Bob Cote Inducted into the Dude Ranchers Hall of Fame
February 20, 2012
The Dude Ranchers Association of America inducted Bob Cote of Tanque Verde Ranch into the Dude Ranchers Hall of Fame during its 86th annual Dude Ranchers Convention in Cody, Wyoming, January 18-22.
Bob and the rest of the Cote family have helped develop and maintain a rich history with the Tanque Verde Ranch since its initial purchase in 1957 by Bob’s father, Brownie Cote. The history of the ranch dates back to the 1920’s when Brownie Cote bought two summer camps in northern Minnesota in which to make a positive impact on children’s lives – Camp Lincoln for boys and Camp Lake Hubert for girls. It was while working the summer camps that Brownie noticed a desire for parents to be near their children while they attended camp; so in 1937 Brownie purchased Grand View Lodge to accommodate this interest. Brownie also noticed during this time the struggle to keep his staff year round, as the camps only provided seasonal employment. In 1944, Brownie purchased a guest ranch named Desert Willow in Tucson, Arizona in order to keep his staff employed year-round. Tucson’s growing development motivated Brownie to purchase Tanque Verde Ranch in 1957 in order to keep the Desert Willow Ranch remaining a beautiful and natural attraction.
While Brownie’s son Bob was working on his doctoral thesis at a university in Japan, he received a call from his mother, Judy, to come back to Tucson and help operate the ranch for a year. Over time, Bob grew closely attached to the ranch and decided to stay and develop it. Here he expanded into the European market by building relationships with international wholesalers, in addition to promoting the international tourism and business at Tucson POW WOWS. With his new relationships built and the timely media boom of Western Films, travel agencies began referring European tourists to Tanque Verde Ranch and it began to grow considerably. Bob’s endeavors were later recognized when he received the State of Arizona’s Hall of Fame for Tourism in 2005, which was the first guest ranch inductee.
Although the ranch was booming, Bob recognized that not everyone stayed at Tanque Verde Ranch to ride horses ¬– so he shifted the direction of his efforts towards program development, in order to better cater to the needs and desires of the whole family. He created various programs and activities tailored specifically for children, adults and families such as hiking, mountain biking, tennis, fishing, weddings and many more. In Bob’s words, “a true vacation is one that expands your mind,” believing that being able to take something away from a journey is what really matters.
Through Bob’s hard work, dedication and love for Tanque Verde Ranch, Bob was inducted into the Dude Rancher’s Hall of Fame; what was once a simple, small-time guest ranch is now a thriving hot spot for worldwide tourists and acclaim. The Dude Ranchers’ Association represents over 100 of the best Dude Ranch and Guest Ranch vacations in the West. They strive to preserve this special way of life and the wonderful environment in which dude ranching takes place.
We would like to thank Bob Cote for his dedication and commitment to Tanque Verde Ranch and the legacy of quality and unforgettable experiences he has created for his guests and employees alike.