• Meet Deanna Curtis, Sport of Kings and Queens

     
    FROM THE Summer 2019 ISSUE
     

    Deanna Curtis, The Broadmoor’s first female falconer, shares how she landed in a unique career.

Falconry, often called the “sport of kings,” should perhaps be given a new nickname, one that is inclusive of women like Deanna Curtis. As a falconer at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, she teaches individuals and groups about the art of hunting wild quarry with a trained raptor.

Curtis first became involved in falconry when a raptor organization visited her two sons’ Cub Scouts group. She fell in love with the birds and started volunteering with the organization, eventually being brought onto the staff. A few years later, Curtis started her own nonprofit organization, Wild Wings Environmental Education, which she ran for 11 years before joining The Broadmoor.

“Connection with the wild animals” is why she loves the sport. The program at The Broadmoor aims to leave guests feeling the same sense of admiration for the birds that Curtis felt 20 years ago. Among the raptors in the program are Harris’s hawks, saker falcons and a Eurasian eagle owl.

“You get up on the hill, and you’re flying these birds, and the teenagers who were looking bored are suddenly smiling and getting engaged and really connecting to something,” Curtis says. “That’s what I like the most. To get somebody to connect with the wild outdoors because it’s so lacking right now.”

Two decades ago, when Curtis was first exposed to the sport, there were not many women engaged in falconry. But over the course of her career, Curtis has seen more and more women getting involved.

She says, “I think it’s cool that women are finally in a position where they’re like, ‘I can be a mom, I can be a wife and I can have hobbies on the side.’”

Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, Montana, has named Molly Smith and Kristen Snavely co-general managers of the all-inclusive luxury property situated in the Bitterroot Valley. Smith is returning to Triple Creek Ranch after a brief hiatus. Previously serving as GM for four years after working her way up from pastry chef, she has since perfected her skills at The Inn at Hastings Park in Massachusetts, another Relais & Châteaux property. 

 

With meetings returning to normal as the COVID-19 pandemic levels out, outdoor mountain pursuits are finding more time on meeting agendas. Taking events outdoors not only boosts attendees’ comfort level as they ease back into in-person meetings, time spent in nature is proven to improve brain health and stimulate creative thinking as well.

We’ll be looking at this topic in-depth in the Spring/Summer 2022 issue of Mountain Meetings. Consider this as an introduction to some of the possibilities.  

 

Brady Johnson, a former member of the U.S. Ski Team, now balances time between C Lazy U Ranch, Destination Colorado, his family and the ski slopes. 

While most people retire just once in their lifetime, C Lazy U Ranch’s Brady Johnson wants to retire three or four times. 

“I think that’s the fun part about life. Find something new, chase a goal and accomplish it, and then find something even more fun and exciting that aligns with what you’re doing with your life at the time,” says Johnson.