New Business Spotlight - Steens Mountain Guest Ranch
The Bend Chamber New Business Spotlight is devoted exclusively to highlighting existing and new members to the Bend Chamber.
By Courtney Linville | Bend Chamber
Looking for that authentic cowboy experience? Or just a place to sit back and relax? Then look no further than Steens Mountain Guest Ranch. This ranch located in Eastern Oregon’s Diamond Valley offers guests the opportunity to live, breathe, eat, sleep, and enjoy the sought-after life that made the American West famous.
Whether herding cattle or just enjoying the breathtaking views Eastern Oregon has to offer, Steens Mountain Guest Ranch Owner Tim O’Crowley says you will have an experience to remember.
Q. How did you get started?
O’Crowley: I have been a “Cowboy” all my life. I love working with horses, cattle and people. Steens Mountain Guest Ranch was an idea that came to me in the fall of 2005. I was riding my horse down from the mountains, where I had been moving some cattle. Before going on down to the barn, I stopped at the top of the rim and was looking out over the ranch where I was employed at the time. I had been doing a lot of thinking about my life that day and as I was sitting there, the thought came to me, “I should start a guest ranch and invite people to come and experience all this with me.”
The dream was born, but the problem was that I did not own a ranch or even have the money to make a down payment on one. I had 6 children and a wife to care for and cowboys don’t exactly have high-paying jobs….at least not by way of money.
Over the next 5 years, my family became very good friends with the wonderful 90 year “young” woman who owned the neighboring ranch. In the fall of 2010, she felt she needed more help to run her ranch and approached me with a proposal: She offered to let us build our guest ranch headquarters on her land and use her ranch as a place to take guests. In exchange, we would agree to work for her part time. We were excited and grateful. God had prepared a way to make it all happen!
Q. What products and services do you offer?
O’Crowley: Guests experience the life of a true cowboy through horseback riding, moving cattle on the range, observing new baby calves as they are born in the spring, building and repairing fences and corrals, branding calves, making ropes, shoeing horses. Guests stay in our beautiful lodge-type home, eating homemade meals and enjoying the beautiful sunsets and quiet surroundings.
In addition to the guest ranch experiences, we also offer lodging and meals to those who would just like a very quiet and serene place to stay in the Diamond Valley while they pursue other interests in the area. We have some of the lowest ambient light in the nation, so our guests enjoy brilliant star-lit nights.
Have you ever heard of the Kiger Mustangs? Our summer range and the Kiger Mustang range border each other, so guests may get to view the Kiger Mustangs while they are here.
Our experiences range in length from 2 hours to one week. We offer a “Ranch Visitor experience” for those who can only spend an hour or 2 with us. This includes a 45-60 minute horseback ride near the Ranch headquarters, where guests can ask all sorts of questions and enjoy the view of the Ranch and Valley. The 3-5 day stay includes riding up in the Steens mountain range and staying in the cow camp, gazing up into the millions of stars at night.
Q: What do you feel makes your business Unique?
O’Crowley: At other resorts or vacation parks you’re merely a number. Here at Steens Mountain Guest Ranch, we offer our guests a unique, intimate, cowboy experience, where our two guests/cowboy limit means that every guest gets individual attention, and firsthand experiences that are customized to fit their physical limits.
Q: What do you want chamber members to know about your business?
O’Crowley: You’re invited to Steens Mountain Guest Ranch, located in the Diamond Valley of Eastern Oregon anytime between March 15th and October 30th. We accommodate small groups, families and individuals. Guests do not need to have any former horseback riding experience before coming. Bend Chamber members get 10% off.
Q: What is your favorite part of the business?
O’Crowley: Interacting with the guests and getting to know them as we do the work. Our lives are enriched so much from the people we meet. We love what we do for a living and love sharing it with people!
Q: How can members find out more about your business?
O’Crowley: Please visit our website at www.oregonguestranch.com or call us at 541-493-1164. Email us @ email@example.com. We would love to talk to you and answer any questions. See ya in the saddle!