The rugged landscape of Wyoming is a haven for vacationers seeking a taste of the great outdoors. But a soon-to-open retreat is poised to position the state as one of America’s most notable destinations for food-focused travelers.
The Farm at Brush Creek, scheduled to open this July, is pushing the boundaries of what amenities guests seek out when staying at a modern, all-inclusive luxury resort. The latest addition to the scenic 30,000-acre Brush Creek Ranch offers vacationers a chance to escape by immersing themselves in the culinary lifestyle.
Though the idea of an all-inclusive resort might inspire images of unlimited alcoholic drinks and full service dining rooms, forward thinking hospitality operators are using their locations to craft more elaborate, mission-driven dining experiences.
“Millennials, in particular, are looking for authentic experiences and to contribute to a sustainable world as they live their lives–and this is now becoming part of how they travel as well,” explains Bruce White, owner of Brush Creek Ranch.
The desire to connect with travelers on an emotional level in order to gain brand loyalty varies, but clearly food and drink are key components of that negotiation. Dogfish Head Brewery’s Dogfish Inn in Lewes, Del. provides craft beer aficionados complimentary 32-ounce growlers along with snacks from local purveyors to enjoy during their stay. The inn also offers unique packages that include special perks at the brewery and distillery, including an offer from a local jeweler in case any couples feel like making a few wedding bands while enjoying some pints.
Further south, on top of hosting cooking demonstrations and food festivals, Blackberry Farm in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains–which had a 76% occupancy rate in 2018, according to a spokesperson–includes its own farmstead field school, where guests can learn about heirloom seed varieties from a master gardener among other activities.
The Farm at Brush Creek is the latest iteration of America’s continued fascination with where food comes from, and perhaps the most ambitious yet. A working cattle ranch that first opened its doors to travelers in 2010, the ranch is committed to sustainability and serving a menu made up of ingredients from the land it owns.
In addition to fly-fishing and big game hunting in Wyoming’s picturesque North Platte River Valley, guests who book a reservation at the ranch can spend their getaways learning the different elements of food and beverage production through a variety of hands-on classes. New features of the property include a 20,000-square foot greenhouse cultivating fresh vegetables and fruits, a creamery making an assortment of dairy products from the ranch’s goat herd, and a bakery dishing out homemade bread and pastries.
For the beverage connoisseur, there’s a brewery, wine cellar, and distillery. The ranch also added a private event venue as well as a restaurant, The Cheyenne Club, which will play host to guest chefs dinners and wine tastings. One of the ingredients that will be prominently featured on menus is Brush Creek’s own ranch-raised Wagyu beef, a key component of the resort’s mission to educate guests on where their food comes from.
“As part of the tours offered at the Farm, visitors will also see a documentary on the history of the breed and be able to see the various cuts of meat and the marbling achieved from our process,” says Mike Williams, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Brush Creek Ranch.
Guests interested in experiencing the amenities of The Farm at Brush Creek must make a reservation at one of the ranch’s onsite lodgings, with all-inclusive pricing beginning at $850 per person, per night. The ranch offers three-, four-, and seven-night reservation packages. Tours are included in the all-inclusive pricing for guests, but additional experiences for guests, such as private chef dinners, begin at $150 per person.