Barbara Lawlor, Boulder County. A horseback ride in the Rocky mountains, followed by some hot tubbing, and a soup and salad bar lunch.
A swim in a pool that has a view of aspens and snow-covered peaks, followed by a hike in the National Forest and a latte or chai in the coffee shop.
Accommodations for a romantic getaway or a rollicking family get together.
The Peaceful Valley Resort is under new ownership and locals, their friends and out-town-relatives are all welcome to come feel the peace.
It has been a year since Dianne and Dan Brauer, with their daughter, Amanda Archibald, and her husband Ben opened Peaceful Valley Resort. It has been a year of weddings and reunions, parties and people just looking for a place to unwind, an exquisitely rustic place with western luxury.
The resort, with its comfortable, classy lodge and multiple cabins has turned out to be the ideal place for the family to live and work along with their staff, who have grown to love their lives in the multi-faceted facility.
Dan Brauer is a Colorado native with a water management degree, as well as a pastor for the last 10 years in Wheatridge. Diane has a degree in social work and has had careers in retail and interior design. She also ran an art gallery. Amanda is a photographer and Ben seems to have become the chef, as well as the guy who does everything.
In recent years, Dan has wanted to find a property that would accommodate both his desire to do water research and his passion for his ministry. The North St. Vrain Creek runs through the resort property and there is an enchanting chapel on top of a rock overlooking the resort, the venue for many weddings, baptisms, vow renewals, and religious services.
The only thing missing on the property is a golf course, but that is just a few miles up Hwy. 7 outside of Estes Park.
For families with children there is a game room in the lower level of the Lodge. For people spending the night, there is a continental breakfast, lunch and a four-star restaurant.
There is also wifi for those who just can’t leave it behind.
The resort was booked solid for special events last year and this summer is already filling up, but that doesn’t mean locals and travelers can’t drop in and for only $5 enjoy the trails and pool and the hot tub. For $15 they experience homemade soup and the organic salad bar that has so many fresh fruits and vegetables and tasty cold meats that one wishes they had larger stomachs. The breads served with the meal are heavenly, the croissants melt in your mouth.
These amenities are included in the money making part of the resort: the lodge and the rooms and cabins. But the Bauers and the Archibalds have bigger plans that would be incorporated into the overall scheme.
“We want our employees to live here and develop small businesses, maybe an auto shop or a hairdresser or a health and wellness center that would keep the staff employed during the slow season and offer more services to the guests.”
Most of all, the families want to reach out to their nearby communities, to bring in people who want a day off from the real world.
Diane will run the gift shop and wifi coffee shop. Amanda will organize weddings, with wedding coordinator Jessica Lecher.
Add to the list of things to do: a professional rock climbing instructor, moister fly fisherman Jim Kilpatrick, the Sundance Stable owner Cindy McCollum’s pack of trail horses, and private hot tubs for rooms. There will be Zumba classes, senior water aquatics and a martial arts group as well.
The family is so committed to becoming part of the Peak to Peak community that they have built a coffin for Frozen Dead Guy Days and will be running in the popular race. They are thrilled that they will get a parking space for entering.
“We are out to win the race,” says Dan, but he’s not revealing his construction secret. Corbin, Amanda’s son, is riding in the coffin.
They say that many people have already reserved rooms for the Frozen Dead Guys Days weekend, but they still have plenty for the people who want to spend the night in the mountains.