March 2019 Business of the Month: Chipeta Solar Springs Resort & Spa
In an ongoing effort to promote and get to know our local businesses, the Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to introduce our March 2019 RACC Business of the Month:
Chipeta Solar Springs Resort & Spa
Please tell us about the business owners.
Owners Jack Young is originally from North Dakota, and Patsy Young is originally from Florida. They have been living on the Western Slope for more than 45 years, and moved to Ridgway permanently in 1988 when Kauai, Hawaii was devastated by Hurricane Iniki. Jack designs and builds houses and commercial buildings in Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, and Fiji.
Who is the general manager?
General Manger Tamara Wilder joined the Chipeta Resort team in May 2018, bringing with her more than 20 collective years of experience in marketing, property management and hospitality.
Previously, Tamara provided general management oversight for Telluride Ski Resort’s nightly stay accommodations. Her business management career began in the 1990s in California, where for a decade, she gained a wealth of knowledge and real-world experience in strategic marketing and operations. Throughout the past 10 years, Tamara has focused on leading resorts in providing outstanding guest services, marketing strategies, and effective operations support for resort owners, rental home owners and investors.
What was the inspiration to start this business?
In the early 1990s, inspired by a trip to Mesa Verde National Park, Jack started designing and building in Ridgway. He had an integral part in the Solar Ranch development here, and after receiving an offer to build a commercial structure in the development, Jack designed the original Chipeta Sun Lodge, which was a 12-room bed and breakfast that opened in 1993.
The lodge has expanded to 33 uniquely designed accommodations, as of this year. It is an integral part of the community, housing local guests, events and visitors, while bringing income to and contributing to the community at large. Jack and Patsy are continually inspired by the beautiful surroundings and the Native American and western heritage of the area.
How did it get its name?
The resort is named in honor of Chipeta, the wife of the great Ute Chief Ouray. She became a famous figurehead, well-known by the press. She often represented the Ute nation as a delegate to lobby the United States Congress, and met with President Taft.
What is your mission statement and business goals?
Our mission is: owners and resort staff strive to provide guests with the best possible experience in a welcoming environment.
Our business goals include: providing guests with outstanding guest services and lodging accommodations throughout the summer and winter seasons. Chipeta is a destination resort for travelers to experience the best of adventure, dining and music experiences that our region has to offer.
Please tell us more about the features of your resort?
Chipeta Resort has been a welcoming oasis for visitors to relax, recharge and adventure throughout the Western Slope wilderness. Guests wake up to the sun rising over the San Juan Gateway, and enjoy soaking in Chipeta's 103-degree, solar-heated pool or private deck hot tub. Jack and Patsy have continued to expand the property including the addition of deluxe rooms with private hot tubs and balconies, a full-service Spa, Kiva Event Center, award-winning Four Corner's Restaurant and the rooftop Sky Bar, two outdoor, solar-heated pools, and the T Lazy P Ranch Ti Pi courtyard.
We have a peaceful location in Ridgway and are centrally located for guests to walk to everything Ridgway has to offer. Plus, we are open year round.
Your perfect getaway starts with arriving to our welcoming staff, receiving a tour of the resort property at check-in, and enjoying a house-baked cookie on the way to your lodging accommodations. Hike, Jeep, fish, or ski throughout the region; there is something for everyone to enjoy. Then return back to Chipeta Resort and immerse yourself in a well-deserved experience at the Spa, complete with circular cedar sauna, steam room, yoga facilities, therapeutic massage, and facial treatments. Your stay would not be complete without dinner and drinks at the on-site, rooftop Sky Bar and Four Corner's Restaurant.
What do you like most about Ridgway?
The small-town atmosphere, rural nature of the community and proximity to the mountains.
What is your biggest challenge, what are your biggest rewards?
Our biggest challenge running a business in Ridgway is finding qualified staff and housing for them. Our biggest rewards are meeting and engaging with the diversity of our guests.