January 30th, 2018 by Corey Edwards
Pat just got back from the 2018 DRA Convention in Denver, Colorado. The Dude Ranchers’ Association conferences are a favorite of Pat’s to attend. She has become friends with so many of the ranchers and vendors.
The 2018 DRA Convention celebrated 92 years of Dude and Guest Ranches working together. It was also special because it was held in conjunction with The Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch Association (CDGRA).
The Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) represents over 100 dude and guest ranch members. The 2018 DRA Convention drew in half the membership of the organization, not to mention all the associate members and vendors who were also on hand.
DRA conferences concentrate on hospitality, marketing, and risk management in the Dude & Guest Ranch Industry. Speakers talked on a host of topics. Titles included “You Raised Us – Now Work with Us: Millennials, Career Success, and Building Strong Workplace Teams” and “True Colors – The Art of Working and Communicating with One Another,” to name just a few.
Dude Ranchers are an intense group and they attended every session. Although the DRA marketing budget is not large, they leverage it into millions of dollars of PR in print, TV, and online. The DRA website easily ranks as one of our busiest sites, with over 300,000 unique visitors per year!
One of the best aspects of DRA conventions is the friendly camaraderie in evidence among the vendors and ranchers. Maybe it’s all the fresh air and sun they get but it is very clear that the Guest Ranch Industry prides itself in not just creating wonderful vacations for visitors but also viable jobs with happy workers.
Dude Ranches are a unique niche in the lodging industry because what they offer is more experiential than most other types of lodging. Dude Ranches are often passed from one generation to another and the guests they attract are multi-generational, too.
As an example, Eaton’s Ranch, in Wolf, Wyoming is one of the oldest Dude Ranches in the United States. Five generations have managed the ranch and five generations of guests from the same families have visited each summer. Totally unique.
In today’s cynical world, Dude Ranchers stand out as breed apart. Working with them is relational and refreshing. More often than not, your word, a handshake, and a smile are a good part of a contract. Doing what you say you’ll do is the expectation, not the exception!
InsideOut has been working for Dude Ranches for over nine years. The two DRA websites we have built during this time have performed well. Further, we have developed some happy relationships with many individual ranches and continue to work to help keep their ranches full and in their families.
Here’s to 92 more years (at least), for the DRA!