“Another new program we are now just starting is the Pro Baja Truck driving school,” he says. “This is a one-of-a-kind off-road performance driving school with Pro Baja Trucks capable of racing the Baja 1000. This hands-on training and driving school is conducted on our private 2-mile course about six miles from the main resort. And the slightly less adventurous [guests] can select to ride along with one of our professional instructors.” The Pro Baja Truck driving school, in fact, is part of the resort’s new Driven Experiences program, which next year will roll out a luxury fleet for guest use (during our visit, we heard whispers of Bentleys…).
For some down time clients can take a tour of Hendricks’ personal automobile collection at the onsite Gateway Auto Museum. On view are cars from every era of the industry, with more than 45 on display at one time, including a couple of ice cream trucks that are a treat to the eyes and the one-of-a-kind 1954 Oldsmobile F-88. There’s also The Founders Series at the onsite Discovery Theater, which is an ongoing selection of Discovery Channel’s films hand-picked by Hendricks from the more than 40,000 hours of video in the Discovery Library.
get some sleep & get pampered
It will be hard for clients to tear themselves away from all these activities and that stunning scenery, but sleep we must and the resort’s 58 adobe-style accommodations are just as delightful with a decor that pays homage to the surroundings. Clients will find pass-through fireplaces, custom-crafted Peruvian furniture, over-sized patios equipped with hot spring spas, gas fireplaces and amazing views of the iconic Palisade rock formation, especially as the sun is coming up. There are two lodges on the resort to choose from, the Kiva Lodge, surrounding the Kiva Lodge pool, and the recently debuted Kayenta Lodge, including signature rooms with a private outdoor patio, in-ground hot tub and fire pit. Summer 2013 will see the debut of the Palisade Casitas, which, Sharp says, “are large, stand-alone 2-bedroom units with a complete pool complex. We believe these new casitas will be the perfect accommodation for families of all types.”
We also recommend clients take some time off from their activities to indulge in a little bit of pampering at the intimate spa—the staff is supremely serviceable and the treatments are a perfect complement to all the adventures under the Southwestern sun. And of course, come nighttime, there are onsite culinary experiences that are a must try—even in its cuisine the resort has managed to pay tribute to the surroundings with locally inspired dishes that use venison, river salmon and pork. Every dish we had during our visit was supreme, not a surprise given the hotel’s association with Noble House Hotels & Resorts.
“We want to give people experiences that are local and authentic to the environment,” says Gavin of Noble House. “You can get a room anywhere, but it’s not about the room, it’s about the experiences—it’s about the culinary experiences; the arrival experiences; and it’s about the destination experience.”
In fact, because a stay here is so multi-dimensional Sharp says travel agents shouldn’t limit themselves to adventure-junkies. “The very best thing about a successful vacation is the everlasting memories that are made, and Gateway Canyons, for a passive user, a passionate learner or an adrenaline-junkie or any combination of the three will most certainly ensure memories that will be carried on in the hearts and souls of all who stay here.”
Rates range from $449 per night to $859 per night throughout October; from Nov. 1 through December, rates range from $249 per night to $659 per night.
The resort is also offering a standard first-time guest promotional rate of $299 per night, as well as various winter packages including the Gateway to Romance package starting at $399 per night. The package includes 1-night accommodations at Kayenta Lodge; $100 resort credit to be used in any of the outlets; bottle of locally sourced Colorado wine upon arrival; complimentary admission to the auto museum between 9:30 a.m.-10 a.m.; Founders Series movies showing daily in the HD theater, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; 15 percent off air tours, spa, equestrian, and adventure packages; in-room wireless Internet; and complimentary valet parking.
You can arrive at the resort on the aforementioned Cessna or drive from the nearest regional airport, Grand Junction. Featuring over 19 daily departures to Denver, Phoenix and Salt Lake City, the airport is served by Allegiant, American Eagle, Delta Air Lines, United and US Airways.
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