“Tanque Verde is like an extended family,” exclaimed Bea Labrada when asked about why she enjoys working for Tanque Verde Ranch. Bea has been an employee at The Ranch for 28 years.

Born and raised in Mexico, Bea moved to the Arizona after she married an American man and found work as a nanny.  Her new boss, Bob Cote, was also the man in charge of a popular ranch in Tanque Verde.

Once the kids were able to take care of themselves, Bob hired Bea as a front desk receptionist. Over her many years fo employment at the ranch, she made her way from front desk receptionist to current position as Lead Reservationist.  She has watched the company grow and develop over the years.

“I have seen many changes, but the core values also remained the same,” said Bea, “That’s why I have never left.”

Bea explains that the ranch is family oriented and cares about their guests as much as she does, that’s why it is such a good fit for her.  This time of the year is her favorite.  It is rewarding to book families and couples for a holiday experience at the Ranch.  Each holiday season there are plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy including; mountain biking to breakfast, Yoga with a cactus view, a variety of loping rides, and pools for relaxing by during downtime.

One of Bea’s favorite delicacies can be found during lunches on the world-renowned dessert tray! The “Cactus Cookie!”  She insists that everyone tries the Sanguaro shaped cookies (or that no one does so that she can have them all to herself because they’re that good.)

When asked why she enjoys working at the ranch so much, she exclaims, “I always respected and loved my bosses, colleagues and teammates and the most important, our guests!” words of wisdom, from one of TVR’s favorite employees.


Holidays at The Ranch

December 23, 2014


Everyone at the ranch looks forward to seeing all of our families return for the Christmas & New Year’s break.   The weather forecast is for seasonably perfect Arizona weather and snow on top of Mt Lemon.

Bob is especially excited to cook his, now world famous, blueberry pancakes for his faithful followers. The grill is ready and we are stocked up on mesquite to keep it hot.

Melissa has the bingo cards ready to go and the holiday bingo palace will be ready for good times by all.

Chef Sergio and the kitchen crew are already planning the Christmas day dinner. The pastry kitchen crew is also busy preparing all those holiday treats we love to eat!

Have safe travels wherever you plan to go and we hope to see you at The Ranch soon.

The Knot Magazine has named Tanque Verde Ranch “The Knot Best of Weddings Award for 2015 and the Hall of Fame.”  This puts us among the top 1% of wedding professional reviewed on The Knot to have won this great accolade.


The Hall of Fame is honored to any venue that has received “The Knot Best of Weddings Award” four or more times.  This is year’s award is the fourth time since 2011 that Tanque Verde Ranch has received for the Best of Weddings by The Knot.  The awards are decided on by a people’s choice process, or more accurately, Bride’s choice.  The Knot asks brides to rate and review their wedding vendors to come up with the best wedding venues and top wedding professionals.

“We are so grateful for this amazing award and induction into the Hall of Fame with The Knot,” said Mary Ellen McBee the Catering Sales Manager for TVR. “We take great pride in creating an amazing experience for our brides and their families during this special time for them. It’s even more gratifying that our brides feel the same way and are vocal in their experience.”

Over the years, generations of families have chosen Tanque Verde Ranch as their place to hold a variety of special events, including weddings.  Being one of the most explicit resorts in Tucson, The Ranch has plenty to offer when it comes to the having an optimal wedding experience.  There are seven unique spaces available, indoor as well as outdoor, providing the right option for any bride and groom. Whether it’s the astonishing view of the desert and mountains or the abounding southwestern feel you are looking for, you can’t go wrong. For more information on booking your wedding at Tanque Verde Ranch, reach out to Mary Ellen McBee at 520-731-5568 or email her at

Sonoran Dog Recipe

December 23, 2014


This winter we are featuring Sonoran Dogs, a Tuscan original, for our Tanque Verde Recipe. You can’t go wrong with this delicious twist on a classic hot dog. Between the Cilantro Crema and the bacon wrapped dog, your taste buds will be screaming for more! Try the Tuscan dog at The Dog House Saloon or click here for the recipe to make it at home.

Poolside Service

December 23, 2014


Spending the day on the trails, at lessons, or a breakfast ride can take the energy out of you. After a long morning of riding the saddle and exploring the Sonoran desert there is nothing like sitting by the pool and taking a load off. Whether you’re there to sit poolside and soak up the warm Arizona sun or you’re there for your kids to splash around, it’s the perfect atmosphere to relax.

This winter, we are taking poolside relaxation to a new level of comfort. You can now enjoy the Mountain View with our new poolside service. Instead of having to work your way to the front office for a can of beer or soda, now you can just order an iced tea or a Prickly Pear Margarita from our poolside servers. You don’t even need your wallet – just charge it to your room.

But, it’s not just beverages we are serving! We are also expanding our southwestern cuisine to the poolside. Missing lunchtime no longer means you can’t get food at the ranch. We now have a poolside menu so you can enjoy some of our local fare while relaxing in the sun. Choose from our Tanque Verde Burgers or share a plate of Tucson Nachos to quell that hunger without leaving the lounge chair by the water.


Our Afternoon Menu has a handful of options to curb your hunger, including the infamous Sonoran Dog, a Tucson original with a Tanque Verde twist. Chef Sergio’s flare impacts these flavors, and will remind you of your second home at the Ranch. Make sure you cook up this recipe and show off to your guests a new TVR tradition!


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!