The First Annual ‘Wilderness Games’

Take a hiatus from the typical hiatus to get some serious adventure in this year! The Resort at Paws Up is offering an exciting spring break challenge in the now-to-be Annual Wilderness Games.

The winter Olympics in Sochi have closed, so it’s time to get ready for summer in Rio 2016 by winning gold at Paws Up! Do you have a Katniss Everdeen or Robin Hood in the family who can split an arrow down the center? Does your household boast expert Nintendo Wii hand-eye-coordination?  Any resident golfing proteges who could rival Happy Gilmore while fishing like Jeremy Wade?  Wanna try?

The Wilderness Games are taking place during scheduled weekends in both March and April. We’ll tally up the scores each weekend and award prizes to the families with the highest points. Then, at the conclusion of the games, the family with the highest cumulative score will win the grand prize of a return stay at Paws Up with airfare included! Among the games: archery, horseback egg and spoon race, sporting clays, and fly-casting golf.

Sporting Clays

Join an experienced shotgun instructor for a fun and competitive adventure at our Sporting Clays course. After some practice, show off your dead-eye aim in a scored round.

Sporting Clays

Archery

Channel your inner Katniss Everdeen at our professional archery course. Expert instruction by our guides will ensure that you’re on target for this unique and exciting competition.

Horseback Egg and Spoon Race

Put your equestrian skills to the test in the Saddle Club arena by completing a timed lap that weaves around barrels all while keeping an egg steadily secured in a spoon the entire way.

Horse Riding

Fly Casting Golf

The art of fly casting can be challenging to master, but with instruction from our expert fishing guides we’ll have you casting like a pro as you participate in a friendly game of “golf.”

Flycast Golfing

All of this while relaxing in your very own home away from home. When staying at The Resort at Paws Up the best amenities are on hand during your visit. Luxury vacation homes mean an ideal intersection of privacy and peace with the best Montana scenery. Towering oaks are your nearest neighbors along with the Blackfoot River and tranquil creeks. Fine dining can be found in The Village and transportation around The Ranch is easy and complimentary.

The whole family will enjoy showing off the best of their skills (with expert instructors on hand for fine tuning) during the Wilderness Games. This is the breakout season for these annual games and your family name could make Paws Up history and, more importantly, legends within your own family history! Trick your kids into being active outdoors through some friendly competition. It’s their perfect adventure with your preferred creature comforts. Action packed days with rejuvenating nights.

You’ve been the tourist, the sunbather, the GPS. Cruises are compact, beaches are crowded, and we all know the locals in tourist cities already have their hands full. The Big Sky offers a rejuvenating getaway without the worry of kids wandering into crowds or becoming bored while cooped up in the hotel. Consider spending your well-deserved vacation in the Montana wilderness – with the possibility of winning a complimentary return visit including airfare (restriction apply). It’s a spring break experience that your kids will be talking about for years.

Paws Up also boasts numerous off-the-scoreboard activities to pair alongside the Wilderness Games. ATV tours, horseback riding, river rafting, along with so much more! Enjoy spa treatments pre-game to sharpen the senses and steady the hand. Yoga is available in the Spa Town fitness tent at The Village at Paws Up as well!

The April 2 – 5 games weekend has already sold out, so be sure to make your reservation ASAP! Call or chat online today with a Paws Up representative and ask about March 26 – 29 or April 9-12 for “Wilderness Games” specials.

 

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Perfect Place for a Wedding

First of all, congratulations to the happy couple Chad and Amber! And secondly, praise deservedly goes to Moonstone Pictures for producing an elegant and emotionally charged wedding video. Try to watch it without cracking a smile – impossible.

You can read more about Chad and Amber’s story here.

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Commemorate Your Montana Vacation With Your Smartphone

At The Resort at Paws Up, set in picturesque Montana with the Blackfoot River flowing through it and the endless big sky serving as the backdrop, most guests could easily fill up a couple photo albums with all of their snapshots.   Who wouldn’t want to commemorate such a memorable Montana vacation?  Sometimes though, the images taken from a smartphone leave a lot to be desired.  Whether you are taking photos of the landscape or of your child’s first time on a horse, here are some tips to get the most out of your smartphone photographs.

