Nina Baird, Group Sales Manager, is the new friendly face behind Tanque Verde Ranch corporate events. She has built her reputation providing not only a memorable guest experience, but also creative corporate, social and non-profit event planning solutions with imaginative design and impeccable coordination. Nina has played multiple roles at the Ranch over the last 17 years including Front Desk Clerk, Gift Shop Manager, and Convention Services – Meeting & Event Planner.

Nina was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, and attended Pima Community College after high school. She indicated she not only felt drawn to the area on which Tanque Verde is located, but she was especially drawn to hospitality industry. Rita Cote hired Nina on in 1992 where she watched not only the Cote family children grow up, but repeat guests also. “To me, this isn’t just a business, the ranch is family. I’m proud to be part of it and hope to continue for many more years,” said Nina.


According to Nina, Tanque Verde Ranch is truly a unique site for a retreat of any kind, whether it’s a social visit or corporate with over 600 acres located on the base of the Rincon Mountains. Tanque Verde Ranch is adjacent to the Saguaro National Park that includes over 60,000 acres of parkland to explore. With breath taking views, exhilarating activities, and above all a commitment to service, Tanque Verde offers our guests an amazing, unique and memorable experience.

“I love it when I get the opportunity to connect with a client and get them excited about the vast opportunities at Tanque Verde Ranch. I enjoy sharing all the amazing amenities of the property and offering our guests a unique experience,” said Nina.

“Guests have a chance to turn their meeting vision into reality with state-of-the-art meeting facilities, unique teambuilding activities and experienced meeting planners to guide you every step of the way,” continued Nina. “Whether their goal is teambuilding or purely an incentive trip, we has an array of opportunities to meet that goal.”


What sets Tanque Verde apart from other venues, is the balance created between work and play in a unique desert environment. Another major draw to the ranch is the exquisite culinary adventures– southwestern, local and gourmet flavors sing throughout Breakfast Rides, BBQ cookouts, and private dinners. Other exciting day and evening entertainment options await.

The Rincon Terrace is Nina’s favorite outdoor venue and is the perfect location for a reception. She pointed out “guests have spectacular views of the sunset and love to watch the colors play off the Rincon Mountains. It is also an ideal location for an evening under the stars. Arizona is also known as the Astronomy Capital. Our guided star tour is the perfect way to end an adventurous day at the ranch with an incredible view from the Rincon Terrace.


Nina’s Top 5 favorite reasons to choose a summer retreat


Breakfast Trail Ride

  • Guests can choose from a horseback ride, joining a guided mountain biking group, or participating in a nature walk up to breakfast at the Old Homestead twice a week.

Jeep Rally

  • This group favorite will get your guests in the competitive spirit. On a desert rally, each Jeep forms a team (up to 6 People) to navigate the trail, answer desert trivia questions, find fool’s gold and other artifacts, and compete in such events as archery, roping and horseshoe pitching, while attempting to keep an average time and find the trail boss at the finish line. See the natural wonders of the Sonora Desert accessible only by a four-wheel open air Jeep. Your guests can be assured of an informative and entertaining adventure, while gaining appreciation for the Sonora desert.

Team Penning

  • Start your morning with Team Penning – a friendly, timed competition between cattle and guests on horseback. Teams of 4-5 riders are matched against a herd of 5-8 uncooperative cattle. Each team’s goal is to maneuver the cattle through a series of obstacles in the fastest time. After honing your skills, the team-penning finale is to guide the cattle into one of three available pens to score the most possible points.


  • The Saguaro Room boasts high saguaro rib ceilings and a grand fireplace that offers a drop down screen, built-in speakers and a ceiling mounted LCD. All these components together will make for a perfect meeting presentation.


Nina’s Top 5 favorite reasons to choose a winter retreat


65-75 degree days

  • For winter guests, start your day with a meeting, but save some time in the afternoon to soak up the Arizona Sun, average 65-75 degree day temperatures and no snow! You will be able to enjoy all of our outside ranch activities with our perfect desert climate.

