Wickenburg ranch catering to men - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Wickenburg ranch catering to men

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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2007 1:07 am | Updated: 8:06 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

One of Arizona’s most historic guest ranches — Rancho de los Caballeros in Wickenburg — is jumping into the “mancation” business. You know, mancations — weekend stays devoted to a guy’s needs.

Jeff Deming, the general manager at Rancho de los Caballeros, said the new “Guys, Guns and Golf” vacation package the resort came up with is, ironically, the product of past successes with all-female groups.

“We’re in the fourth year of our Giddy-up Gals program, and we’re scheduling groups of women for those packages almost on a monthly basis,” said Deming of the program devoted to women who love to ride horses. “They’re literally overrunning us. And our 'Divot Divas’ (for women golfers) is now in its second year, and going well. I just thought, shoot, the women like these types of special all-female weekends so much, let’s let the guys try it, too.”

Same-sex group vacations seem to be all the rage, Deming noted. Just don’t try to sell him on the term “mancation.”

“It’s a new word, and personally I don’t like that word,” he said. “To me, it’s just a guys’ weekend out. You know, where they tell their wife, 'Hey, honey, I’m going to get away for a couple of days.’ I probably wouldn’t go on a 'mancation.’ ”

For those not familiar with Rancho de los Caballeros, the intimate, 79-room resort located 50 miles northwest of Phoenix was founded in 1947 by Dallas and Edie Gant. The Guys, Guns and Golf program features a two-day, two-night package that includes two rounds of golf, trap and skeet sessions, a massage, an evening cowboy cookout as well as three gourmet meals a day. Costs range from $789 to $947 per person depending on size of room.

What separates “Los Cab,” as the locals call it, from other Western-themed retreats is that the rustic ranch offers an award-winning golf course complete with beautiful bent-grass greens, as well as an awesome 20,000-acre range for kicking back in the saddle.

“Los Caballeros is such an incredible place, which is why the Gants have always called it a guest ranch rather than a dude ranch,” said Deming of the property that is located near notorious Vulture’s Peak with the Bradshaw Mountains in the background.

Activities, which are coordinated and customized for each group, include the aforementioned as well as tennis, swimming, hiking, biking, Jeep tours, nature walks, poker tournaments and sunset hayrides. Meals are shared communal-style in the great room of the resort’s main lodge, which seems perfect for building camaraderie.

“I guess the big thing about these all-female or all-male weekends is that they are a great escape,” Deming said. “For the women, it’s all about bonding, whereas we think the men will probably bond a little less because they’re much more competitive.”

The season at Rancho de los Caballeros starts Oct. 12 and runs through May 11, with the ranch closed in the summer. The Guys, Guns and Golf vacation packages, which are limited to a maximum of 12 guests, are being offered Nov. 30-Dec. 2, Jan. 11-13 and April 11-13.

“We expect these guys’ weekends to be very popular and a lot of fun,” Deming added.

To make a reservation, call (800) 684-5030 or visit www.sunc.com.

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