Under the Radar with XOJET: The Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana

The Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana

It’s not every day you hear the CEO and Chairman of one of the world’s largest private-equity placement firms, say this: “Forget how much money you put in.” Or this: “If I just break even, I’m happy.”

But this is Jim Manley—the unwavering lead of Atlanta Pacific Capital—and money was never going to stand in the way of his childhood dream, The Ranch at Rock Creek in Philipsburg, Montana.

A 50-minute drive from Butte Mooney Airport—where XOJET clients can fly in and skip the layover-laden commercial flight into Missoula, 90 minutes away by car—The Ranch is a 10-square-mile lifestyle Ponderosa with unique cowboy chemistry. Think of it as part high-end dude resort (with a rodeo arena and a party barn), part hunting-and-fishing preserve (a Blue-Ribbon-designated river actually runs through it), and part roll-back-the-decades play camp for adults. Then add surprise touches like a bowling alley, movie theater, and winter survival challenge.

If it all seems a bit out of the ordinary, that’s because it is. The Ranch is one of the most luxurious ranch-resorts in the Rockies—it was recently voted among the “Top 10 Best Resort Hotels in the West” by Travel + Leisure and is the only one awarded five stars by the Forbes Travel Guide—but that’s just the background music. Really, The Ranch is intent on letting you be a kid again for a good part of the day.

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Five Extraordinary Trips with XOJET Partners

July 17, 2017  |  XOJET Partnerships

When it comes to travel resolutions, no bucket list is too lofty for XOJET’s worldwide network from Whistler to Provence, Napa Valley to Ireland, and Patagonia to Dubai. Below we detail five of the most extraordinary trips available to XOJET clients, centered around exclusive experiences at your final destination provided by our travel partners from Mandarin Oriental to Butterfield & Robinson.

The short and simple: Whether in-air or on-ground, every aspect of your trip is personalized, private, and planned to perfection.

A Parisian Romance | Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

Mandarin Oriental garden in Paris, France

Photo: Mandarin Oriental

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XOJET Celebrates 200,000 Flights

July 12, 2017  |  Events, XOJET

In May, XOJET operated its 200,000th flight in the company’s 11-year history. This is a significant milestone in our company history and a true testament to our people and vision.

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Up-Lift Series: Pilots, Private Jets, and Places

July 7, 2017  |  Pilots

Introducing the Up-Lift series, an inspiring collection of moments and stories brought to you by those who create the XOJET experience. This series will feature the people behind one of the industry’s most successful companies, with a shared commitment to Advice & Service.

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XOJET’s Guide to the 2017 NBA Finals

May 31, 2017  |  Events, Private Jet Charter

NBA Finals Guide

Any time the conversation includes Magic Johnson and Larry Bird – with a splash of Michael Jordan, for good measure – you’re floating in a lofty basketball realm.

Hence why these 2017 NBA Finals feature more than another captivating clash between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers. Another duel between Stephen Curry and LeBron James. Another dose of Kyrie Irving zooming to the basket, plus the fresh intrigue of Kevin Durant playing in his first Finals with the Warriors.

There’s an extra layer of hoops history involved, and that’s what makes the impending series, starting Thursday night (June 1st), one of the most highly anticipated Finals in years.

Here’s history: This is the first time ever the same teams have met in the NBA Finals in three consecutive years. Warriors-Cavs counts as a tantalizing matchup reminiscent of the memorable 1980s tussles between Magic and Bird, the transcendent stars of their generation. Those Lakers and Celtics played each other in the Finals three times in a four-year span (1984, ’85, and ’87).

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Aspen Food & Wine à la Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey

May 17, 2017  |  Events, Travel Booking and Tips

Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey

World-class hiking, biking, running, and climbing are all reason enough to charter an XOJET flight into Aspen, Colorado during the early stages of summer.

But for food and wine connoisseurs like Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey—himself an avid outdoorsman—these are just appetizers for what most consider the country’s pre-eminent culinary event: the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, running June 16th-18th.

“I’ve been coming to Aspen Food & Wine for the past 22 years and I still get wide-eyed in anticipation,” says Stuckey, a mainstay on the Classic’s yearly speaker list. “For four straight days every year, Aspen is the center of the wine universe.”

While that’s high praise coming from virtually any oenophile, it’s especially telling from a man with the international acclaim of Bobby Stuckey. One of just 236 people across the world to have earned the prestigious distinction of Master Sommelier, Bobby gained notoriety as the Wine Director of The Little Nell right here in Aspen between 1995 and 2000. He then moved to Napa Valley to lead Thomas Keller’s wine program at The French Laundry. Now he’s back in Colorado, where he co-owns Boulder’s Frasca Food & Wine (winner of the 2013 James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine Service), owns a winery using grapes from Friuli, Italy (Scarpetta Wine), and is preparing to open a new restaurant, Tavernetta, in Denver’s vibrant Union Station development (slated to debut the week following Aspen Food & Wine).