The first things to consider are the resolution and image quality settings.  It may seem like a no brainer, but it is advisable to set your camera to take pictures in the highest quality (usually labeled “superfine”) and resolution.  Each photograph will take up more memory, but will be of a much better quality.  A higher resolution will allow you to have a larger image and if needed, you can always resize the image to a smaller resolution and keep the same image quality.  Trying to convert a lower resolution photograph to a larger size will result in poor image quality.

Capturing great photographs of your kids can be an arduous task.  Getting them to stand still to pose for a shot or trying to capture that big moment when they catch their first fish can be an exercise in patience.  To help make these tasks go a little bit more smoothly, preparation is key.  Make sure to have your smartphone ready and all settings adjusted to your liking.  One setting in particular to look at would be white balance; this adjusts the image based on the warmth of the lighting.  For example, a fluorescent light bulb has a bluish or cool hue which can make anything that is white in the image have a blue tint.  For outdoor photos, most camera phones have two white balance settings, one for sunny days and one for cloudy days.  Try taking several photographs using different settings to figure out which images come out best before it’s time to take the real shots.  To capture action shots, try using your camera’s continuous drive or burst mode.  In this mode, the camera will rapidly shoot a series of pictures when you press the shutter button and then you can look through and choose which image came out the best.  For those using an iPhone, this functionality is not built in, but, there’s an app for that!  Two top apps to try are Photoburst or Quadcamera.  Most Android devices do have this functionality built in, but for those that do not, or for a more robust menu of options, try Action Snap or Fast Burst Camera.

For photographing the natural beauty of the landscapes that can only be found at a place like Paws Up, try using the HDR functionality.  This functionality is built into the iPhone and Android users can download a free app such as HDR Camera.  HDR stands for high dynamic range imaging and works to correct over and under exposure seen on landscape images.  This is caused when a shot has a lot of different lighting in it, from shadows to very bright sun light.  For instance, a landscape could have the bright sun glaring overhead down on a lake that creates reflections and then deep shadows underneath a group of trees.  Typically a camera phone tries to adjust the image based on just one of these light conditions which does not do justice to the other areas of the image where different light conditions are present.  With the HDR setting, the phone will actually take multiple shots at different exposures when the shutter button is pressed and then combine the best of the images into one image.  This creates a dramatic image with beautiful shadowing and highlights.

When you are back at home after a fun-filled trip to The Resort at Paws Up and it is time to upload your photographs to your computer, keep in mind that even professional photographers do a little bit of post processing to their photos – it’s not cheating! There is an abundance of free programs and websites out there for image editing, ranging from the simple to use like picmonkey.com, to more advanced programs like pixlr.com, to complex programs like GIMP 2.  Programs like these allow users to edit out redeye or glare.  While photo editing may seem like too much work for your family vacation photo album, it can be a great way to make some of the most special images even more beautiful.

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Paws Up: The True American Theme Park

Part of the fun of a vacation for most people is the opportunity to relax and unwind.  Day-to-day life for many people is stressful, and a vacation is the perfect opportunity to “get away.”  Yet year after year, families continue to go to Disneyland and other theme parks and return from their vacation more depleted and stressed than when they left. While vacations at Disneyland may be fun, they are certainly not relaxing.  There is nothing relaxing about waiting in line for up to 2 hours to enjoy a ride that lasts for only ten to twenty minutes.  Adults barely have the patience for that kind of wait, let alone children. Where is the fun in having to meticulously prepare for a vacation so as to avoid the crowds and lines?  Why should you have to read and adhere to an in-depth guide and constant strategic planning to enjoy your vacation?  For that matter, why do many Disneyland guides actually recommend taking a break from your vacation?  Your vacation is supposed to be the break!

At The Resort at Paws Up, a true Montana Ranch all of the planning is taken care of for you. Simply let us know what you want to do and we make it happen. If you would like to spend an afternoon being pampered in Spa Town, we’ll arrange it for you.  And don’t worry, your kids will have a blast, too! Send them on a day of adventure with our Kids Corps of Discovery.  The Kids Corps of Discovery will provide children with plenty of entertainment and wilderness education (your kids will be having so much fun, they won’t even realize they are learning!)  Activities include a petting zoo, a scavenger hunt, swimming, kayak excursions, lessons on the basics of building a fire, and much, much more, all under the watchful eye of our trained and caring staff. You and the kids can convene at the end of the day for a gourmet meal. For memorable days together, the whole family can enjoy activities such as learning how to ride a horse, hot air ballooning over the breathtaking Blackfoot Valley, or canoeing.

