The Virginian Lodge

The Virginian Lodge is being made over. Though the work won’t be completed, the motel will begin welcoming guests again in june.

3 Spear Ranch open for business

Creed Garnick has been a bull rider, has a drama degree from The Julliard School and his wife, Sascha, spent a good part of this past weekend having a baby boy, their first child.

Oh, and the Garnicks have a new business, partly open in some ways but in others still with the final touches being added.

Their 3 Spear Ranch is a boutique Western hideaway that gives guests a chance to sample some of the Western activities and hospitality so popular with many big city Americans. The Garnicks bought the place in 2018 from the Albright family, owners for decades, who used it as a gathering spot for family members around the country.

Creed Garnick said he and Sascha are “only the second owners in history” of the place, which he called “an extremely old homestead” that he and his wife are “bringing back to its original charm ... to its roots.”

The Garnicks have been “creating their own luxury boutique ranch and resort,” said general manager Chandler Minton, who described the place as “not your typical dude ranch” but a “retreat and resort” for reunions and romantic getaways.

3 Spear is on 1,200 acres but is just a bit more than five minutes from downtown Dubois, northeast of Jackson. It has a lodge building soon to be the home of a bar and restaurant — both planned to be open by June — and eight cabins that have already welcomed the first guests. Remodeling the cabins is a work in progress. They’re renting from $350 a night.

Among the attractions of 3 Spear are hiking and horseback riding, including day trips on horseback that can be booked by visitors who are staying off-site in Jackson. There’s fly-fishing on nearby streams and two lakes on the property, and a natural warm spring available for soaking after a day of play. There are also a barn and pool hall.

Garnick said 3 Spear differs from the usual dude ranch in that “everything is a la carte” rather than people buying into a scheduled group of activities.

Garnick’s family is one of the valley’s oldest dude ranching families and also operates the Jackson Playhouse. Sascha Garnick is also a Jackson native; she met Creed while working at the Playhouse. Minton previously worked for about a decade for Amangani in Jackson.

Contact 3 Spear Ranch at

— Mark Huffman

Virginian sets partial reopening

All the work to make over The Virginian Lodge won’t be completed, but the Jackson motel will begin welcoming guests again in June.

The place has been undergoing a major rebuild since it was sold last August by the Napierski family to Orion Companies, a consortium of local and remote investors. A big reroofing project was underway last week as remodeling continued on the 170 rooms, only some of which will be ready by early June. Rooms will be going for $185 a night and up. A PR announcement said the rooms will now feature “Western-chic touches like leather furnishings and metal accents.”

Other work being done is to revamp the big interior courtyard of The Virginian, which will reopen adjacent to a new restaurant and which will feature “campfire music series” and story hours led by nature photographers near a new swimming pool.

The buyers have said their business model is a bit more “family oriented” than in the past, without some of the rough-edge reputation of The Virg over previous decades.

An attraction that has caught some attention is the resurrection of Billy’s Giant Hamburgers. The famed Town Square burger joint closed in 2012 but will reopen under direction of Brian Marino, son of the original creators. It will have a separate storefront next to the liquor store.

The Virginian was built in stages by Glen and Virginia Napierski, with the first rooms open in 1965. The 13-acre property also includes a 103-space RV park. No price for the August 2020 sale was announced, but the property had been shopped around starting at $60 million.

You can contact The Virginian via

— Mark Huffman

Silicon Couloir offers Start-Up Success

Silicon Couloir announced its first independent educational offering, a four-week intensive business startup program focusing on building a values-based foundation for success. Silicon Couloir Start-Up Success: Fundamentals will run May 21 to June 21. It will be offered virtually with the option to attend in person in a socially distanced manner.

“We’re pleased to be rounding out our suite of world-class Founding to Funding programs for entrepreneurs with an education course that will provide a framework for a thriving business venture,” Executive Director Gary Trauner said in a press release. “There is always opportunity in difficult times, and we are on the cusp of new growth as a nation. Many people are looking for more meaningful work, and this is an excellent time to start a business.”

Students will learn key business skills, strategies, tools and financial templates and develop answers to the essential questions of how to develop a values-based business They will have the opportunity to pitch their businesses at Silicon Couloir’s Chance Meetings to an audience of entrepreneurs, local leaders and investors.

Start-Up Success: Fundamentals will be taught by Sandy Hessler — an entrepreneur, former Harvard assistant dean, Procter & Gamble brand manager, and social marketing instructor at Tufts University — augmented with guidance and insight from local successful entrepreneurs and investors.

This program is based on the CWC Start-Up Intensive program, which Central Wyoming College offered in conjunction with Silicon Couloir for many years.

“Start-Up graduates enjoyed great success with their ventures and over 70% are still operational after 3 years,” Silicon Couloir said in the release.

Weekend class dates are May 21-22 and June 20-21, meeting 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

Wednesday class dates are 5:30 to 8 p.m. May 26, June 2, June 9, and June 16.

Tuition costs $585, with an early-bird discount rate of $485 for students who register and pay half by May 1.

For a full course description and to register go online to

— Staff report

Mark Huffman edits copy and occasionally writes some, too. He's been a journalist since newspapers had typewriters and darkrooms.

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