Salsa Margarita Challenge

  • Kick off your evening with a Western icebreaker, the Salsa Margarita Challenge. Teams go head-to-head in a timed margarita and salsa making competition with a twist: They’re judged not only on taste and presentation, but also on the marketing of their creations. Each team is given a blank flip chart and colored markers with which to tout their finished products. This activity is set up so participants can choose to mix drinks, work on the salsa or draft the team’s sales pitch.

Guided Astronomy Tour

  • Unwind with an evening under the stars with a guided astronomy tour. Arizona is known as “The Astronomy Capital of the World.” Red LED lighting illuminates the area around the telescopes for safety and ambiance. Each tour guide uses a powerful green laser to point out the constellations and bright stars.

The Western Carnival

  • This is the perfect combination of fun and friendly competition. HOOPS & HOLLERS abound when everyone gets their chance to play a wacky Western Carnival Games. Each split rail style booth is surrounded with carnival string, lightning, decorated with red bandanas, signs and a scoreboard. Attendant barkers invite your guests to participate in some of the zaniest games ever to come from our western heritage.   Cowboy, Indian & Mexican Theme Games compliment our baker’s dozen selection to allow a custom fit for the evening’s entertainment.

65-75 degree days

  • Did we mention the perfect weather and temperature?

Click here to learn more about why you should host your next corporate meeting, special event or teambuilding event at Tanque Verde Ranch. Regardless of the preferred season your guests are interested in visiting, the ranch can be the perfect venue for your event.


Breath. Stretch. Strengthen. Allow. Connect. Do you have a special place in your heart for horses? Are you interested in yoga? Join us here at the ranch as we combine the two into one yoga journey with Cathy Woods Yoga of Horsemanship Package.

This brand new and very unique package is offered January 25-30 starting at $650 per night and includes deluxe lodging with 3 hearty meals a day, the five-day Yoga of Horsemanship program, daily ranch activities, exquisite dining adventures and more. The five-day program is truly an awareness practice that is both a fun learning experience for novices and experienced riders alike.

You will not only work on stretches and balancing, but also strengthening and alignment techniques for horse riding. You will learn breathing techniques that can be used in your yoga postures as well as in the saddle. Cathy will take you through a relaxation technique called a body scan. For those who aren’t yoga experts, a body scan helps one focus on the sensations in each individual part of your body, increasing overall awareness in life, on the mat & in the saddle. Yoga of Horsemanship is not about doing yoga poses on horses, but rather brining the yogic, present moment awareness to our interaction with horses and all that we do.


The Yoga of Horsemanship Program is a time to go inward to deepen the connection with oneself. It helps to escape the stresses of the day, and allow you to be in the moment. Learning this technique will allow you to move with grace, patience, flexibility, strength and balance in the saddle. This entire program is to make one a more aware and conscious rider.

Cathy also helps with arena exercises where participants lead and work with different horses experiencing the individual energy of each horse and oneself. You will be able to take what you have learned on the mat into saddle on scenic journeys through the desert mountain trails of Arizona. Enjoy these very rewarding days full of stretching, strengthening and learning all centered around horse-back riding.

Learn more about Cathy Wood’s Yoga of Horsemanship Package by clicking here or more about Cathy Wood’s programs nationally by clicking here.

Ranch Refresh Project

October 1, 2014


Summer has been anything but quiet at Tanque Verde Ranch. As part of the 2014 “Ranch Refresh” Project, there have been several improvements to not only our facilities, but more importantly our units and rooms.

The Ranch is excited to announce that now every single room at the ranch has new carpeting. Several rooms have new energy efficient sliding doors and there are now plenty of outlets to plug in all the electronic gear each of us tends to carry when we travel. The ranch has received truckloads of new furniture thanks to Carmen Petitti owner of Que Bonita in Tucson; even the Road Runner area has new furniture and windows.


