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Archive for the ‘Accomodations’ Category

Building a Guest Ranch

May 24th, 2010 by bc guest ranches

Big Creek Lodge

The Big Creek Lodge is classified as a Canada Select Four Star "Country Inn".

If you’ve ever visited a guest ranch, you may have had this overwhelming feeling that there would be no better job in the world than to own and run a guest ranch of your own. The benefits are countless – live in a beautiful part of the world with animals of all kinds, working with horses on a daily basis, live in a gorgeous log home and get to meet people from all over the world. But what does it take to start up a guest ranch? It’s no piece of cake that’s for sure.

Take Big Creek Lodge for example. Owners Joe and Sabine Hoessl started out with the traditional cattle ranching on a range of more than 25,000 acres in the beginning of the 80’s. They then decided they wanted to share this once in a lifetime experience of the land with others, so they built their first cabin for guests to stay in. It was a huge hit! The guests loved the fresh air and the absolute peace and quiet of the cabin.

The Hoessl’s soon encountered a dilemma. The cabin was always booked full because the guests would always book for the following year. So they decided it was time to think bigger in order to satisfy their many guests. That was the beginning of the Big Creek Lodge.

The Big Creek Lodge consists of massive white cedar logs, that were found on the Pacific Coast of BC. From the first cut to the last nail, it took the Hoessl’s a good four years to build their vision. In this time everyone worked from dusk till dawn. Skilled carpenters were few and far between, so they were forced to employ the help of the local natives who were unskilled in this area of expertise. Joe’s solid German education as a carpenter became invaluable.

The lodge has been classified as a Canada Select Four Star “Country Inn” and it is the only four star Country Inn in this region. It accommodates ten guests in five comfortable rooms. All rooms have a cozy interior, floor heating and a private bathroom. There is also a roomy lounge and a dining area warmed by a massive stone fireplace. Their homestyle country kitchen serves you breakfast, lunch and dinner in a relaxed atmosphere.

Additional cabins were also added, which are nestled among the trees lining the Big Creek, giving guests a feeling of remoteness and comfort. There are two bedrooms for four guests or a family with kids, private bath and equipped with a living room in every cabin. From the porches of the cabins, where comfortable seats surround a massive table, guests overlook the creek and the breathtaking wilderness.

Guests can enjoy sitting on their cabin's porch overlooking the creek and surrounding wilderness.

Guests can enjoy sitting on their cabin's porch overlooking the creek and surrounding wilderness.

History Lesson

May 20th, 2010 by bc guest ranches

Big Bar Guest Ranch is nestled in the rolling hills of the Cariboo where time has no meaning. The ranch dates back to 1933 when Harry Marriott and George S Harrison purchased the ranch (back then it was a cattle ranch) and started the OK Ranching Co Ltd.

The Harrison House, (where today’s guests enjoy relaxing in front of the stone fireplace) was built for George Harrison in 1936 to house his family, as well as any guests who may come visit from the coast.Harrison and Marriott sold the OK Ranch in the 1950’s to a family from Vancouver, the Squarrey’s. The family built the two older cabins that still remain at Big Bar today. They were originally built to accommodate their friends who came to visit.

The Harrison House is where Big Bar guests gather and enjoy each others company.

The Harrison House is where Big Bar guests gather and enjoy each others company.

As the Squarrey children grew and married and moved back to the coast, the ranch was left to a caretaker until Brian Gunn and his wife bought the ranch in 1989. Brian was an engineer and he and his wife were looking for a slower pace for themselves and their two boys. Their dream was to own a guest ranch, so they quickly built the Sagebrush inn and added two more cabins and four tipi’s to accommodate guests. In 1997 Brian Gunn sold the ranch to Anne Freeman, who ran the ranch for 10 years before selling it to Elise-Marie and Kresten Vestergaard, who lived in Denmark.

Elise-Marie and Kresten made their first visit to the Cariboo in 2006 where they stayed at Big Bar Ranch, which at the time was up for sale. Like so many others, the couple fell in love with the Cariboo, the land, wildlife and the ranch life. For them the ranch is about the passion for the cowboy way of life, and getting back to a simpler way of living. With the purchase of Big Bar Guest Ranch, the Vestergaard’s feel that they found their own little corner of heaven, which they want to share with people from all over the world.

Elise-Marie and Kresten still live in Denmark where they run their farm and a breeding facility for American Paint Horses. They come to their dream ranch as much as possible. They wish everyone a good time, with good food, good riding and great memories.

Big Bar tipis.

Big Bar tipi's.