What's in store at Blue Coyote for the next year? The below will explain some of our hopes and dreams for property improvements, business strategy changes and marketing goals.
Re-seeding native grasses: Like everyone in Salida, we got slammed with tumbleweeds summer of '23. Although we know your western fantasy often feature these little balls of weeds, we despise them as do most local landowners. While they are quaintly rolling across our property they are also spreading HUNDREDS of seeds and in some areas regrow, pushing out native plants, snagging your clothes and looking ugly. We are so excited to have land expert, Mel Hickman, advising us on how to reseed native grasses to restore our property to its natural, native beauty. This is actually a massive project when you have 33 acres. We will spend thousands of dollars acquiring native seed out of Cotopaxi, then will need to spread it and water it, all at the perfect time based on 2024's weather patterns. This is a huge investment, but we strongly believe in being stewards for the land, and supporting native plant growth is a something that requires a long view for us as a community to prevent the takeover of invasive plants.
Fix the roof on our stage: We have tried a number of solutions for the roof of our stage and we are finally giving in and just building a proper roof, similar to what would be on a house. The roof needs to be waterproof and be able to handle a snow load so this seems like the right route.
Add to and maintain our current walking trails/Off-leash areas
This has been on our list for quite a while and I hope this year we can make some headway on it! The current Pinon Trail needs some love, brush cleared and a few areas fixed that have been washed out. We would love to build additional trails and an additional off-leash dog park, but I am not sure if we will have the budget and time available to get it all done. What do you think? Would these additions significantly improve your Blue Coyote experience?
Update the Cabins to match the Lodge Style: Our cabins were built in 2007 so they are relatively new and still in great shape. That said, we'd like to do a little redecorating so they match the mountain modern style of the Lodge. This will involve adding new art, adding quartzite countertops, redoing carpet and window coverings, and updating a few other things, budget allowing.
Business Strategy Changes
Groups, weddings, reunions and retreats: We have hosted groups of all types on the ranch and we have realized this is really our special sauce when it comes to competitive advantages. Not to mention, we really love the good vibes that come with a group renting the whole property and building their special weekend. We are going to gear our business towards these types of bookings over the next year. We will still accept the regular nightly bookings, but in some cases these may only be available the month or two prior to check-in date.
Gift Shop Expansion and Front Office: We will be moving and expanding our gift shop so that it is more accessible to cabin guests as well as Lodge guests. Our plan is to start carrying small sundries like chips, drinks, ramen noodles and things like that in addition to our Blue Coyote swag.
As a part of the gift shop we will also be building ourselves a front office. We will maintain our self-service model so the desk won't be staffed 24/7, however, when we are working we will have an open door policy so that guests can stop in and say hello or ask us about anything they may need assistance with.
Marketing Strategy Changes
Social Media: To be 100% honest, I do not love social media and do not maintain personal accounts on any platform! That being said, as a business owner it's my responsibility to be where my people are!
For that reason I have decided to start to put real care and effort into our social media presence. So far, I have been enjoying it more than I thought! It's fun to connect with all our past and future guests and share what we are working on, what we've done, and what we love about Salida and Chaffee County. Let me know if I am posting the content you love by hitting the like or share button! I need the encouragement, trust me!
Blog Posts: Well I am here aren't I!? I will be regularly updating our blog since the tech experts say that Google wants to see constant "fresh" content. So stop by anytime and see what is going on in my brain this month! And if you really want to do me a solid, spend some time reading a post because apparently Google tracks that and then thinks I am a better business. :)
Also, do you have a website where you might be able to link to our website? That is called a backlink and it is the golden goose of search optimization! If you are up for linking to me, I will create a post about your business and link you right back!
Paid advertising: We have also started a Google ads campaign, social media advertising and some wedding directory advertising. Do you have any ideas for hyper local advertising that would reach skiers or other Colorado locals? Let us know! We feel this might be the last puzzle piece in our overall advertising strategy.
What do you think?
Of course none of these items are guaranteed to be completed (or even started) in 2024! We have learned that the old adage about the plans of mice and men rings very true in our business! It's still fun to plan and dream and we are always able to make progress each year towards our final vision for the property. Which improvements would you be the most excited about? What do you think would be best for our business? Let us know on social media or in the comments!