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Totally tubular

New lodge, tubing hill opens west of Steamboat

Alexis DeLaCruz

The third annual Cowboy Christmas party at the Saddleback Ranch is Sunday. The ranch now features a tubing hill.

A tubing hill equipped with a tow rope is opening this weekend at the Saddleback Ranch west of Steamboat Springs.

The Iacovetto family will open the Yee-Haw Tubing Hill Sunday as part of the third annual Cowboy Christmas and Sledding Party.

The free community event features a special early visit from Santa Claus, free sledding on the new tubing hill, Christmas music, hot chocolate and cookies and three longhorn cattle that have become the mascots for the ranch’s new Longhorn Lodge.

“We’re going to have such a good time,” Lane Iacovetto said Thursday.

Iacovetto said the tubing will be free Sunday, though reservations will be required for future tubing.

The family decided to bring the tubing hill to its ranch after overhearing guests complain about the lack of a tubing hill.

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Saddleback Ranch provides the tubes to riders. The tubes are hooked to a rope tow lift that pulls riders to the top of the 700-foot hill.

“It is so much fun,” she said. “Just riding the rope tow is fun enough.”

The tubing hill has beginner, intermediate and expert terrain to accommodate any level of tuber. Riders also can regulate their speed by snapping plastic bottoms onto the tube that can either slow down or speed up a tube. Children younger than 5 are required to ride with an adult.

“It’s fun for the whole family,” she said. “We do this for the community because there aren’t a whole lot of things these days you can take your kids to that are free.”

In addition to introducing the tubing hill to the public, the Iacovettos are opening the new Longhorn Lodge, the warming hut where warm beverages and snacks will be provided.

Children will enjoy meeting Larry, Curly and Moe, the three new Texas longhorn cattle, who have become the lodge’s mascots.

“They’re really cool. We purchased them from a woman in Texas who kept them as pets,” she said. “I think the kids will get a kick out of them, especially kids from the city.”

If you’re planning on heading to the Saddleback Ranch on Sunday to join in the festivities, take U.S. Highway 40 west to mile marker 122. Turn left onto Routt County Road 179 and follow it about three miles. The ranch is on the left. Shuttles will take people from the parking area to the tubing hill, she said.

After Sunday, those interested in tubing at Saddleback Ranch can call 879-3711 for more information. The tubing hill is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. One run costs $4 and there is a two-run minimum. One hour of tubing is $15 and for two hours is $28.

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