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March 23, 2012
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SolVista Ski Basin is now called "Ski Granby Ranch"

SolVista Ski Basin and Headwaters Golf Course will get new names as Granby Ranch endeavors to overhaul its branding.

The ski, golf, bike and real-estate community under the umbrella of "Granby Ranch" has had "confusion in the marketplace" because of its mixture of monikers, according to Granby Ranch Director of Development Kyle Harris.

SolVista Ski Basin is Granby Ranch's ski hill, Headwaters Golf Course is the ranch's golf offering, then there's SolVista Bike Park, the Seven Trails Grille, and fishing on a private stretch of the Fraser River. There's also a Granby Ranch real-estate venture.

"Nobody understands that these amenities are all part and parcel of Granby Ranch. In people's minds, that connection is not there, and any time you have that level of confusion, something is wrong," Harris said.

With the help of design firm CommArts, Boulder, which is now Stantec, Granby Ranch adopted an updated more unified brand, most of which is launching between now and Memorial Day. The better part of the new exterior wayfinding and on-mountain signs will be "phased in over time as we have the resources to do it," Harris said.

Names of amenities are being changed to incorporate verbs, such as SolVista Ski Basin will now be called "Ski Granby Ranch," the Headwaters Golf Course "Golf Granby Ranch," the bicycle trails "Bike Granby Ranch," and the fishing access "Fish Granby Ranch."

The Seven Trails Grille will be renamed "Granby Ranch Grille" by the time it reopens in the late spring, and the real-estate branch of Granby Ranch will be called "Granby Ranch Homes."

"We had to bite the bullet, we had to make a change," Harris said. "And a change of this magnitude is not taken lightly."

Changing the names at Granby Ranch will involve a massive undertaking of updating everything from letterhead and marketing materials, to electronic marketing, to uniforms and retail goods, to interior and exterior signs to legal references and trademarks.

Although the "magnitude of work is still being worked through," Harris said, "we anticipate it being in the hundreds of thousands of dollars."

The bulk of the cost of the re-branding is assigned to the outdoor signage, he said. Large cairns serving as sign bases may be one aspect of the new design that lends itself to a memorable impression.

Much thought went into the signs themselves. The use of color reflects each of the activities identified. The rough edging on the signs is "evocative of the ranch," along with the diamond "nailheads" on each. The lines on the signs are typographic lines "taken from a portion of the property on the south mountain, which evokes nature and getting outdoors rather than city streets and blocks," Harris said. The font and overall design is meant to have a look of "rustic elegance," he said.

"Some might ask, 'why now?,'" Harris continued. "And the only honest answer is that there is never a good time to do something of this magnitude, but we started thinking sooner than later. Why continue to build equity in brands that are going to change? That doesn't make sense."

With this change, Harris said owner Marise Cipriani is "recommitting to Granby Ranch" in "a very tangible and visible way.

"Given how difficult the past several years have been with the great recession, to have this type of capital commitment and this type of effort in place with a project like this really speaks to the recommitment to the project," he said.

Originally touted as what could have been a Bavarian-style ski village similar to the Vail esthetic, the nascent Granby-area ski hill at one time was called Val Moritz when first owned by Del Webb back in the early 1970s. The ski area then fell into the ownership of World Life insurance, until around 1980, when Bud Gettle and Kelly Klancke owned the ski area. After a creek on the other side of Red Dirt Hill, the resort names became SilverCreek.

In the mid-1990s, the Ciprianis, who still own Granby Ranch today, purchased the resort, and after "legal squirmishings" over the SilverCreek name, which also belonged to the hotel and convention center near the Highway 40 entrance to the ski area, the Ciprianis changed the ski-area name to "SolVista Ski Basin," according to former Sky-Hi News publisher and editor Patrick Brower.

A few years later, Granby Ranch annexed into the town of Granby, and the golf course was named Headwaters Golf Course.

Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603


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The Sky-Hi News Updated Mar 23, 2012 12:10PM Published Mar 23, 2012 11:48AM Copyright 2012 The Sky-Hi News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.