Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were only two of the famed outlaws that hid from sheriff's posses at Grand Canyon Ranch in the Wild West days.
Called the Diamond Bar in those days, the Ranch was owned by a "retired" gunfighter named Tap Duncan, who ran with his own gang of outlaws and often let others in the same profession hide out at the Diamond Bar.
"The history of the Ranch, which I re-named Grand Canyon Ranch, is a mirror of the Old West," according to new owner Nigel Turner, Pres. & CEO of Heli USA. "When it came up for sale a few years back, I snapped it up for two reasons -- return it to its original glory as a working cattle ranch, and offer it to guests of Heli USA as an "extra" incentive to fly the Grand Canyon with us."
Thousands of customers of the helicopter tour company, based in Vegas, have taken up Turner's offer, and -- after a thrilling flight through the magnificent Grand Canyon --spend time exploring this historic, 165 square mile cattle ranch near the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. See comments below, in italics.
Enjoy a hearty Western-style meal at our ranch house, then come meet our cowboys -- they're the real deal. They round up our Corriente cattle for branding and shipping out to the rodeo circuit ... put on steer roping exhibitions at our new arena ... take you on horseback rides through some of the prettiest high country in the West ... and take you out to where the Ranch's prized herd of Buffalo graze (three new calves were born recently, the cutest critters you'll ever see, so bring your camera!). Turner's Buffalo Safari is his commitment to restore the American Bison to its status as an American icon.
"I highly recommend this trip for families. The helicopter ride was fantastic, and the pilot extremely informative about the places we flew over. The cowboys at the ranch could have stepped out of a John Wayne movie, and knew all about the history of the ranch and the gunslingers who were frequent "guests." John S., UK, March 2012.
"What a fantastic experience, and something we'll never forget. Casey Adams' western songs around the campfire at night were beautiful, and his stories about Tap Duncan and Butch Cassidy gave us a real insight into the Old West." Peter M., Australia, April 2012.
Only Heli USA flies the "Ferrari of helicopters," the Agusta 119Ke, out of Las Vegas. It is considered the safest and most powerful helicopter now flying. A seven passenger cabin offers comfortable seating, and a 50% better viewing capability.
For reservations visit heliusa.com, or call Toll Free 1-800-359-8727. In Las Vegas, 702-736-8787. For more information on the historic Grand Canyon Ranch Resort, including overnight accommodations in our comfy pine cabins, we're at grandcanyonranch.com
Known for its rigid attention to safety and customer service, Heli USA has long been "top choice" for Vegas visitors to fly the awesome Grand Canyon. But an unexpected surprise awaits those who opt for the total package -- a visit to Heli USA's Grand Canyon Ranch, where you can spend an exciting afternoon (even stay overnight) at one of the authentic ranches of the Old West.
The Ranch is Nigel Turner's prize bauble ... a 106,000 acre working cattle ranch the Pres. and CEO of Heli USA takes delight in sharing with his customers. His reason: you've come this far to enjoy Las Vegas, with its glittering casinos and world famous hotels. Why not get a taste of the real West while you're here, at Grand Canyon Ranch? Enjoy:
1. Meeting real cowboys -- the genuine article,they could have stepped out of a Remington painting of the Old West. They round up Nigel's Corriente cattle, brand the calves, and help ship the steers off to the rodeo circuit.
2. New Rodeo Arena. Where the cowhands put on team roping contests, cutting demonstrations (culling one horse from the rest of the herd), and other popular rodeo events.
3. Horseback Rides. Guided by an experienced wrangler, you'll explore some of the prettiest high country in the West. Pass through a Joshua tree forest, and cross over the original Mormon Trail --a genuine piece of American history.
4. Buffalo Safari. Along with other responsible ranchers in the West, Turner is committed to restoring the American bison, or buffalo, to its original status as America's most representative icon. You can see his buffalo herd up close, including 3 young-uns ... recently born baby calves. Bring your camera!
5. Delicious, western-style meals and entertainment. Hearty western cooking (how do you like your steak, podner?) is a Grand Canyon Ranch trademark. You'll also be entertained by our resident western balladeer, Casey Adams, who includes his own compositions at meals, and around the campfire at night, that capture the spirit and flavor of the Old West.
"Absolutely the best vacation ever. Incredible food, great accommodations, and unparalleld hospitality. We not only made memories, we made friends who changed our lives. We will definitely return." Beverly Weddington, Pennsylvania, USA.
