PEYTON, Colo. — Situated just east of Colorado Springs, the Hilltop Reindeer Ranch is bringing holiday cheer in the form of antlered, winter wonders to folks across El Paso County.
The small, family-run ranch is operated by Beth Genz and her partner Kathy Winkler in addition to their full-time jobs; with Beth working maintenance at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and Kathy managing a local veterinarian clinic.
Currently, their small herd of reindeer consists of two younger males by the names of Jingles and Mistletoe and a six-year-old female by the name of Prancer.
Our mission is to connect people of all ages with the magic and joy of Christmas. It’s our privilege to help these majestic creatures spread wonder through our reindeer services.
According to Beth, the idea of caring for reindeer came from a place of loss, "I lost my mom in 2010 and my Christmas spirit just kind of dwindled."
After years of consideration and research, Beth (who had worked with the animals in the past) and Kathy decided to start raising reindeer and building a small herd.
"It just started to bring back the magic of Christmas," said Beth, "and it was a way that we could honor our family members who love Christmas and really just share the magic with others."
While they currently only have three reindeer, the hope is to someday have eight, "A Santa starter pack, if you will," commented Beth.
Their property is not open to the public (except for private tours/photo opportunities); however, during the holiday season, they take their reindeer to all sorts of events.
"[People] are so surprised when they see our reindeer," said Kathy, "and they have looks of astonishment and they speak in astonishment that reindeer exist."
Once folks move passed being flabbergasted, they seem to always have questions!
"That's my favorite part," added Kathy, who relays that they often get to share their wealth of reindeer knowledge with excited onlookers.
The goal for both Kathy and Beth is simple, spreading holiday cheer and magic.
"I want to pay it forward, said Kathy, "I hope people can take something away from our event[s] and share magic with other people and then spread kindness and joy that way."
If you're hoping to see the reindeer from Hilltop Reindeer Ranch, you can check them out at their next event on December 9th at Reindeer Games being hosted at Restoration Church; for more information on the ranch, visit their website.