The History of Open Heart Ranch
Amazingly enough, Open Heart Ranch was named decades before we ever imagined hosting weddings here.
We’re proud to be the third generation of our family living, raising children, and working on the ranch.
Elmer and Millie Roberts – Katie’s grandparents – purchased the original 230 acres of Open Heart Ranch in 1946 for $11,000.
Elmer learned about the property while hauling coal for the Harvey Gap Coal Company. In its infancy, the family operation raised grain, little hay, and milked cows. Millie’s uncle also farmed on the ranch, raising a garden and tending cows, sheep, and chickens.
The 60’s brought a change for the ranch with the installation of Rifle Gap Reservoir, which allowed water to flow all summer through the fall. This changed what the ranch could produce.
It was during that time that Elmer and Millie bought their first band of sheep and the forest service permit still in use today.
CHANGES AT THE RANCH
In 1990, the Roberts family purchased the reservoir property – the land on which Vista View Events now sits. Conservation became a priority for the ranch.
The family started implementing systems and techniques to maximize water coverage and minimize waste in our farming practices. Those advances led to the great honor of Open Heart Ranch being named Colorado’s Rancher of the Year in 2011.
THE LATEST CHAPTER
Today the ranch is spread over roughly 1,200 acres of land. We produce 70,000 bales of hay annually and at any time have over 1,800 sheep.
Each summer we conduct our yearly sheep drive to the 25,000 acres of White River National Forest. We do this on horseback, taking the entire day to slowly move the sheep up while picnicking along the way.
Owning and operating a working ranch is a true labor of love, made worthwhile by the simple fact that we believe in what it means to be ranchers—to have the great opportunity to provide food, wool, and hay to those who rely on it.
We’re proud of what this land has to offer and the traditions—like our annual barn party—that keep our small town exceptional.
Vista View Events is more than just a Colorado mountain wedding venue. It’s a representation of legacy, traditions, passion, and dedication—all the things we believe the foundation of marriage should be built on.
We can’t wait to welcome you here.
Kinsey Roberts and Katie Day