Carson Valley ranch owners offer groups a taste of the Ponderosa

GARDNERVILLE, Nev. -- Groups can rent a historic ranch overlooking the towering, snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada, just 15 miles south of historic Carson City.

"This is beautiful Carson Valley. The Sierra Nevada mountains in front of us are over 10,000 feet high, so this is really a gorgeous place," said Paula Corley, who with her husband, Paul, owns and operates a 158-acre working ranch with Texas longhorns and Angus cattle, as well as performance horses.

The ranch, which dates to the 1890s, can be rented for conferences, meetings, picnics, parties, weddings and family reunions. The rental is commissionable to travel agents at 10%.

The Corleys bought the property two years ago as a working ranch, "but we found out that we needed to do something else to generate an income," said Paula Corley.

The rental price for the ranch is $40 an hour for fewer than 50 people and $50 an hour for fewer than 100 people. The price for more than 100 people is $600 for five hours.

"The reason we charge more for smaller groups is that they tend to stay a shorter time," Corley said. Groups of 100 or more that want to stay more than five hours pay $100 an hour.

The Corleys do not supply food, but they do recommend suppliers. Groups have the use of a cook shack with a kitchen area. There is also a meeting room that will hold 40 people and a large historic barn. Guests also have the use of a horse-drawn wagon for touring the ranch.

Activities that can be arranged include dining under the stars, barn dances, sing-a-long sessions, toasting marshmallows and storytelling. The area is known for its cowboy poets.

"Guests can also watch a sheep dog demonstration or a team-roping demonstration, or even try cow roping themselves," she said.

Many visitors end up posing with cowboys or Indians who visit the ranch in costume to give lectures on history and culture.

The ranch can accommodate several hundred people outside or up to 40 for inside events. It's open from May through October. The ranch, which recently opened to groups, is 14 miles east of Lake Tahoe.

Corley Ranch
Phone: (775) 265-3045

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI