- When does the ranch open for the season for events and when does it close?
Piney River Ranch’s seasonal opening/closing depends on the road to the ranch, which is opened and closed by the National Forest Service. Late spring snowfall and early fall snowfall can greatly impact drivers’ ability to reach the ranch. Most seasons, we open in late June and remain open until September 30th. In order to avoid cancellations due to the road conditions, we usually book our first event of the season for the third weekend in June and our last event of the season for the third weekend in September. Exceptions can be made with full acknowledgment that Piney River Ranch will not accept responsibility for closures outside of our control, including Forest Service closures. For up-to-date details about our opening and closing dates, visit our website and “like” our Facebook page.
- What are the site fees for an event and what are my options for space?
Site fees can vary from season to season. To lock in our 2012 prices for next season, a signed contract and deposit must be received no later than 7/1/2012.
For the 2012 season our pricing is as follows:
• Large & Small Pavilions, Ceremony Deck, Changing Rooms
• Six-Hour Event (Includes One Hour for Setup)
• Estimated Attendance: 80 to 225 Guests
o Thursday – Sunday (6 hrs) $ 4,750.00
o Monday – Wednesday (6 hrs) $3,500.00
o Additional Site Time: Per Hour $500.00
• Large Pavilion, Ceremony Deck, Changing Rooms
• Six-Hour Event (Includes One Hour for Setup)
• Estimated Attendance: 80 to 200 Guests
o Thursday – Sunday (6 hrs) $ 3,750.00
o Monday – Wednesday (6 hrs) $2,500.00
o Additional Site Time: Per Hour $400.00
• Small Pavilion, Ceremony Deck, Changing Rooms
• Six-Hour Event (Includes One Hour for Setup)
• Estimated Attendance: 30 to 80 Guests
o Thursday – Sunday (6 hrs) $ 2,750.00
o Monday – Wednesday (6 hrs) $2,000.00
o Additional Site Time: Per Hour $300.00
• Event Deck – Ceremony Only, Changing Rooms
• One-Hour Event (Includes One Hour for Setup)
• Estimated Attendance: Up to 175 Guests
o Saturday N/A
o Monday-Thursday (1 hr) $2,500.00
Site fee includes: Use of pavilion facility selected for the time frame specified, set up of tables, benches/chairs for one setup only. Should you require a change of setup for any reason, you will be charged an additional $250 per setup change.
Site fee also includes use of horseshoe pits, playground and 20 percent off canoe rental fees. Rental fee does not include additional beverages, bartender, alcohol and transportation.
- How much time will I have for setup and for the duration of my event included in the site fee?
You will have access to your event space for setup one hour prior to the start of your event. The six-hour event space rental begins when your ceremony starts. For example, if your ceremony begins at 4pm, you will have access to the space at 3pm. If you have rented the space for the six-hour window, your actual event begins at 4pm and ends at 10pm.
If additional time is required at either the beginning or end of your event, there will be a fee of $250/hour. If you have not rented out all accommodations, all music must end at 10pm so as to be respectful to our other guests.
- What are the dimensions of the tables and how many do they seat? Are there benches or chairs, and what do you recommend for seating?
The tables are 8' X 3' and comfortably seat eight adults (four on each side). There are both benches and chairs for up to 200 guests. Best practices from the past recommend benches for the ceremony deck as they blend nicely with the environment from a photography standpoint and also are comfortable for a short period of time. Most people have recommended chairs for the reception if you are planning to have a longer window for dining and socializing. If you choose to use the chairs or benches for both your ceremony and reception, we will move the seating to the reception area following the ceremony. This is required if your party is more than 200 guests. When making your seating charts please determine whether you will have a head table with guests sitting on only one side of the table as this will require additional tables.
- Do you provide linens? Who is responsible for setting linens on the tables?
Piney River Ranch does offer linen service through our contractor. Please note, we do not keep additional linens on property. An accurate count is therefore extremely important. Our linen service rates for 2012 are as follows:
White Tablecloths/White Napkins $2.75 per person
White Tablecloths/Color Napkins $3.00 per person
Color Tablecloths/Color Napkins $3.50 per person
Additional linens for guest book table, gift table and cake table are available for a flat rate of $75.
If any linen items are deemed to be missing at the end of your event, you will be charged the replacement cost.
Piney River Ranch staff will set the tablecloths on the tables. If you would like place settings set on the tables as opposed to having plate and silverware available on the buffet line, an additional $100 service fee will be assessed. With prior agreement you may have access to the plates and silverware for your decorator to set the tables.
Piney River Ranch does not offer table runners at this time. If you choose to bring your own table runners, best practice from prior event hosts indicates that the appropriate length for table runners is 1' x 9'.
- What is allowed in terms of décor and who is responsible for setting up and taking down decorations?
Piney River Ranch does not allow any holes to be placed into our structures for the purpose of decoration. Strings of lights, streamers, balloons and such can be tied to our structure with twine or wrapped around posts. We do not allow any open flames. All candles must be concealed within a closed sided container. Piney River does not assume responsibility for setting up or taking down decorations. With prior arrangement, assistance can be provided for an additional $100 per hour in addition to the additional site fee charges. Pavilions will be ready for decorating one hour prior to your event. Piney River Ranch expects all decorations to be cleaned up one hour after an event. If additional site time is required for cleanup you will be charged $100.
