CRAFT Case Study: Badger Creek Ranch, Fremont County

Badger Creek Ranch was awarded a CRAFT Mentor program by the Colorado Tourism Office in winter 2017 and summer 2019. The objective of the 2017 CRAFT Mentor program was to develop a strategic plan with clear, actionable goals, as well as to create a strong financial plan. The objective of the 2019 program was to develop a branding and marketing plan to support the Badger Creek Ranch strategic plan initiatives.

Located in Fremont County, Badger Creek Ranch’s mission is to provide visitors with the western vacation of a lifetime through horseback rides and other activities based out of their working cattle ranch.

CRAFT Mentor Program Results

Horses in field

For their first CRAFT Mentor program, the Colorado Tourism Office matched Badger Creek Ranch with Bill Gardiner, a CRAFT Mentor with thirty years of experience working in holistic natural resource management. For their second CRAFT Mentor Program, the Colorado Tourism Office matched Badger Creek Ranch with Kristie Nackord, a CRAFT Mentor with experience working with land and water organizations as well as non-profits to provide business development, strategic communications, public relations, outreach, fundraising, and community engagement services. As a whole, the two programs achieved the following outcomes:

  • Received $1,000 from CRAFT Mentor Implementation Funds for each of their two projects. For their first CRAFT Mentor program, the Implementation Funds were used to partner with a local marketing professional to create a marketing strategy. For their second CRAFT Mentor program, the Implementation Funds were used to create a tri-fold brochure for the Badger Creek Ranch Meat Enterprise.
  • Created a comprehensive strategic and financial plan
  • Increased profits for the guest ranch as a result of the strategic plan
  • Decreased burnout by implementing the pieces in the plan addressing staffing. As a result, employee burnout levels are continuing to decrease, allowing Badger Creek Ranch to become a more sustainable business.
  • Drafted a marketing and communication plan that aligns with Badger Creek Ranch's strategic plan and implemented recommended tactics within that plan, including rebranding image assets, developing a new brochure for their meat enterprise business, and redesigning their eNewsletter and website pages
  • Hosted an “open gate” event at Badger Creek Ranch which allowed guests from local communities to visit for a day to see first-hand how their food is produced
  • Formed a new partnership with Green Thumb Initiative to host farm to table events in Colorado Springs
  • Established a consistent presence with local farmer’s markets
  • Increased email subscribers by 53%, from 295 individuals in June 2019 to 451 individuals in December 2019
  • Increased meat enterprise sales by 118% since 2018, from $11,580 in 2018 to $25,231 in 2019

"We are very satisfied with our CRAFT Mentor project. We had multiple successes out of the Holistic Management process with Bill, our [2017] mentor. The first one being a strategic plan that we could reference as a partnership as well as share with the bank to support our re-financing request. The second success is that we came out of the process speaking the same language, established a clear direction of where we were going, and [established] a way to measure successes and areas of improvement including seeing areas where we were not being successful.” — Natalie Allio, Project Lead

"Kristie [our 2019 mentor] did an excellent job of navigating different communication styles and timelines. It can be challenging to work with a family owned and run business, and in spite of our best efforts we ended up with multiple points of contact. We appreciate Kristie's effort and ability to work within this type of environment, we recognize it is not easy!” — Natalie Allio, Project Lead

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About CRAFT Mentor

CRAFT Mentor provides up to 50 hours of mentoring for tourism-related entities wishing to advance a specific tourism-related goal or strategy. Participants receive $1,000 of implementation funding upon completion.


Badger Creek Ranch
(719) 837-2962