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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Horsetown USA seeking new dude ranch.

Recently a economic development person contacted me from the town of Norco, California. This town's nickname is Horse town USA.

The long-term goal is to develop the town into a horse oriented vacation destination.  Norco is about 50 mile east of Los Angles. They are actively looking for investors to come in and build a resort dude ranch operation to compliment other horse related attractions in the town.  They are offering tax incentives and land prices are reasonable. Favorable grazing leases for horses would also be possible as part of the package.

Concept: With 50-250 rooms, this Western-style resort would strongly reinforce the Norco’s brand of “Horsetown USA.” It would be situated in an area where the resort’s amenities can tie into the rural equestrian lifestyle of Norco, and a site that is secluded from traffic and urban activity. Potential amenities include golf (or privileges at Hidden Valley Golf Club), tennis, swimming, fitness center, full-service spa, fine dining, banquet facilities, parking for horse trailers, and on-site equestrian activities that can be integrated into the City’s existing 140-mile network of trails.
Clientele: Upscale travelers insisting on a greater package of amenities, more attentive service and higher quality on-site dining. Corporate events would also be attracted to this kind of property.
Potential Sites: The prospective site (est. 25-75 acres) requires scenic backdrops and considerable buffering from traffic and development. The best possible location, based on aesthetics and available acreage, is part of a 429-acre parcel in southeast Norco. Some of that property could be leased and much of the activity is compatible with a nature conservancy.

Concept: A more down-to-earth variation on the Western resort concept. Instead of standard guestrooms and suites—or in addition to them—the accommodations might consist of more rustic (but potentially upscale) cabins, casitas or even luxury tents. Most guest ranches are located on working cattle ranches, predominantly in the Rocky Mountain region (some offer riding privileges in nearby National Parks). Very few are located in Southern California and there are none in the Inland Empire. A Norco location would require a deviation from the usual formula, but would offer a unique experience for visitors from L.A. or San Diego.
Clientele: Adventurous upscale travelers looking for a completely different experience relatively close to home. Guest ranches are also popular for corporate team-building events.
Potential Sites: Because guest ranches require extensive trails and grazing land, the minimum size site for this kind of concept is typically 100 acres. However, some of that property could be leased and much of the activity is compatible with a nature conservancy. The best possible location, based on its scenic nature, compatibility with current zoning and ample acreage, is the same 429-acre site in southeastern Norco.

The City of Norco is actively seeking out hospitality industry investors, particularly those experienced with guest ranches or other non-traditional  properties. For more information please contact Ted Harvey 406-314-5330. or visit my web site. 

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