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The Wild West Retreat is located in Escalante, Utah. The retreat has two guest accommodations. Their accommodations include a restored historic barn and a renovated farmhouse. Each lodging option has a full kitchen, living spaces, covered porches, and outdoor seating. The two-acre property has a large fruit tree orchard and vegetable garden that guests are welcome to pick from. Many weddings, corporate retreats, and adventure groups stay at the Wild West Retreat and use the adjoining Cowboy Cookouts catering business to make their meals during their stay. The retreat is located just minutes away from the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Capitol Reef National Park. Wild West Retreat is open year-round.
Located in Escalante, Utah, Wild West Retreat is on two acres of land and can be found just outside the entrance of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. The western-style property features a large fruit orchard and vegetable garden on the grounds. The fruit orchard has many different trees growing peaches, pears, apples, plums, and apricots. The vegetable garden grows tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, corn, peppers, squashes, and more. Guests are welcome to pick fruit from the orchard trees, and a basket with fresh vegetables from the garden is left in each guest’s accommodation during their visit.
There are two guest accommodations at the Wild West Retreat. Each unit is a full home with two stories. The first of the two is The Barn. This restored barn was recently renovated with a fully equipped kitchen, a living area, and an open concept leading into a full kitchen. When dining, guests can sit at the counter or at the small dining table. In the living room area, the sofa pulls out into a queen-sized sofa sleeper. In the loft of the home, there is a king-sized bed and large windows. There is one full bathroom in The Barn. Guests can sit out on the covered front porch or gather in the back of The Barn for barbecued meals and solitude.
The second lodging option at the Wild West Retreat is the Pioneer Home. The home is a newly renovated historical cabin built in the 1920s. The home remains rustic with a dark color pallet and wood accents. However, all of the amenities are updated. The home is three bedrooms, one bathroom set back in trees near the fruit orchard. There is a large lawn surrounding the home. Inside, guests can light the wood-burning stove, cook meals in the fully equipped kitchen, or sleep in any of the queen size beds. The home also has a washing and drying machine. Finally, the unit has a covered porch with a barbecue grill and a swing.
The catering aspect of the property serves both people staying at the Wild West Retreat and those who are just visiting. Those staying on the property for retreats are served three meals a day. If a large group of up to twelve individuals chooses to do group dining for a meal, they can choose from a menu of lunch and dinner items. Some of these dishes include barbecue pork sandwiches, hamburgers, country-style pork ribs, barbecue chicken breast, or ribeye steak. Every meal is served with additional sides such as potatoes, salad, rolls, scones, and beans. Desert is also served with each meal. Those with dietary restrictions can be accommodated with extra notice.
Guests are welcome to roam the grounds of the property and come and go as they please, there are several different added amenities available for guests to use during their stay. This equipment includes extra tables and chairs, umbrellas, hammocks, and yard games. Guests can also request board games and movies. The Wild West Retreat is open year-round with an increase of guests during the spring and fall due to the warm weather and seasonal colors in the area. During this time, the orchards and gardens at the retreat are also ready to be harvested.
Shannon and Jenifer Steed created the Wild West Retreat to be a place where the western world meets the hospitality industry. For years Shannon and Jenifer worked at building a successful catering business before decided to expand their business to retreats on their historic property. They want every guest to feel comfortable and at home when staying at the Wild West Retreat. “Guests should feel like they are at home,” says Jenifer. In order to achieve this, they have worked to create a friendly, welcoming environment with country style and open spaces.
When guests check in to the Wild West Retreat, Jenifer will often take them a basket of her freshly grown fruits and vegetables to introduce herself and make sure they are aware of what they can do on the property. After this, Jenifer often tries to give her guests space to relax and come and go as they please. She or Shannon can often be found in the orchard or gardens on the property for when guests have questions or concerns as well as when they may just want to visit.
Guests are welcome to roam the property as they please, observing the Steed’s chickens, pigs, and barn cats. They are also welcome to pick from the fresh fruit trees in the orchard. These trees produce peaches, pears, apples, plums, and apricots. They are also welcome to request additional vegetables from the garden. The vegetables and fruit grown on the property are also used in the meal prepared on the catering side of the business.
A variety of events and activities are held at the Wild West Retreat. Per its name, many retreats are held on the property. Usually, these are women’s retreats or couple's getaways. The property can also be used as a home base for small weddings, family reunions, work retreats, and other catered events. Group dining options are offered to large groups with a 72-hour notice. The large patio on the property can be used to hold meetings, special events, meals for bus tours, and picnics.
Many positive reviews have been left regarding the Wild West Retreat. These reviews often mention the hospitable staff, large grounds, and the comfortable style of the barn and home. “This place was amazing! The barn is one of the coolest most authentic structures I’ve ever stayed in. We were two couples and very comfortable. They also had coffee, bread, eggs, and fresh fruit for breakfast and Jennifer was a great resource about local hikes. We were able to have some of the orchards plums, apples, and apricots,” said a recent guest.
A strict quiet time of ten o’clock is implemented throughout the grounds, and no pets are allowed in the lodging areas to preserve cleanliness. Shannon and Jenifer value consistency with their guests and want all of them to feel special and comfortable. In being consistent with their policies and providing every guest with quality service, they hope to keep their visitors satisfied.
The typical demographic of guests at the Wild West Retreat range from small families with young children to middle-aged to older couples. Because of the events that are held at the property, there are many families and couples that spend time at the retreat. Most guests come to visit the nearby hiking trails and other attractions. Escalante is a small tourist-oriented town.
Shannon and Jenifer have many recommendations of activities guests can enjoy in the area. They highly recommend guests go explore or hike in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument area. The monument is only five minutes away from the property and has a wide variety of trails and lookout points guests can attend. Similar to the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, guests can visit Capitol Reef National Park or Bryce Canyon National Park.
The Wild West Retreat was initially established as a catering business in 1998. The owners of the business, Shannon and Jenifer, ran the company for three years before deciding to add on living spaces for their guests and clients. In 2001, the plans were finalized to turn the 1920s hay barn and property home into lodging options. They completely renovated the barn, adding a kitchen, living spaces, bathrooms, and bedrooms. Additionally, they renovated the interior of the Pioneer House, upgrading all of the furniture and flooring. Shannon and Jenifer then started hosting retreats in these lodgings. Originally, Shannon and Jenifer lived in the Pioneer House and moved next door so they could turn the home into a guest accommodation.
The city of Escalante is located in Garfield County. The city is small, with a population of under 700 residents. However, millions of tourists pass through the area every year as the city is close to many popular attractions. The city is named for the nearby Escalante River and is known for its slot canyons, rivers, and desert landscapes. The Wild West Retreat is open year-round and has most of its guests during the summer and spring when the weather is warm, and there are many weddings and other activities in the area.