Received a free camping trip from Blue Mesa Recreational Ranch after purchasing your new RV and want to know what to expect? This post will give you a complete rundown of our experience.
Blue Mesa Recreational Ranch
Last year we purchased our brand new camping trailer. Growing up in Colorado, my family went camping a lot. Naturally my husband and I want those memories for our children, and it was time to upgrade our camper, so we made a big purchase from a local RV dealer. Part of the deal was that we would get a 5 day stay at Blue Mesa Recreational Ranch in Gunnison, Colorado.
We booked our trip for this past June and waited anxiously. When my husband called to book, they did mention that we would get a 4 night 5 day stay with full hookups, access to the pool areas, playground, kids fishing pond, a clubhouse, pontoon rental, dinner for 2, horseback riding or a museum tour and a conference about membership. FULL STOP. I almost cancelled right there. However, my husband really wanted to go, and honestly it sounded like fun, so we decided to just do it.
We pulled in through their guarded gate and checked in and parked in their large spaces. We headed into the main clubhouse and were sent to the receptionist. While my husband was checking in, the kids and I hit up the bathrooms and checked out the indoor pool area and the lodge room. At check in, my husband was given a folder with our campsite location and directions, pontoon reservation, vouchers for the pontoon, the dinner for 2 at Pappy’s by the marina and instructions to get your museum tickets or horseback riding reservations.
Of all the things I took pictures of, I did not take one single picture of our actual campsite. We were told the sites are not pull through which when you have a LONG rig, it sort of a pain and our particular site was difficult to back into correctly because there was massive boulder in our turn radius.
The sites are mainly dirt, with little fences to separate your neighbors on each side. There are hookups and a concrete area with a picnic table in most spots. Some spots have a fire pit, others do not. There are also cabins available to rent. The views are wonderful and probably some of the best we have seen in a campground in a long time.
There is also dumpsite on the main road and the campsites seemed to be well taken care of. Definitely not the nicest that we have stayed at, but pretty average for a campsite.
The Timeshare Discussion
So of all the things I was least excited about, it was the scheduled 90 minute membership meeting. I knew going in, that we were not going to purchase in and I figured I would spend a solid 90 minutes in full on B*&%$ mode saying no. We arrived to our scheduled time with our kids in tow (expecting that to be a deterrent…it wasn’t, they had snacks and coloring for the kids).
Our representative, sat us down, asked us about our experience, told us a bit of his background and then talked about the membership (the do not call it a timeshare). We quickly told him that we were not interested and he marked us down as declined and let us go on our merry way. In and out within 30 minutes. We were told by other people that some of the representatives can be more pushy, but we did not get that impression and we even chatted with the owner of the ranch.
The Amenities & Extras
The main reason we decided to continue with our trip to the Blue Mesa Recreational Ranch after learning about the timeshare before arriving was because wanted the extras. Our first full day we were able to head out to the reservoir and get on the lake on our rented pontoon. A few things to know, the ranch didn’t give us the best directions to get to the marina and the signs on the main road have pictograms to direct you, not actual words that say “marina this way”.
That sent us off on a drive that was 30 minutes longer then expected and although we were able to take in some of these gorgeous views, we almost missed our pontoon pick up time which is a strict pick up time or they release your boat. In addition, it is a LONG walk down the boat ramp to the marina to get your pontoon and you should pack a lunch, fishing stuff and do bathroom breaks before you get on the boat.
We actually only stayed on the water for about 4 hours because the weather came in and we weren’t catching anything. Next time we would definitely get out there bright and early. After boating we decided to eat at Pappy’s which is right off the boat dock. We caught the restaurant on a bad day, where two employees apparently quit and our service was subpar, but the food was really good and the views were beautiful as well.
The rest of our time at Blue Mesa Recreational Ranch was spent swimming, fishing and playing on the playground. There is actually a lot to do at the ranch and my kids were never board. The playground was awesome, they have crafts scheduled, there is a mini golf course and a cute little pond for the kids to fish. There is also an adults only clubhouse and pool with showers which my husband said was really nice.
We did everything we possibly could at the ranch and all of our experiences were really wonderful. We actually would go back to this campground because it was a lot of fun. My favorite activity we did was the hour long horseback ride. My family had the best time traipsing through the mountains on these beautiful horses.
Overall, the Blue Mesa Recreational Ranch offers a lot of fun for families and was a great experience. We would recommend checking out the free weeklong stay and even listening to the timeshare (membership) discussion. A lot of the people in the campground were a part of this and had only positive things to say.