A Look Into Paradise from New Crew Member's Perspective

As I rolled down the winding driveway into Paradise, I was met with a true glimpse into what my first season at Paradise will look like. I passed under the ranch catpost, which is essentially two large and sturdy wooden poles with a third pole meeting the two to signify that I had finally arrived at Paradise. The ranch’s brand is PR and FUN, a hint into my (and yours!) experience for the season. I see the winter herd of horses munching on grass in home pasture, enjoying the rest that winter offers before the guest season begins.

Even during covid times, I was met with warm hospitality and friendly faces from the full time staff who spent their winter up at Paradise. While there was hardly any snow on the ground when I arrived in May, there was enough for my pup to dig into and roll around in. I couldn’t tell who was more excited to be here, she or I! We had both been waiting for this adventure for months, and were elated to be in Paradise.

As a new ranch crew member, learning the ropes to the office and how Paradise runs its outfit was essential for a great guest season. The details of the office are important but not as enticing as are the fundamental reasons of why Paradise is the way it is, and why so many guests decide to make Paradise their annual vacation. 

While I’m unable to speak on behalf of our guests, I can share my story with you. One of the reasons I decided to move from Nashville to Paradise was due to the sincere and genuine conversations I had with its co-owner and manager, Leah Miller. I applied for many positions at the ranch, but Leah called me for one that was not posted yet, office manager. I was surprised that an owner of the ranch would be so dedicated and involved in hiring, yet now that I’m here I’m not surprised at all. That is just the type of person she is, as well as her husband Clay. Intentional, kind, sincere, and honest -- qualities that are coveted by employees for their employers.

We are lucky to live in such open spaces here at Paradise. Families and guests who visit for their vacation have always left with nostalgia for the ranch, and we are even more lucky for those guests who choose to revisit Paradise year after year, making the ranch more like home to themselves and to us as well. Every stay at Paradise is meaningful, but this one seems to hold a deeper sense of joy, contentment, excitement, and sentiment to each of our guests, both young and old.

After being cooped up in their houses, working from home in a space filled with kids, isolated at home without roommates, not living in proximity to trusted friends or family, handling postponed or canceled plans, figuring out how to do schooling at home, losing a friend or family member during safer-at-home orders, caring or knowing someone who has tested positive, or any other symptom of this pandemic, simply arriving at Paradise is a literal breath of fresh air. 

In the first moments of arrival, I’ve already seen true happiness as guests exit their car, take in the views of the ranch, and just relax as they breathe out the crisp, mountain air. They’re no longer confined and nature is already working her magic. They are so appreciative of a ranch like Paradise being open, and we are so appreciative of them for making the effort to safely travel to us so we can spend a wonderful week of horseback riding, hiking, and fly fishing together!

Don’t get us wrong - we have our COVID-19 procedures in place. We require masks while indoors and we are asking our guests to social distance when outdoors. We take daily crew temperatures and ask our guests to do the same. Guests eat at assigned tables during mealtimes and we have a lot of outdoor evening activities in our newer Pavilion. We want our guests and our crew to be safe throughout the entire season. And after a couple weeks under our cowboy belt buckle, we have found that an exciting dude ranch vacation can still happen when you use safe practices and respect each other enough to follow them for everyone else.

To be at Paradise, surrounded by crew members and guests who make working here an absolute joy, during all that we are experiencing and living through, is beyond a blessing. We only have a few weeks left of the 2020 season yet we are loving every day that we get to spend with our Paradise guest family! We are still accepting reservations for our Adult Weeks. Whether you’re a newbie or a loyal returner, you’re invited and welcomed at Paradise Guest Ranch.