“What makes Aspen Food & Wine so special is that there’s virtually no dilution,” he says. “So many people have tried to emulate it, from Miami to Telluride to New York. But at the end of the day, Aspen is the place to be and everyone still shows up for it.”

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America’s Cup: Where Sailing Meets Science

America's Cup Bermud

A vacation via XOJET is so free of complications you end up pondering little else beyond where to go and what to do. This May and June, clients flying XOJET to Bermuda for the 35th America’s Cup yacht races will encounter an irony: sailboats not so different from the planes they flew in on.

Technology has long been a fixation for designers of America’s Cup yachts, but the most recent breakthrough is particularly stunning. Simply stated, the airfoil principle discovered by a Swiss mathematician centuries ago is what lifts a plane airborne (it’s all about wing shape) while the analogous hydrofoil concept allows America’s Cup Class catamarans to defy gravity, as well.

These yachts are able to elevate their twin hulls clear of the water and more or less fly—only a slender pole with a plank-like foil attached to it connects boat to water. Built with little-to-no natural materials, the 50-foot wonders require a crew of only six sailors. They benefit from the simple fact that air is so much less dense and choppy than water, which means drag is sharply reduced and speeds are nearly double what the previous generation could achieve.

For this edition of the 166-year-old competition, the water in question is that cerulean blue color Bermuda is beloved for, lined by coral sands tinged a dusky pink. Though high-toned in a distinctly British way, Bermuda is not an acquired taste. Travelers of every stripe fall for the island readily—unless their preference runs toward honky-tonk, which is not to be found there. One of the first (of many) celebrities to develop a fondness for the place was Mark Twain. A newspaper clipping from 1907 describes the famed author boarding a Bermuda-bound steamer. “I am in search of rest, British humor, and an opportunity to appear logical in March in a white suit,” Twain said dryly.

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Under the Radar with XOJET: Amangiri, Utah

Amangiri Utah Desert

Private aviation clients are accustomed to thinking in terms of flight hours and flight miles.

So let’s get away from the flight plan for a moment: XOJET can take you 50 to 80 million years into the deep American geological past. No flight suit or training required.

Just book a trip to Page Municipal Airport, on the Arizona-Utah border, and a room at Amangiri resort. It lies by the Four Corners—the vast tableland where Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico do-se-do—and takes just 20 minutes to reach from the airport by car.

The resort, situated in a curl of cliff, plays off the eons-old eroded rock with sleek geometrical architecture. From your room you see sand-billows rushing toward a bone-white mesa, and behind that, a fortress of rust-red cliffs. In an eye-instant, you’ve just traveled millions of years, geologically speaking; all that red in the distance is the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, in far southern Utah, and all that sand is probably a teenager in geological time.

Amangiri nests in the midst of spectacular eroded rock formations, a rock opera of violent up-thrusting and relentless weathering that created this vast geological zoo: pinnacles, hoodoos (mushroom-hooded rock towers), benches, terraces like the upper deck of a stadium, and mesas flat as a marine haircut. It’s why the region contains the greatest concentration of national parks and national monuments in America.

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XOJET, The Most Liked Private Jet Brand Across Social

April 21, 2017  |  Media, Private Jet, XOJET

We are thrilled to celebrate a special milestone, one that represents our focus on people, communities, and those who love aviation. Each day we constantly and fiercely advocate on behalf of our clients by being the trusted advisor and service provider of choice. This is our mantra, our true north, and our guiding principles – and the ability to share our passion with hundreds of thousands of people around the world as the most liked private jet brand across social media is a true honor.

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An Insider’s Guide to the Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby

Photo: Bill Brine

When the fifteen horses comprising the inaugural Kentucky Derby field pounded around the track in 1875, 10,000 spectators looked on from a grandstand that still didn’t have a name. These days, the Kentucky Derby draws a cheering crowd of more than 160,000 and has gone on to become not just a rite of spring but one of the top sporting events in the world.

The 20 horses that will compete in the 2017 Kentucky Derby have been chosen based on a point system. Girvin, a Kentucky-bred dark bay trained by Joe Sharp leads with 150 points; Irish bay Thunder Snow and Todd Pletcher-trained Always Dreaming round out the top three with 100 points each. But it’s not just about the points. Although he’s only earned 32 points, Classic Empire, whose sire also fathered Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, is emerging as an early favorite, as is McCracken, who can end a race with a sudden burst of speed.

For XOJET clients, a trip to Churchill Downs couldn’t be easier. Louisville is home to a number of well-positioned airports as well as a terrific transportation system, great hotels, and a mix of time-tested and contemporary restaurants.

Here’s the inside track.

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