The Haciendas have several new amenities that boast of not only authentic comforts, but also a unique story behind each piece of furniture. They not only offer new leather furniture, but also hammered copper top tables, custom-made from across the border in Mexico. The Tarahumara live in remote villages high in the Sierra Madre Mountains, handcrafted the chairs used within the Haciendas. One of the most fascinating facts about these chairs is that each came out of the mountains on the back of donkeys before arriving to the ranch.


The Tarahumara People or Raramuri Indians (loosely translated as “running people,”) are not only known to make quality chairs, but they are better known for their long-distance running ability – barefoot. Click here to watch a Discovery Channel Documentary on the Raramuri Indians of northwestern Mexico.

Nearly a half million dollars has now been spent in 2014 to renovate and remodel several buildings, facilities, and guest units on-site. This past spring, the Doghouse Saloon underwent a $35,000 facelift with new deck furniture, fresh paint, a new stereo and hanging glass racks. The ranch also purchased a dozen new horses and brand new catering equipment. Tanque Verde welcomes you to come experience the new and improved ranch.


During the fall months, cold temperature sets on the Midwest, but balmy weather finally begins to settle on the Sonora Desert, allowing for warm-to-hot 80 degree days, but cooling nights. Fall colors move across lower elevation canyons where you can find several flora to give up their leaves and several winter animals begin to emerge. It’s truly the season of change.

This transition is also a good time to fulfill your goals, dreams and refocus on the important people in your life – your friends and family. Tanque Verde Ranch invites you to reconnect with nature, yourself and those closest to you by experiencing one of our three fall packages specifically designed for the girls getaway, dudes-only, or couples escape.


Our Desert Divas Package, or otherwise known as the “girls getaway adventure,” is offered October 1 through December 18 starting at $575 per night. It includes deluxe lodging with 3 hearty meals daily, 2 hour private ride just for the Divas, all horseback trail riding, lessons and activities, BBQ cookouts, breakfast rides and much more! Cowgirl up and create a new girls getaway tradition!


With just the men in mind, Tanque Verde Ranch invites all men to try something new – our True Grit Package. True Grit is available to book October 1 through December 18 starting at at $575 per night. It includes deluxe lodging with 3 hearty meals daily, all horseback trail riding and lessons, guided hiking, mountain biking and other activities, BBQ cookouts, breakfast rides and much more! Join us and let us show you a spectacular western adventure with just you and some friends.


Wine, Dine, Ride and Romance – Show the one you love just how much they mean to you this year. Spend just the weekend or a full week with us and rekindle your relationship. Our Ranch Romance Package is something neither of you will forget. Starting at just $500 per night, you and your special someone can enjoy deluxe lodging, special pricing on spa treatments, $75 dining credit for a romantic dinner and all ranch activities will be available ala carte.

Whatever getaway you may be looking for, we hope to see you this fall at Tanque Verde Ranch.


Roasted over a fire, gifted to a good friend, or secretly eaten too close to dinner, our homemade prickly pear marshmallows is a treat above all others. The prickly pear flavors are a guest favorite at the ranch. Learn how to make this popular flavor-filled treat and share with your family and friends.

Click here for recipe!

Top Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter

September 30, 2014


If you’re looking for something unique and want to escape the typical land adventures, turn to the Mt. Lemon Sky Center and discover several astronomy programs. Their programs include public observing, a multitude of workshops, and remote observing, all of which are offered several times throughout the year.


Just a half hour west of Tanque Verde Ranch is Mt. Lemmon. More than 9,000 feet above sea level, it’s one of the highest mountaintops in the continental United States. The thirty-mile trip up the mountain winds through several ecosystems beginning in the desert and ending in Pine Forest. At its peak lies the Mt. Lemon Sky Center, a premiere site for astronomical research.


Mt. Lemmon’s SkyNights Star Gazing Program is offered nightly and is one of the most popular programs offered. Experience the heavens of the Arizona sky and learn about constellations, observe atmospheric phenomena, and view the wonders of the cosmos from Arizona’s largest public viewing telescope – a high quality 32-inch Schulman Telescope. A five-hour excursion, you will enjoy a shuttle ride up the mountain taking in the beauty of the dessert and experiencing the various ecosystems on your way. After you reach the peak, the presenter will introduce the facilities, the mountain, and elements of the program. A light meal is given and shortly before sunset, the guests will be escorted to a picturesque mountain overlook to observe the sunset. Once deep twilight has fallen, a brief sky orientation and stargazing will unfold.


