COLORADO SPRINGS — It's been almost eight years since the Waldo Canyon Fire destroyed the Flying W Ranch in Colorado Springs.
But now, this popular attraction is finally about to reopen.
Owner/Operator Leigh Ann Wolfe says it's hard to describe just how much work has gone into bringing the ranch back to life. In just a few weeks when people drive through the front entrance her hope is to give them a taste of the Old West once again.
Flying W has been a staple in Colorado Springs since 1953 and quickly became a worldwide attraction, but on June 26, 2012 the ranch was changed forever.
Wolfe said, "The Waldo Canyon Fire burned the ranch – 1,100 acres, 29 structures. The Flying W Ranch was gone."
Now, after years of recovery, restoration, and rebuilding this beloved treasure is ready to saddle up once again.
Wolfe said, "We're here to keep the Old West alive."
The ranch offers a variety of activities for guests.
"We have Navajo rug weavers and we have Navajo silversmiths. We put shoes on a horse every night. We have a train."
The new attraction coming this year will be "the American Milking Devon oxens," said Wolfe. "We have all these types of things that help you understand what the Old West was really all about."
Also part of the ranch experience is its traditional Chuckwagon Supper and Western Stage Show.
Wolfe, gesturing toward some tables, said, "This outside eating area will be looking down onto the outside stage which will be wrapped around that rock down there with a river flowing under it...these are 40-foot long picnic tables and they're stunning. These tables were born out of the fire."
And, for when it rains, people will be able to enjoy their food and entertainment inside a brand new building.
Wolfe said, "It's just a wonderful thing to finally be able to say we're back."
The ranch has been somewhat impacted by COVID-19. Wolfe explained that the original date for the reopening was May 21. It's now scheduled for June 26.
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