Lifelong adventurers, Leslie and Bill McConnell have joined Triple Creek Ranch as the Relais & Châteaux property’s new co-general managers. The duo, whose college-aged children worked summers at the top-rated ranch, assume their posts following careers as importers and wholesalers of fine wool and silk Oriental rugs, a peripatetic professional path fueled by their love of art, travel and adventure.
The McConnells’ arrival kicks off Triple Creek Ranch’s new series of nine 3-, 4- or 5-night winter “weekends,” each designed to celebrate Montana’s snow season in a different way. The ranch’s own fireworks set the stage for the first weekend in 2010, New Year’s Weekend, a five-night stay from December 30, 2009 — January 4, 2010 where gourmet meals and fine wines balance perfectly with horseback riding, snowshoeing, wildlife viewing, and relaxing around log fires. Best of all, the activities, events and epicurean highlights of each themed weekend are complimentary.
Other Triple Creek Ranch winter weekends include:
Western Horsemanship Weekends, January 7 —10 and January 28 — 31
Whether aspiring cowboys or accomplished cowgirls, guests of the Western Horsemanship Weekends will learn the skills it takes to ford icy streams, ride horses up steep slopes, drive cattle, and trust (and be trusted by) their horses. All riding levels are welcome for this equestrian immersion conducted by expert ranch hands.
Nature Lover’ Birding Weekends, January 14 — 18 and February 18— 21
Some of the best birding in America is found in the Bitterroot Valley, where some 250 species including eagles, hawks, swans and crossbills are among the winter visitors. Guests will meet a local falconer and her prized bird, visit the Metcalf Wildlife Refuge and travel through CB Ranch where mountain animals such as bighorn sheep, mule deer and elk are also frequently spotted.
Cooking School Weekends, January 21 — 24 and February 25 — 28
Guests are invited to meet the ranch&rsquos culinary trio and learn their closely guarded secrets. Guests work alongside Executive Chef Jacob Leatherman, Executive Pastry Chef Christopher Whitten and wine expert Jeremy White as they sharpen their culinary skills in a working kitchen.
Super Bowl Weekend, February 5 — 8
Pre-game hype reaches new heights at Triple Creek Ranch, where gearing up for the big game includes a generous dose of fine dining, wines and winter recreation. At game time, guests gather for house-made nachos while they catch the action on big screen TVs.
Valentine’s Weekend, February 12 — 15
Couples rekindle romance in the cozy atmosphere of Triple Creek Ranch, where gourmet meals are served in a rustic, yet elegant candlelit dining room. Roaring fires keep luxury cabins toasty warm, and Valentine’s Day treats focus on our pastry chef’s selection of romance-inducing chocolates paired with fine wine.