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Dude Ranches Won’t Totally Disappear, Not Yet Anyway

An article in the Wall Street Journal suggested that dude ranches is going away. Titled “The Disappearing Dude Ranch,” it explained that the “sun may be setting on an American travel institution, as ranch owners face the temptation of cashing out of their land, or strain to please guests who prefer spas to saddles.”

Well, give a ranch owner a break! It’s a “temptation” when a landowner sells to a big-time developer. But it’s a “wise windfall” when anyone else cashes out.

And just when you think the end is near and the statistics are dramatic you read, The Dude Ranchers’ Association reports that its membership has fallen to 100 ranches from 114 in 2006. I quake in my dusty boots. Kinda makes you think someone was hunting for news.

Of course, there’s more to the story than that. Until others are sold, you still have 100 to choose from under the Dude Ranchers’ Association umbrella. For those Dude ranches remaining, let’s saddle up a few horses for the wandering traveler wanting to “Cowboy Up.”

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