Rio Grande Club and Resort a hidden gem


SOUTH FORK — South Fork is a location that offers a wide-variety of outdoor activities both in summer and winter but what makes the town unique is that visitors can enjoy the richness of the area and receive top-notch service from local businesses while paying less than more popular Colorado destinations like those located on the front range.

One business in particular offers guests and members a wonderful opportunity to enjoy some epic golf on a champion course as well as receive huge benefits from becoming a member.

The Rio Grande Club and Resort is tucked up against the backdrop of the La Garita foothills. The 7,155-yard golf course offers gorgeous views, plentiful opportunities to fish gold medal waters and an abundance of other outdoor activities that can be enjoyed by guests of all ages and abilities.

New General Manager Michael Evans has navigated the past seven months at the resort not only through a pandemic but through some changes internally.

“I like to say we are in the happiness business and we have been cognizant of the safety and cleanliness of our facility during this difficult time,” Evans said. “The past summer brought a record-breaking number of rounds played at the golf course and we look forward to seeing more in the future.”

Evans came to his position with 40-plus years of hospitality experience and he is using that to make appropriate changes throughout the resort.

“My family has been vacationing in Colorado for over 30 years and our plan was that when I do retire, we would stay in Colorado,” Evans said. “The state has always been very attractive to us and we love the mountains and natural beauty, which is all part of the attraction.”

Evans fell in love with the Rio Grande Club and Resort and was able to get to know owner Scott Freeman through the interview process which was the final key that brought him to the area to stay.

“Really in my mind, we have a lot of offerings for the members and the champion golf course is a huge draw for our guests. We offer a very nice, relaxing venue all year round,” Evans said.

The resort will be welcoming a new executive chef in the spring and will be continuing with summer activities offered only through the resort, including golf tournaments, Pickleball, monthly ladies luncheons, five-star bourbon tastings, tea tastings, fly fishing clinics and more.

“Our success is measured by the fact that every member and guest leave happy,” Evans said. “We look internally and make sure that we are offering optimum services to our guests and members.”

The resort is one of the main economic drivers in the South Fork area right alongside Wolf Creek Ski Resort which makes their success the community’s continued success.

“The Rio Grande Club and Resort's array of membership opportunities allow for the prefect choice based on your personal interests, whether its golf, fly-fishing, dining, social activities or outdoor sports,” Evans said. “The club proudly highlights the unique beauty of Southern Colorado with each member benefit. Our golf course was designed to flow with the area's natural waterways, volcanic rock formations, native flora and surrounding national forest. Our private access to more than a mile of Gold Medal Fishing on the Rio Grande couples the thrill of the catch with the calming solitude found only in nature. Our social activities embrace the surrounding nature and stunning mountain vistas—from our annual bird and wildflower golf cart outings to signature golf tournaments, fly-fishing clinics, wine tastings, musical entertainment, tea tastings, dinner parties and more.”

In an effort to boost membership at the club, the resort will be featuring a new membership program that will offer people to experience the resort and all services for minimal cost. More information on the membership program can be found on the resort’s website at www.riograndeclubandresort.com.

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