Another unique program is where you can experience the life as an astronomer through Mt. Lemmon’s Astronomer Nights. As a visitor for this extended observing program, YOU become the astronomer investigating the cosmos and deciding how the night unfolds. Typically the program is limited to 1 or 2 people. You will observe through a telescope with an astronomer’s guide, acquire high quality data, and sleep on-site in the astronomer dormitories. Your stay might offer a significant contribution to the field. Also offered at the SkyCenter are various workshops where you are able to learn about the wonders that happen in the sky.

They also have several workshops available to the public such as the Making Every Pixel Count Workshhop. Learn how to produce stunning images of deep sky objects from Adam Block, a renowned imager whose skill with a CCD camera continues to inspire enthusiasts around the world. His images have appeared in numerous books, magazines, websites and television programs.

This hidden exploratory center is suitable for all ages, and a perfect evening adventure for the whole family. The high quality of Mt. Lemmon’s SkyCenter programs will impress and please both novices and experienced amateur astronomers. Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter offers access to the universe. Capture these exciting endeavors on your next trip to the ranch. For more information, please click here.

Furnishing Memorable Vacations

September 30, 2014


Carmen Petitti owns and operates Que Bonita in Tucson, a wonderful home furnishing store, with an array of items including rugs, jewelry, furniture and furnishings, one-of-a-kind apparel and accessories. Carmen has been instrumental in assisting Tanque Verde with some of the furnishings for the current ‘room refresh’ project that has been taking place this year at the Ranch.

Carmen has a truly unique outlook on life that results from many personal miracles she experience first hand. Originally from Honduras, Carmen immigrated to the United States as a teenager with nothing to her name and no family to support her in the United States. After surviving cancer at age 21, she attended night school while working two jobs during the day.

In 1979, Carmen brought some items from Honduras with her after a visit home, and her co-workers liked them all enough that they purchased everything she had brought. It was here that sparked the idea of going into the import/export business in retail and furnishings. Guided by intelligence, flair and luck, Carmen made her first contacts in Mexico and started her own business in the early 1980s, performing sales throughout the western states. The Que Bonita shop came into being in 1986.


Carmen doesn’t hesitate to offer her intelligence and flair to bring luck to others; not just with the products she sells, but also with where she obtains products. Tanque Verde Ranch will be home to dozens of chairs hand-crafted by the Tarahumara people of northwestern Mexico, fairly isolated in the high sierras. It’s not easy for Carmen to transport the furniture – some will be transported out of the village by mule! Working with the Tarahumara is close to Carmen’s heart, as she looks to give back and help others wherever possible.

Other furniture that Carmen is helping the ranch with will be handcrafted leather chairs, desks, wrought iron lamps and wrought iron copper-topped tables. Each of these is indeed made by hand by craftsmen in different parts of the southwest and Mexico, each, like Carmen, with their own stories and hardships that they survive in special ways as Carmen has.

Carmen’s joy from Que Bonita has been making friends and knowing beautiful people through the store, while giving back and helping others in need. Next time you’re at the ranch enjoy the new furnishings, consider stopping by to see Carmen and her store – Que Bonita. Learn more about her work with the Tarahumara Indians and her story by clicking here.


Building a Legacy, Brick by Brick

When Tanque Verde Ranch was getting ready to welcome back the Bill Brown Family for their 50th year at the ranch, a motion was made to do something special for them.

There are many families like the Brown’s family who have been coming to the ranch for years. Several of the staff, and especially Bob & Rita Cote, have watched numerous families and their children grow up and vacation at TVR generations grow. In light of this family tradition, a ranch-wide brainstorm session revealed an idea that could recognize and honor such a generational celebration – the Legacy Walk.

