welcome you to Elk Mountain Ranch
Greetings from the Sullivans! Paul, Mandy, Carson and Drew are excited and grateful for the opportunity to share with you the great outdoors and time-honored ranch life. As a family we have always had a passion for our national parks and submerging ourselves into ranch life. Our dream has come true to be hosts of the beautiful Elk Mountain Ranch nestled among the San Isabel National Forest Colorado.
Paul and Mandy Sullivan were raised on the plains of Nebraska surrounded by horses, cattle and corn fields. Paul grew up on the family farm and cattle feedyard. At an early age he was on the back of a horse sorting and doctoring cattle. By 13 he was operating heavy equipment and feeding cattle with his brothers while his dad and grandpa worked in the field.
Paul earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska in Agricultural Mechanized Systems Management. After college Paul returned home to farm and operate the family feedyard. In addition to his animal husbandry skills Paul managed to remodel 3 aging farm houses for family members.
Mandy grew up in her family’s veterinary practice among many different species of animals, horses being her favorite. Mandy’s mom and grandma are credited to getting Mandy on the back of a horse by 12 months of age. By age 4 Mandy was riding in the showring and over time participating in a wide variety of disciplines from western, english, jumping and speed events. When Mandy wasn’t in the showring she loved attending clinics and taking lessons from some of the top instructors in the horse industry.
Mandy graduated from Creighton University School of Nursing receiving her RN BSN and returned home to work as a nurse for the local public school district. On her days off she would help out at her family’s veterinary clinic.
In 2001 while Mandy was working at the vet clinic she was introduced to Paul who had brought his dog “Ringo” in to be neutered. Ringo had recently took to being a traveling salesman visiting neighboring dogs, but regained his credibility as a loyal companion by becoming the couple’s beloved matchmaker.
Paul and Mandy were married in 2002 and continued to work the family farm until Paul was offered an opportunity to become an agricultural lender for a local bank. Paul was excited to help finance and advise other farmers and ranchers on their operations. He was dedicated to setting them up for successful futures.
The Sullivan’s through the years:
In 2005 Paul and Mandy welcomed their son Carson into their lives and in 2011 they were blessed with their daughter Drew. Paul continued to work for the bank and Mandy transitioned to stay-at-home mom and freelance writer/columnist for local publications and newspapers.
As Carson and Drew grew up they were introduced to riding horses and also learned to care for a variety of other farm animals such as bucket calves, rabbits and pigs. The kids loved participating in 4-H with their animals.
Carson is now in high school and has discovered a passion for music playing guitar and drums. He has had many opportunities to perform as a soloist and with a band for local events. He also loves hiking, fishing and riding horses on the trail. Carson is also a religious follower of western tv shows and movies.
Drew loves everything to do with crafting and art. She also loves her dance classes, preparing her projects for the county fair and grooming the horses to make them beautiful. Drew is especially proud of her beloved potbelly pig, Moon.
The Sullivans have been grateful for the life they’ve been able to live, but missed being a part of a family business and yearned to raise their kids in the same way. They also loved taking their family vacationing in the mountains and hiking in the national forests. They had always felt what a privilege it would be to introduce other families to such adventures. Paul and Mandy had secretly dreamed of owning a guest ranch tucked away in the mountains ever since they were married and casually searched for 19 years for this type of opportunity. Nothing was ever the right fit until they did one more real estate search while quarantined at home and discovered Elk Mountain Ranch. Timing is everything. The Sullivans researched the ranch for over a year, starting with a conference call with Tom and Sue Murphy. Then visiting the ranch 3 different times where the Murphy’s so graciously introduced behind the scenes access to running a dude ranch. The Sullivans were beginning to realize the experiences they had growing up had been preparing them for the dude ranch life and this was the door they were to step through.
Taking over the reins of a dude ranch is no easy task. The Murphys have owned and operated Elk Mountain Ranch for over 35 years creating a magical and adventurous experience for their guests. This is why the Murphys will be closely training and consulting the Sullivans through this transition of ownership. It is of up most importance to both the Murphys and Sullivans that their guests’ experiences at the ranch will not be interrupted during this transition. The Sullivans greatly respect and value the traditions of Elk Mountain Ranch and plan to continue the same schedule of activities, menus, quality and safety that Tom and Sue successfully developed.
The Sullivans would like to invite you to come and enjoy their new adventure and would be honored to help you create memories with your family and friends at Elk Mountain Ranch.