Where a Disneyland vacation offers corn dogs, nachos, and frozen hamburgers, or two-star food at a five-star price, at The Resort at Paws Up you can expect fresh, locally sourced ingredients, carefully prepared to showcase the freshness and quality of the cuisine.  In fact, the person preparing your meal can tell you exactly where each vegetable and cut of meat came from. Try posing this question to the Disneyland employee schlepping corn dogs. On second thought, don’t – do you REALLY want to know where that corn dog came from?

Where a Disneyland vacation offers crowds of people crammed into small spaces, The Resort at Paws Up offers guests 37,000 acres of wide-open spaces and big, blue Montana skies.  Step outside of your glamping tent or private home at Paws Up, and take a deep breath of the fresh air, lightly scented by the towering Ponderosa pines, and hear the quiet murmur of the Blackfoot River.  Try to do the same at Disneyland.  And the best part is you won’t need to spend the entire day telling your children not to run off, lest they be lost in the throngs of people.

At the end of the day, when you and your family are exhausted – not from the stress and frustration of a day spent fighting crowds, but from a day chock full of exhilarating activities, you can retire to your luxury accommodations and The Last Best Bed®.  Now how’s that for a vacation?

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Where We’re Going Glamping

For many people, the term “camping” conjures images of dirty sleeping bags, flimsy tents that provide little protection from the elements and more insects than all the bug spray in the world could handle. But experiencing the great outdoors can be a very comfortable and, dare we say, luxurious experience.


The Resort at Paws Up, Greenough, Montana

Simply mention Montana and most people envision sweeping vistas and rugged landscapes. And The Resort at Paws Up certainly encompasses that pioneer-esque imagery, but it also throws in an element of undeniable opulence. Currently, there are four luxury camps to choose from here—there’s the Moonlight, Creekside, Pinnacle and River—each featuring views and characteristics all their own. In June, the newest luxury camp, Cliffside Camp, will join the roster. Resting on the banks of the Blackfoot River (the setting for the Norman Maclean novella A River Runs Through It), Cliffside Camp features four two-bedroom tent suites and two one-bedroom honeymoon tents, each as luxuriously rustic as the next. Every suite has in-room bathrooms (no dirt holes on this camping trip), air conditioning, and a camp butler and chef.

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Interview: Stephen Beaumont, CEO of Paws Up

Stephen Beaumount’s illustrious 35-year career in the luxury hospitality sector has included management titles at Keswick Hall, The American Club, The Old Course Hotel Golf Resort and Spa in St. Andrews and Biras Creek Resort in the British Virgin Islands. He has been the CEO of The Resort at Paws Up, Montana, since last October.

Thank you for your time! How is business at Paws Up?
We are excited to be getting ready for our busiest season ever. Our forward bookings are ahead of previous years and the summer months will be extremely busy. However with 37,000 acres of land, our guests will never feel crowded.

Where are your guests coming from these days?
Paws Up guests come from all over the USA and increasingly from overseas. It is easy to get here from many areas of the country and only a 35-minute drive from Missoula International Airport which has great summer connections.

How do they hear about you?
I think that most people hear about us through word of mouth or a connection (often by social media) to our website. We have a very creative marketing and PR team who work hard to get the word out, not only about our “glamping” experiences, for which we have become rather famous, but also the beautiful homes and the extraordinary menu of activities available.

You’re an Englishman in Montana and most recently a resident of the British Virgin Islands, where you managed Biras Creek Resort. How is the change of scenery treating you?
I can’t compare the two. The British Virgin Islands are spectacularly beautiful and yet the natural beauty and the combination of mountains, plains and rivers here in Montana has a rawness, a pristine yet wild side that makes me catch my breath every morning. The vistas seem to change almost every minute and I love the changes of season. They don’t call this Big Sky Country for nothing and it is just as well that my office chair is sited with my back to the windows or I would never get any work done!

How and when did you first hear about Paws Up?
Paws Up has been on my radar for several years now. I have had colleagues who have worked here at some point in their careers and it is the first place you look at when investigating the luxury camping model, which I have done in depth in at least one of my former positions. Paws Up is undoubtedly a pioneer of that concept and so it is a huge honor to now be heading up the wonderful team here and expanding the glamping business even further this year.