"We took a three week drive to discover the West, but didn't really find it till we came to the Grand Canyon Ranch. There's simply nowhere like it for that authentic Western experience. Warm, welcoming, and Western. You'd be a fool to miss it." Chris & Terri, Dublin, Ireland.
"Please forward to Casey Adams, and all those at the Ranch, our thanks for a fantastic time." Roy & Jan Edwards, Gloucester, England.
Courtesy of Viatours.
For reservations, visit heliusa.com, or call Toll Free 1-800-359-8727. In Las Vegas, 702-736-8787. For more information on the historic Grand Canyon Ranch Resort, we're at grandcanyonranch.com
Wondering how to top that fabulous show at Caesar's Palace? Need a break from the slots and that French mime? Give Heli USA a call, and book a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon, the tour that thousands of folks from all over the world have rated as "tops."
Why Heli USA, when there are so many rival helicopter companies in Vegas that are larger, and spend more on advertising?
1. The most experienced pilots in the business. Nigel Turner, Pres. & CEO of Heli USA, will settle for nothing less than perfection in the pilots he hires. Understandable: as a young Captain in the Helicopter Wing of the British Army, he was picked to be the personal pilot of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher when she visited the troops in postwar Germany. Only someone with a strong sense of discipline,and complete knowledge of the bird he's flying -- what it can do, and what it shouldn't do under any circumstances --gets an assignment like that, and this is precisely how he trains his pilots.
2. The equipment Heli USA flies is the best, and most reliable on the market. If you happen to spot the tarmac at McCarran Airport where Heli USA parks its jet copters, you might see the most powerful and safe passenger helicopter in the world -- the new Agusta 119Ke, flown exclusively by Heli USA out of Vegas. You can't miss it, with its gleaming red paint and mythical white horse, Pegasus, painted on the side. Book her, and fly in complete comfort in its separate, seven passenger cabin with large seats and a 50% increase in visibility, compared to other helicopters.
But wait ........................there's more!!!!!
3. Only Heli USA offers guests a visit to nearby Grand Canyon Ranch, owned by Heli USA's Nigel Turner. Nigel grabbed the opportunity to buy this authentic, working cattle ranch, spread out over 106,000 acres, when it came up for sale a few years back ... the culmination of a dream for this English "cowboy," who fell in love with the American Wild West as a kid in England ... one who never missed a western movie at the local theatre. Guests of Heli USA are in for the treat of their lives. They'll meet real working cowboys, because this is a real working cattle ranch; Nigel has over 600 Corriente cattle, the steers leaner than most breeds and raised for the rodeo circuit. Other experiences as a guest: terrific western-style meals, Entertainment: classic western songs, plus some originals, written and sung by our official balladeer, Casey Adams, a new Rodeo Arena where cowboys chase down steers and lassoe them,and horseback or wagon rides out to where Nigel's prize herd of buffalo are grazing. The Buffalo Safari, as its called, is critical to understanding what the Ranch is all about: Conservation and the restoration of what was destroyed needlessly in the late 19th century; in this case, the American bison, or buffalo. 30 million were shot dead for no other reason than to starve native Americans back to the reservation.
But the buffalo are coming back through the efforts of conscientous ranchers all over the west; and Turner considers it his proudest achievement. You have a chance to see America's most famous icon. Don't pass on it.
"I may not come back to Las Vegas, but would definitely come back to the Ranch and Heli USA." -Trip Advisor comment, January, 2012.
For reservations, visit heliusa.com, or call Toll Free 1-800-359-8727. In Las Vegas, 702-736-8787. For more information on the historic Grand Canyon Ranch Resort, including overnight accommodations in our authentic pine cabins and tipis, we're at grandcanyonranch.com.
Yep ... they're both included in the best 1-2 entertainment package offered by a helicopter tour company in Vegas. Call Heli USA now before you leave Las Vegas, so you won't regret it later. They offer:
1. A ride in the most comfortable and safe jet copters in the world -- including the advanced Italian & British co-designed Agusta/Westland 119Ke. This seven pasenger beauty, with its separate seating compartment, offers bigger seats and a 50% increase in viewing capability.
2. The comfort of knowing your pilots are among the most rigorously trained in the world. Nigel Turner, Pres. & CEO of the company, and a former Captain in the British Army's spit & polish Helicopter Wing, is a disciplinarian to the core. His pilots follow FAA rules to the letter when flying the Canyon and other historical sights, like Hoover Dam. Enjoy the unmatched magesty of the Grand Canyon, as Nigel's pilots fly you below the west rim for the best close-up view of mile high canyon walls and stone spires that reach for the heavens.
