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.

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.

XOJET’S Super Bowl Guide to Houston

January 23, 2017  |  Events, Gary Walther

Here at XOJET we have to hand it to Houston. From Sam to Whitney to Tom (“Houston, we have a problem”), the city has cemented its place in American culture despite sharing the stage with other great performers: Dallas-Ft. Worth, Austin, and New Orleans.

This year it steals the stage as the host of Super Bowl 51, actually the 50th anniversary of the original Super Bowl. The city knows its Super Bowl stuff, having hosted the game in 1974 and 2004.

Whichever team wins, you win by chartering XOJET—which flies you in and out with ease, style, and comfort. Here is your playbook for the days in-between.

XOJET Challenger 300 Engine

Behind the Scenes at the New San Francisco MOMA

January 12, 2017  |  Art, Gary Walther, San Francisco

SFMOMA - San Francisco, CA Museum of Modern Art Exterior
Snøhetta expansion of the new SFMOMA, 2016; photo: © Henrik Kam, courtesy SFMOMA

Staying in the loop is easy when you have daily flights touching down in virtually every major city across America. But nowhere are we more connected to happenings on the ground than San Francisco, where XOJET was born, raised, and molded amid a burgeoning start-up culture brimming with technology and innovation.

“San Francisco is the perfect home base for us,” says Brad Stewart, XOJET President and CEO. “We’re honored to be a part of this forward-thinking community and constantly gain inspiration from the city around us.”

XOJET’s Guide to the 2016 World Series

October 24, 2016  |  Events, Gary Walther, Ron Kroichick

Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio - World Series

No matter who wins this year’s World Series, it’s going to be one rollicking party.

Baseball’s annual Fall Classic drips with a distinctive brand of history in 2016. The Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians share a common bond, through decades of ineptitude – all forgiven now, because they both stand one step from the mountaintop.

But those long years of losing offer context to this year’s Series, starting October 25th in Cleveland. These are two of the sport’s oldest franchises, dating to 1876 for the Cubs (when they were known as the Chicago White Stockings) and 1901 for the Indians (then the Cleveland Blues). All this history, so little joy – that explains why Chicago and Cleveland are bursting at their seams in excitement.

XOJET’s Guide to the 2016 Napa Valley Harvest

September 23, 2016  |  2016 Harvest, Events, Gary Walther, Luxury

On any given day, XOJET, which has the nation’s largest floating fleet of Challenger 300 and Citation X super mid-size jets, flies as many as 60 flights a day around the country.

But at this time of year, one destination starts popping up conspicuously: Napa County Airport, the closest one to the Napa Valley wine region. It’s the harvest and there’s nothing like being in the heart of wine country while it’s in full swing.

To that end, we interviewed the people on the ground, winemakers and winery owners at top Napa properties, to get a firsthand report on the 2016 vintage and to get their advice on where you should stay and dine if you decide to make a visit—the places where they relax during the harvest and where they send their friends.

As for the vintage, the answers were surprisingly uniform: balance, structure, classic flavor, all created by a growing season that was remarkably uniform (no weather ambushes). And as Kristof Anderson, the winemaker at Gargiulo Vineyards said, “finally a vintage not based on drought,” as there was good rainfall in the winter.
That left the perennial challenge: logistics. All of the winemakers cited the need to line up the picking crews in advance, yet having to pull the trigger on the harvest on relatively short notice.

“Thank God for cell phones,” said Doug Shafer, head of Shafer Vineyards, who recalled the days of tearing around the Valley in his pick-up trying to meet up with a crew foreman in order to book him. “Tech has allowed me to get more sleep.”

Gargiulo Vineyards: Jeff Gargiulo (owner) and Kristof Anderson (winemaker)

Gargiulo Vineyards Harvest Season Winemaker
Located in Oakville and a producer of four Cabernets: Money Road Ranch (100% Cabernet, 900 cases annually), Aprile Super Oakville (96% Sangiovese, 900 cases), G Major 7 (Bordeaux blend, 900 cases, named for a classic jazz chord), and 575 OVX (100% Cabernet, 200 cases). The OVX is Gargiulo’s top wine, from the only vineyard in Napa Valley that borders the cult Cabernet property Screaming Eagle.

XOJET’s Guide to the U.S. Open

The U.S. Open offers a distinctive blend of sporting urgency and big-city entertainment. It’s the season’s final Grand Slam event, so the world’s top players are eager to make one last splash and etch their name into tennis lore.

And really, there’s no better place to make a memorable splash than the Big Apple, with its uniquely bustling, eclectic aura. The crowds invariably include all manner of fans, from the dignified to the, uh, loud. A friend who has covered many Opens calls them a “great conglomeration of humanity,” in which conventional boundaries take a holiday.

US-open-stadium

This was most evident in the late 1970s and early ‘80s, when John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors practically traded the men’s title (they combined to win seven straight, from 1978 through ’84) and spectators occasionally shouted in the middle of a player’s serve. That’s certainly excessive, but it speaks to the passionate and boisterous setting in the United States’ largest, sports-crazed metropolis.

XOJET Now Official Partner of Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek Resort

July 19, 2016  |  Gary Walther, XOJET Partnerships

Today, we are thrilled to announce a new partnership with Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek Resort, the luxury collection of Vail Resorts, as the official private aviation partner.

Our best-in-class partnership pertains specifically to Signature Club Guests of Vail and Beaver Creek Resort and XOJET’s Preferred Access™ and Elite Access™ clients. For the former, the partnership will make the getting there an experience in itself—”the jet as a living room,” as Gregg Slow, Executive Vice President of XOJET Sales and Client Services, puts it—and for the latter, it will up the luxury quotient of being there.