The ranch re-opens in April for the summer season. Are you expecting a busy spring as well?
We have a number of groups who are staying with us in April and May. It is a perfect location for a company to hold a retreat and combine some team building and meetings with the myriad activities on offer. Of course we also have an amazing chef and, close to my heart, an eclectic and unusual wine list. Work and leisure combine in very appealing ways at Paws Up!

If you were a guest of Paws Up, what would your perfect day be like?
I love the sunrises and I would try to capture the beauty of the pink glows over the mountains on my camera before going to Trough for a hearty breakfast. Although we offer many healthy options I would likely order huckleberry pancakes and a cup of locally roasted coffee that has been blended for us new for the season. Then off to the Wilderness Outpost for the first activity of the day. Perhaps a half-day of fly fishing on the Blackfoot River (made famous by “A River Runs Through It”) under the watchful and encouraging eye of one of our guides.

Having worked up an appetite and hopefully having caught a trout or two (we are strictly catch and release here), I would go back to the village for lunch and meet up with my wife who may have been enjoying a more leisurely activity at the spa, and sample some casual Montana fare. Perhaps a bison burger or some great chilli — not too spicy but just enough heat to keep the taste buds alive, all washed down with a local micro brew. I’ve become a little obsessed with the local beers even though my real passion is wine!
An afternoon activity seems to be beckoning, this time with my wife and arranged by our Personal Concierge, and so we may opt to go to the shooting club for some sporting clays, take a private horseback riding lesson or an ATV tour. We’re not brave enough to rappel the 163 feet down to the river from Lookout Rock nor do the whitewater rafting, but plenty of our guests are!

After our afternoon activity, back to our tent or luxury home to get changed and sit and relax on the deck before dinner and take in the views. If I am staying in one of the luxury camps, dinner will be served by the Camping Butler in the Dining Pavilion and prepared by our Camp Chef. If we’re in a home, we’ll drive our personal golf cart or Kia to the village where we will choose either the casual fare of Trough or the more fine dining (but still distinctly local Montana driven) Pomp. We’ll have a cocktail and enjoy a bottle of northwestern wine — perhaps a Washington State Merlot or Oregon Pinot Gris. Chef Adam’s simple and yet deceptively sophisticated cuisine will ensure that those taste buds are very, very happy!

The sun sets very late up here in summer and so it will probably still be light when we have finished our dessert. So a nightcap on the deck (local bourbon?) will ensure we are lulled gently to sleep, perhaps catching a glimpse of the infinite number of stars that fill the late summer skies, ready to wake refreshed for another day of adventure!

Your accommodations are roughly split between vacation homes and glamping tents. Do any guests prefer to split their visit with a stay in both?
Many guests like to try a combination stay and it is a great way to experience both. Our reservations team are experts in creating just the right blend of experiences and our Personal Concierges continue after your reservation is made, building an itinerary of activities, spa services and dining as well as being on hand during your stay to ensure that whether you are in a camp or a home, your visit to Paws Up is one that will live on in your memory.

What is it like working on new upgrades and luxury camping sites, such as Cliffside Camp, during a Montana winter?
There are definitely some challenges with construction and building when the ground is frozen and there is snow on the ground. However the team here has been building these additions now for eight years and they are masters of ingenuity. We get it done and although some things may look like they will never be finished in time, I know that they will be and that we have the best team ready and waiting for our first guests in April. We also spend a lot of time on training and developing our team, and the only way to provide world-class service is to plan well, recruit the best people and provide ongoing training and development. That has always been my mantra and it is no different at Paws Up.

The Montana Master Grillers Weekend is happening this May 24-27, with Chef Frank Ostini of Casmalia’s The Hitching Post and Chef Adam Sappington of Portland’s The Country Cat. How does your chef Adam Cooke find the participants?
Like everything, it is a team effort. Chef Adam knows a lot of people in the industry and so do many of us, whether on the operations side or in Sales and Marketing. We are also getting a great reputation as a fun venue for culinary events (we have been the host of Montana Master Chefs for many years now) and so we are approached by people in the culinary world to participate. That is a great honor and we welcome collaboration so that we can provide innovative and different experiences to our guests.

