests would not be permitted to serve food to themselves. Assigned tables would be required and social distancing between family units would be required.
Trail Ride Lunches are available for each guest but will need to be ordered the day prior. This allows kitchen staff to pack each trail lunch to order and ready for pick up the day of the ride.
RRR Programs and Services
Saddle fittings and horse fittings will be completed by family unit for adequate social distancing.
In order to ensure rider safety, wranglers my need to spend brief periods of time within the 6’ social distancing zone. In this event, wranglers and riders will need to sanitize their hands and don face masks. Wranglers will make every effort to be as brief – yet as thorough – as possible. Hands will be sanitized after the wrangler exits the 6’ zone.
Riding programs will be offered based upon actual guest requests and adequate social distancing. With a capped occupancy, families will be able to request individual trail riding experiences. Multiple-family trail rides will be assembled to allow for proper distancing between families on the trail.
Kids’ programs will also include social distancing protocols. Children can always remain with their parents if there are any concerns with safety aspects of a program.
No massage services are planned for the 2020 season at this time. This decision is based on local health authority recommendations. Should these recommendations change, our program may also relax.
The same is true of our swimming pool and spa. Both are closed based on local health authority recommendations but may reopen should recommendations change.
Outside Activities and Social Gatherings
We are watching the COVID-19 threat closely while considering outside activities. The rigid social and physical distancing currently in place may be able to be relaxed some as the season progresses. Certainly, outside activities are designed around family unit participation. Each family may customize their dude ranch vacation based upon the level of safety they deem necessary.
All meetings or social gatherings require segregation by family unit and adequate social distancing.
Square Dancing is unlikely to occur this season, unfortunately. We are considering a Ranch Karaoke Night or a segregated, family-only, square-dance night as a replacement.
Guests will be encouraged to avoid off-ranch activities during the 2020 season.
All these new rules and conditions can be hard to keep straight. Believe me, we know – but don’t worry. All guests will receive orientation training on Red Rock Ranch COVID-19 policy and procedures during check-in.
These practices and procedures are being evaluated on a daily basis. Adjustments may be made according to changes in the COVID-19 protocols and procedures recommended by local, state and federal agency experts. Regardless of guidance, Red Rock Ranch will make decision based on the highest level of safety for our staff and guests.
As our country’s leaders continue to evaluate and adjust to the current situation; Red Rock Ranch will also evaluate and adjust as the situation unfolds. We remain committed to our guests and will do our utmost to:
Keep you updated “to the minute” as the COVID-19 situation unfolds.
Work with you and prospective guests during this season to ensure your guest experience is 2nd to none from booking to your actual ranch vacation. A season to remember for a lifetime.
Hope to see YOU in the saddle!
Sincerely Harley and Carolyn Stimmel