"We are proud to have safely flown over 1.4 million passengers." Nigel Turner, 2012.
3. Ready for a genuine Old West ranch experience? After your tour of the Canyon, your pilot lands at the nearby Grand Canyon Ranch, where you're met with a glass of champagne and a horse-drawn wagon ride up to the ranch house. Here, you'll enjoy a delicious western-style meal. The remainder of the morning or afternoon are yours to spend as you like, but here's a tip: take a horseback (or wagon) ride up to where Turner's herd of buffalo are grazing. These magnificent animals -- America's foremost icon --were nearly destroyed by "sportsmen" and the U.S. Army in the late 19th century. Over 30 million of them, slaughtered needlessly. But today, they are making a comeback through the efforts of responsible ranch owners all over the West, including Turner. It's a true, distinctly American "comeback story," one you can witness at the very beginning.
There's so much to add about the history of Grand Canyon Ranch, space permitting, which we lack. But you can see the real thing when you visit this genuine, 165 square mile workng cattle ranch, where you'll meet real cowboys, hear real tales about the outlaw gangs who once hid out here in the old, Wild West days, and listen to authentic western songs around a campfire, sung by our official balladeer, Casey Adams.
For reservations, visit heliusa.com, or call Toll Free 1-800-359-8787. For more information on the historic Grand Canyon Ranch Resort, including our pine cabins & tipis for overnight guests, we're at grandcanyonranch.com.
It's called Grand Canyon Ranch. Owned and operated by Heli USA, this 165 square mile hunk of Arizona ranch country is the real deal:
A throw back to the Old Wild West!
Nigel Turner, Pres. & CEO of Heli USA, bought this authentic working cattle ranch a few years back, and opened it up to guests like you to give you a taste of what the real West was like.
1. After your fabulous tour of the Grand Canyon (rated "tops" by numerous travel magazines and online travel sites), your Heli USA copter settles down gently on one of the Ranch's landing pads.
2. Here you're met with a glass of champagne, and driven in a horse drawn wagon up to the ranch house for a delicous western-style meal. That cowboy strumming a guitar and singing ballads of the Old West, while you eat, is Casey Adams. They don't come anymore "authentic" than Adams, who knows, and loves to share the history of Grand Canyon Ranch, originally called the Diamond Bar. A few slices of that history:
3. The Hualapai Indians used to hold Ghost Dances on these grounds in the late 19th century. After painting their bodies a ghoulish white, they would begin chanting and whirling around a huge bonfire until they fainted from exhaustion. Purpose: to restore the land to its original pristine beauty, with buffalo, deer and antelope in abundance; and the white man, who stole their land, banished forever. Some of the celebrations got out of hand, a few settlers were killed, and the U.S. Cavalry finally put an end to the Ghost Dances.
3a. Tap Duncan, the most infamous of the Diamond Bar's owners, expanded it to over a million acres, and ran some 10,000 head of cattle on it. One of the most feared six gun shooters in the West, Tap was a member of the Kid Curry gang of bank and train robbers in his off hours; and often let Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid hide out at the Ranch when a posse of lawmen got too close for comfort. A tall tale of the Old West, from which a famous movie was made? Nope -- Butch and Sundance were real outlaws, and are mentioned many times in the archives of the Pinkerton Detective Agency.
3b. Tap's daughters ran the Ranch for a spell, then, in the mid-1940's, sold it to Dale Smith, a cowboy star on the rodeo circuit for years. Smith sold off most of the land to the government, but kept the prime piece, well-watered with natural springs, for himself. This is the ranch you're visiting today, which Turner purchased and re-named Grand Canyon Ranch.
4. Guests of Heli USA, visitors, and even the Arizona State Govt. give Turner rave reviews for preserving a piece of Arizona's history and environment. While you're here, be sure and enjoy a horseback or wagon ride out to where Nigel's herd of buffalo graze (a MUST). There's a steer roping arena, an occasional recreation of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, terrific western meals, and even pine cabins for overnight guests. Best of all, you'll meet some of the nicest group of people -- cowboys and staff -- who might give you a whole new perspective on how the Wild West gradually became the American West we know today.
For reservations, visit heliusa.com, or call Toll Free 1-800-359-8727. In Las Vegas, 702-736-8787. For more information on the historic Grand Canyon Ranch Resort, we're at grandcanyonranch.com.