Giddyup: T Lazy 7 to offer horseback rides this summer | AspenTimes.com
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Giddyup: T Lazy 7 to offer horseback rides this summer

Allyn HarveyAspen Times Staff Writer

The Maroon Creek ranch where countless locals and visitors mounted their first saddle is back in the horse business.Guided horseback tours begin the second week in June at the T Lazy 7 Ranch. The Thursday night square dance, hayride and cookout is also on the schedule this year, beginning the first Thursday in July.At least part of the motivation behind the ranch’s return to its roots can be found in Dan MacEachen, owner of Krabloonik, a restaurant in Snowmass Village that brings its customers in on dog sleds.MacEachen put his dog sled away for the summer, dusted off his saddle, and formed a new company, Maroon Bells Lodge & Outfitters, to run the spread.The ranch continues to be owned by the Deane family; MacEachen holds the lease to operate it.The T Lazy 7 will continue to rely on private parties and weddings for most of its revenues, said Tammy Vanderpol, the new assistant manager. In fact, the new operators hosted their first event, a rehearsal dinner, over Memorial Day weekend. Maroon Bells Lodge & Outfitters will cater private parties through the winter in the ranch’s dining and dancing hall.Snowmobile tours by members of the Deane family will continue as they have for decades.The family gave up guiding horseback tours in June 2001. Landon Deane said at the time the tours were one of the most time-consuming aspects of their business and the family needed a break.Vanderpol said the new horseback riding operation will look a lot like the old operation. The popular two-hour tour with a meal will be on offer, as will half- and full-day rides and overnight pack trips.”We’re going to have approximately 30 to 40 horses,” Vanderpol said.General manager Pat Holloran said Rodeo Cool, the Thursday night band that’s been a fixture at the ranch for years, will continue to lead Thursday night hoedown participants in line dancing.”I think for the time being we’re going to stay with the Rodeo Cool for our first summer,” Holloran said.But he added that in the future – maybe late this summer or sometime next summer – another barbecue night may be added with other local bands.Allyn Harvey’s e-mail address is aharvey@aspentimes.com