Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy 30th, Canyon Ranch!

Canyon Ranch is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month (which also means I just turned 30 - yikes!). Last week, we commemorated this milestone with our staff, families, guests and homeowners at a fiesta-themed celebratory luncheon. My grandfather honored four employees who have been here since Day 1 (or before), and my dad told stories about the amazing conversion of the property from the Double U Ranch to Canyon Ranch.

My grandfather shared his now legendary "A-Ha" moment he experienced while visiting the Oaks at Ojai in the late 70's. Mel experienced a transformation like no other, thanks to Karma Kientzler's encouragement and support during his stay. On the drive home from Ojai, Mel and Enid excitedly discussed the possibilities of starting a new business and opening a health resort, which was largely unheard of at the time. Searching for properties, they fell in love with the magic they felt at the Double U Ranch and opened escrow on Memorial Day, 1978. By Labor Day, the deal closed and they hurriedly began design and construction. Fourteen months later, when I was just a few weeks old, Canyon Ranch opened its doors to eight guests, only one of whom was paying.

Last week was the first time I heard the part of the story about my grandparents driving back from Ojai together, conferring on what seemed like a dream but transformed into a triumphant reality. I was reminded of the drive Kenny and I made from Phoenix to LA after a friend's wedding in April 2008. During most of the seven-hour drive back to LA, we conferred about a potential move back to Tucson, giving up our respective careers, and taking on a huge, new challenge. Just a few weeks later, we made our final decision, and here we are.

My grandparents made a huge leap of faith in 1978, and we are thrilled to be able to help carry on their inspirational vision of health, wellness, and longevity. Happy 30th, Canyon Ranch!

To Your Good Health!


For a little more Ranch history, check out: http://www.canyonranch.com/history/.