- What accommodations do you offer?
Accommodations and rates for the 2013 season are as follows:
Lakeside Yurt (sleeps 10 – 15) Rates starting at $329
Meadow Yurt (sleeps 10 – 12) Rates starting at $229
Two cabins (sleeps 4) Rates starting at $159
Teepees (sleeps 6) Rates starting at $49
Campsites Rates starting at $25
Note that our campsites do not have hookups, and all accommodations share a guest bathhouse. There are no restrooms in the individual units. Accommodations do not include kitchen facilities. Grills, microwaves and small refrigerators are available (cabins and yurts only) for guest use.
Check-in time is 3:00pm. Check out time is 11:00am. There is no daily maid service. Reservations must be made separately and well in advance.
Our event hosts have the option of reserving all accommodations for $950. With this option, the ranch will be closed to all outside overnight guests. Earlier check-in time for event guests is on a case-by-case basis.
- Are there dining facilities for guests?
Yes! Our Main Lodge will be open daily for lunch and for breakfast and dinner by reservation only. We have a wide variety of house-made items on our menu with a specialty in BBQ meats smoked on-site daily. We are also licensed to sell beer, wine and liquor to our guests.
- How many guests can you accommodate for events?
Expansions are under way and we expect to have them completed for the 2012 season. We are expecting to be able to accommodate approximately 250 guests for an event.
- Can catering menus be customized per event?
Yes! We offer a wide selection for your buffet meal of “ranch-style” offerings. We currently offer four different packages with up to nine different selections of entrees and a multitude of hot and cold sides. Piney River Ranch will be happy to work with you to address any dietary restrictions and customize your menu accordingly.
- Are outside catering vendors permitted?
We do not allow outside catering vendors at this time.
- Can guests bring their own food and beverage?
Overnight guests are free to bring their own food and beverages (nonalcoholic) to Piney River Ranch for their own personal consumption. Day visitors are not permitted to picnic at the ranch, but areas in the National Forest along the road up to the ranch do have some pullouts for picnicking. State law requires that all alcoholic beverages be purchased from the bar. You will be fined for any of your guests who violate our liquor policies, and your guests will be asked to leave the premises. Piney River Ranch does allow our event hosts to provide and serve their own dessert offerings.
- What are the average weather conditions at Piney River Ranch during the season?
Due to our very high altitude, weather conditions can vary greatly throughout the season and change quickly. We recommend that you come prepared for any condition—including snow, rain, heat and high wind.
- Do you have contingent plans in the event it rains during the time of our event?
Our pavilions have canvas sides that can be rolled down to help block adverse weather, but in the event that they are incapable of protecting your whole party, we will do everything we can to provide you with shelter. We cannot guarantee your satisfaction due to adverse acts of nature.
- Any advice for avoiding high altitude sickness?
Guests should prepare ahead of time. Advance to high altitude slowly, allowing your body to adjust. If you’re visiting us from low-altitude locations (i.e., outside of Colorado), try to spend a day or two at lower elevations before ascending. Drink lots of water, get plenty of rest and avoid consumption of alcohol.
- Do you provide transportation from the Vail area?
Piney River Ranch does not provide transportation of our own; however, we will provide you with a list of transportation companies that are permitted.
- What are the directions to the ranch?
Piney River Ranch is just 11 miles from the Vail Valley!
700 Red Sandstone Road, Vail, Colorado 81658
From Denver, take I-70 West to Exit 173 – Vail. Turn right onto the frontage road and stay on it for approximately one mile: Red Sandstone Road will be on your left. Stay on Red Sandstone to get to the ranch; follow the signs and you should arrive in approximately 40 minutes.
The road is not paved, so it can be a little rough—however, four-wheel drive is not necessary.
- Will we have access to the ranch for a rehearsal?
We will be happy to arrange a time for your party to rehearse as long as it doesn't interfere with an event already scheduled. We can also customize a rehearsal dinner with prior reservations.
- Will there be a tasting for our event prior to final menu selection?
Several tastings will be offered in advance of your event. Invitations to tastings will be sent out via email, and reservations will be required. Only two persons will be offered complimentary tastings per event. If you would like to purchase additional tastings, a quote will be provided.
- What are the canoe rental rates?
Canoes are available for rent with rates starting at:
$25 per hour
$80 for half-day (4 hours)
- Are there fire pits, and do we need to bring our own wood?
We have several fire pits to fit your needs. The fire pit near our event space will be provided with firewood to last throughout your event, weather permitting. If your event includes overnight accommodations, one bundle of firewood will be provided, and additional bundles will be available for sale.
- Do you allow pets?
Piney River does allow pets to join their owners on the ranch, so long as they remain on a leash. If you’re staying overnight, we do require a pet accommodation deposit. Guests are responsible for disposing of all pet waste in appropriately provided trash containers. Pets are not allowed in the main lodge and are prohibited from being on the furniture.