In 2003, Ruth Romp came to the SBDC with a dream. Hailing originally from New Zealand, she wanted to turn an extra cabin located on Red Butte Ranch into a bed and breakfast, similar to accommodations in her home country. The fly fishermen found her riverside location on S. Bessemer Bend Road quickly through recommendations from Ryan and Liz Anderson of the Platte River Fly Shop, and the operation has been expanding ever since. The majority of guests are returning fishermen.
Red Butte Ranch has also become a very popular location for weddings. The combination of the outdoor setting next to the river and the availability of accommodation for wedding party and guests has become so popular that Ruth is already booked for weddings for much of the 2015 season.
Ruth worked with Cindy Unger, Business Advisor in the Casper SBDC office. Cindy originally helped Ruth strategize business concept ideas and marketing plans, research regulations, and helped with contracts and forms. Cindy also assisted Ruth with her purchase of the lodge house in 2014, reviewing her business plan and helping with financial projections.
Currently, the guest ranch consists of one main house, where two rooms are rented out as a bed and breakfast. There is a freestanding cottage that can sleep six and includes full kitchen facilities, and a new lodge, with full kitchen facilities, that can sleep 12 was added this summer. The lodge is currently being remodeled to include a game room and a more appropriate “fishing” décor. All the B&B and cottage rooms have been attractively decorated and furnished to reflect the fishing interests of her guests. The bed and breakfast house has a newly remodeled kitchen and great room, where guests can watch TV on a huge screen and enjoy Ruth’s famous biscuits and gravy or wicked omelets for breakfast.
Ruth’s passion is helping handicapped veterans. Annually, she opens her ranch up to injured soldiers associated with Healing Waters for four days of eating, fly fishing and fun, all free of charge. Ryan and Liz Anderson assist with guided fly fishing trips. Hopefully, within the next two years, these special guests will have their own boat ramp, equipped for wheelchair access.
Commenting on her philosophy Ruth says, “I used to travel the world to meet nice people. Now, I am fortunate to have those same interesting people come and visit me.”