Building a Legacy, Brick by Brick

The Legacy Walk is located outside the main entrance to the dining hall and will be created by using a single brick for every family that has been coming to the ranch for more than 10 years. This way new guests can see a tradition of history which TVR holds very dear and also a way to say thanks to all the families that share their lives with us.

As this is an ongoing project, the ranch is requesting help from its guests. Although we have made contact with many of the returning families, some haven’t been back in years for a variety of reasons. If you or you know someone who has been visiting the ranch with their family for more than 10 years, please contact them so that they may continue building a legacy, brick by brick.

A World of Special Occasion Possibilities

Over the years, generations of families have chosen Tanque Verde Ranch as their place to reconnect and celebrate family. It is also a sought out location for those who dream of saying “I do” at sunset with a desert mountain backdrop, or on a lush green lawn. With Sonoran-style accommodations specifically designed for large groups, a relaxing spa, an abundance of activities, elegant and authentic dining venues and reception areas, Tanque Verde is the perfect setting for your world of special occasions.

A World of Special Occasion Possibilities

The ranch has seven unique spaces that are great for reunions, weddings or corporate meetings. Brand new in 2014 is a spot like no other, the Cactus View. Its outdoor charm also offers spectacular views of the Saguaro National Park and the Rincon Mountains. The lush lawn, wooden deck and mesquite trees set the stage with a beautiful location for your gathering ceremony.

A World of Special Occasion Possibilities

A couple of other fantastic outdoor spaces include the Rincon Terrace and Desert View. Both sit atop the terrace, surround by a mountainous landscape and fresh desert air. The Cottonwood Grove is a bit more rustic, and is located in a private, wooded area where bonfires light the night and picnic tables hold family and friends. The Ranch Lawn and Lake Corchran are also a great gathering location for events of any type.

A World of Special Occasion Possibilities

If you prefer the indoors, we have several options for you such as the Saguaro and Kiva Rooms. Both are warm, inviting and intimate with a fireplace and mantle, richly decorated in southwestern décor, and windows that overlook the desert. To view all of our spaces, click here!

The truth is, Tanque Verde is more than just a place for families and friends to unite, but also a place to celebrate. Next time you’re planning a reunion, wedding, or just want to bring your employees on a fantastic teambuilding event—saddle up and head to the ranch.


 Biosphere 2 – Where Science Lives

Traveling to Tanque Verde Ranch and want to experience what the book by Life calls the 50 Must-See Wonders of the World? Just an hour north of the ranch is the Biosphere 2, an earth system science research facility that is 7,200,000 cubic feet of sealed glass containing 6,500 windows. Its highest point reaches up to 91 feet. Visitors can observe nature in a controlled state at this world-famous steel and glass research center where desert, forest, ocean and other ecosystems are monitored and studied.

On September 26, 1991, eight people were sealed off inside Bioshpere 2, a 3.14-acre glass enclosure located in Oracle, Arizona. This marked the beginning of its first mission, a study designed to test survivability. The crew’s health was at stake as the oxygen levels decreased making it difficult to breath and it was ended seventeen months after.

Another mission was started, but was terminated six months later because of management disputes. Biosphere 2 was soon reborn, but to be used solely as a scientific research institute. It houses classrooms and research facilities and offers educational programs to the public. University of Arizona currently holds ownership of the Biosphere 2.


 Biosphere 2 – Where Science Lives

The under-the-glass walking tour of Biosphere 2 consists of approximately 150 stairs and the route is just under one mile to walk round-trip. The tour duration is 1 hour and 15 minutes with a considerable amount of standing. The weather can range from quite cold in the winter months to extremely warm during the summer months. The interior of the Biosphere 2 research facility is heated and cooled based on current research protocols, and as a result visitors may experience a variety of heat and humidity conditions on the under-the-glass guided tour.

Experience the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2 and see for yourself the various ecosystems of the earth. A knowledgeable tour guide will take you on this adventure to explain the history, research and unprecedented science, taking place inside this engineering marvel. For more information, please visit


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