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Sitzmark Sports & Lodge is located in Red River, New Mexico, which is on the northern side of the state and is surrounded by a number of mountains. Due to the elevation and natural surroundings, outdoor activities such as skiing, snowboarding, horseback riding, and hiking tend to be some of the more popular activities that can be done in the area. Three fly fishing guides work for the Sitzmark Sports & Lodge and are available for guests to book for full or half-day fishing trips in the nearby Red River. The company doubles as a rental store that allows guests to temporarily rent winter or summer sports gear on an hourly or daily basis and a lodge.
The Sitzmark Sports & Lodge is part of several buildings owned by Mark and Stephanie. The buildings sit side by side along a single street. There are a total of nine rooms available for guests to choose from, with one of them being a standalone cabin. The cabin, which is sometimes referred to as Room 612, is called La Casita and offers a more significant amount of privacy than the other rooms, as it is completely separate.
Each of the rooms is uniquely decorated and offer their own style. The size of these areas vary, as well as the number of beds each room comes with. Many of the guest accommodations come equipped with a full kitchen, but the ones that do not have a full kitchen still have some of the basic kitchen needs, such as a microwave and a small refrigerator. Regardless of which room a guest decides to rent out, everyone who stays at Sitzmark Sports & Lodge will have a television with access to DirecTV, a table, and chairs. Wireless internet is also available to guests.
Fly fishing is a popular activity for both visitors and locals in the Red River area. Sitzmark Sports & Lodge has three fly fishing instructors that guests are able to hire to take them out on a half-day or full-day excursion. Whether someone is trying to learn how to fly fish for the first time or is already experienced and wants tips and tricks from a local expert, the fly fishing instructors are able to accompany up to three people and allow all ages of people to join.
Mark and Stephanie, the owners of Sitzmark Sports & Lodge, like to recommend several restaurants and eateries to guests who are looking for somewhere nearby to eat. One specific restaurant they like to suggest is called Shotgun Willie's and is across the street from the property. Shotgun Willie's is open from 7:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. The owners describe it as "a popular burger and barbeque place for breakfast and lunch." Another restaurant is called Texas Red Steakhouse, which tends to be a little bit more expensive, though they serve a higher quality of food than others in the area. The Sundance is a family-owned and operated eatery that specializes in serving Mexican dishes. Finally, there is a restaurant called The Tip that can be located at the top of the chair lift at Red River Ski & Summer Area.
The owners are also happy to share their insight on places to go and activities to do in the vicinity. Among the usual recommendations they like to pass along to their visitors is Greenie Peaks, which is the highest peak that people can drive up to, located northeast of the property. Another location they mention is called Goose Lake. Goose Lake is a lake at the top of the mountain known as Gold Hill. They warn that the road to Goose Lake can be treacherous for regular vehicles, but UTVs and anything with four-wheel drive should be fine. The chair lift at the Red River Ski & Summer Area is known for being a popular mode of transportation for people that want to bike or hike down some of the more local trails and mountains.
The owners of the Sitzmark Sports & Lodge, whose names are Mark and Stephanie, explain that the goal of the property is to "create an atmosphere that is comfortable and welcoming" for their guests. They explain that their motto regarding customers and customer service is, "Kill them with kindness." They elaborate that they do their best to help guests feel at home and enjoy telling people about the popular places, restaurants, and activities that can be visited in the surrounding area.
Lodging is only one service that is offered at Sitzmark Sports & Lodge, as the name implies. The establishment also offers a wide variety of sports gear for nearly all seasons of the year. During the winter, visitors can rent skis and snowboards, while during the summer, they are able to rent gear like bikes and fishing equipment. Stephanie tends to mention to her guests that there are two companies in the town that allow visitors to rent horses and take them for rides on some of the nearby trails. Horseback riding is a seasonal activity that can be done during the warmer months of the spring and summer and ends in September.
The property has several policies in place with the intent of helping guests maximize their enjoyment while they are staying in the lodge. One procedure that is upheld is that pets are not allowed in the lodge. The only exception is the cabin, La Casita. Another policy that is in place is that guests are not allowed to smoke inside the building.
Sitzmark Sports & Lodge tend to be the busiest during the winter months due to the fact that there are a number of mountains and ski slopes that guests can take advantage of when there is snow on the ground. Skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling are several popular winter activities to do during the day. The ski resort across the street closes at about four o'clock in the evening for snowboarding and skiing. When this happens, visitors are allowed to go sledding and tubing on the ski slopes.
One unique event that occurs every Saturday throughout the winter months is known as the Torch Light Parade. Each Saturday night, starting at about 6:30 or 7:00, a large number of skiers and snowboarders will travel to the top of the mountain. Once they get to the top, they light torches and slide down the slopes with them lit, creating a traveling trail of glowing lights that descend the mountainside.
Sitzmark Sports & Lodge has received a number of reviews over time. Many of them mention the quality of care that the staff showed them during their stay. One review reads, "We were treated so well with patience and assurances, good recommendations on our needs. In addition, the adjustment with a difficult ski boot fitting proved outstanding. Our little ones had a great learning experience with their snowboarding, and the grandkids fared well also. We are grateful for the very kind and congenial service." The fly fishing instructors are also mentioned several times in the reviews. One person who recently went on a fishing trip with one of the instructors writes, "What a great adventure. The guide was knowledgeable of the techniques and area, and did I mention patient? I had a blast and caught my first brown on the fly."
The current owners, Stephanie and Mark, have been working with Sitzmark Sports & Lodge long before they ever owned it. Mark specifically had worked at the establishment for roughly 24 years before he and his wife took ownership of the property. According to Stephanie, the previous owner got sick and decided to put the establishment up for sale. That is when he offered it to them, to which they happily accepted.
The current owners explain that they enjoy their jobs and specifically like meeting people who come to rent equipment or stay in the lodge. As skiers themselves, they understand that when people are checking in or renting out equipment, they can be anxious to get outside and use the gear they just rented or get to their rooms so they can relax. They and their staff strive to make the transition as simple as possible. For those that want to take a moment to ask them for advice and tips about the area and potential activities that can be done, they are happy to share what recommendations and information they can.
Ever since Mark and Stephanie took over Sitzmark Sports & Lodge, there have been several changes made to the physical attributes of the business. Some of these changes include updating all of the living arrangements, which took place recently, throughout 2020, and the beginning of 2021. Stephanie explains that a majority of the changes that have been made went towards modernizing and updating the property to help make it more comfortable and welcoming for those who visit.