Any news on other upcoming projects to share with Hideaway Report readers?
We have many plans but we like to keep some of them in our back pocket so as to keep delighting and surprising our guests each year. To reveal them now would be like telling you what I’m getting you for Christmas. Oh and by the way, we also have incredible Christmas and New Year’s packages. But that’s a whole other story!

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How Is Paws Up Different Than A Dude Ranch?

The history of the dude ranch dates back to the 1800s when it was common practice for ranching families to invite friends from the city to visit their cattle ranches. As the railroad stretched throughout the West, ranch owners realized they could attract flocks of city slickers (otherwise known as “dudes”) and the business proliferated.

Today hundreds of ranches offer dude ranching experiences.  Paws Up is situated on a sprawling, 37,000-acre working cattle ranch.  You can join authentic western ranch activities like a cattle drive where novice and advanced riders team up with seasoned ranch hands in driving a herd of cattle.  Guests saddle up their horses and set out to gather the cattle and trail them to working corrals, sort them, then trail them back to their home pasture.  Other ranch activities include a junior wrangler program and scenic wagon rides.

What differentiates The Resort at Paws Up from a Montana dude ranch is a commitment to luxury.  Montana’s premier luxury ranch resort offers first-class service and luxurious accommodations (including private vacation homes and glamping tents) and amenities. At Paws Up, once you dismount, you’ll step into a world of incomparable creature comforts featuring gourmet cuisine, decadent spa treatments, personalized service, and amenities such as flat-screen TVs, wireless Internet, in-home laundry, heated bathroom floors, rain showers, organic spa products and hot tubs.

The dude ranch tradition is alive and well in Montana at Paws Up – offering patrons a taste of the American frontier like none other.

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Montana Long Table – Video Recap

Check out our time-lapse video recap of Montana Long Table 2012.

Join us on either June 22 or July 13, 2013 as we celebrate Montana’s unique culinary resources.

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Open Spaces Inspire Open Minds

It seems that the walls and partitions of offices and cubicles create division and stifle collaborative thinking.  Even those fortunate enough to have a window office, often fix their gazes on the surrounding concrete jungles or drab parking lots.

Do inspiring visions really come from a vast room full of coats, ties and boring business suits?  How ’bout the time constraints of a 45-minute meeting with paper cups from the water cooler providing the main source of refreshment?

To start thinking outside the box, companies need to spend some time outside of it as well.  The Resort at Paws Up spans 37,000 acres of majestic Montana countryside – the perfect environment to corral fresh ideas and broaden your company’s horizons.  Instead of a boring board room, teams meet in a 100-year-old renovated barn.  Instead of breaks spent waiting in line at the Starbucks down the street, they’re spent in the saddle of a horse driving cattle as a team.  Instead of spewing uninteresting thoughts and ideas while someone struggles to jot them down on a whiteboard, new viewpoints and viable solutions flow while relaxing during a gourmet dinner on the banks of the Blackfoot River.

Leave the average meetings for the average companies.  We profess that work and play can be intertwined.  It’s amazing what a little pampering, luxury, and gourmet food and wine can do to motivate, inspire and rally a team towards achieving greatness.

Click here to learn more.

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The Most Private and Exclusive Guest Experience in Montana

The Resort at Paws Up offers the most private and exclusive guest experience in Montana. There is no main lodge. There are no room numbers or hallways. Instead, our guests can stay in a luxury ranch home or glamping tent, nestled within a forest of tall timbers that overlook rolling meadows, majestic rivers, pastoral creeks and panoramic mountainscapes.

Paws Up offers 28  Montana vacation homes, each impeccably appointed in an unrivaled tapestry of rustic elegance and each located on its own private lot.  The expansive Wilderness Estates are perfect for Montana family reunions and groups. The Big Timber Homes and Meadow Homes make an ideal refuge for smaller families and couples on a quest for privacy. For a true Montana experience, stay in our historic Morris Ranch House or Blackfoot River Lodge – idyllically situated on the banks of the legendary Blackfoot River. All accommodations blend western-chic decor with a litany of amenities including kitchens, hot tubs, personal transportation, flat-screen TVs with DVD players, high-speed wireless Internet, laundry and more.

Luxury Ranch home

Luxury ranch home

Montana vacation home

Morris Ranch House

Blackfoot River Lodge

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