Posts Tagged ‘under the radar’

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.