With Heli USA, you fly the Grand Canyon first, then ride the Wild West.
There are roughly 70 helicopter tour operators operating out of Las Vegas, but only Heli USA offers this incredible package. First, we'll take you on a morning or afternoon helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon, one of the Seven Wonders of the World so awesome, that cliches like "awesome" should be tossed out of the dictionary.
As "helicopter tour" hardly does the experience justice, so Nigel Turner, an ex-Captain of the revered helicopter wing of the British Army, and Pres. & CEO of Heli-USA, bit the bullet and introduced the ultra-luxurious, No. 1 tour helicopter in the world to his Vegas fleet. The Agusta 119Ke, known by pros in the business as the "Ferrari" of Tour Helicoptors," is on a fast track to change the air tour business drastically. It offers:
1. "I-Phone ("r") Technology" system, custom-built for Heli USA, provides a selection of ten foreign language tour narrations (GPS activated), BOSE ("r") noise attenuating headsets, surround sound music, private communication between parties, and other hi-tech marvels no other tour helicopter offers.
2. Visibility. Huge windows, customised for us, provide incedible panoramic views from the passsenger cabin --including near vertical views that give you an astonishing sense of the enormity of the Canyon.
3. Privacy and Comfort. The seven-passenger cabin is another design breakthrough. It's separate from the pilot's compartment, is spacious and totally uncramped, sports soft, leather seats, and has those amazing windows we discussed. The powerful air conditioner is a welcome relief from the searing heat of Vegas and the Canyon during summer.
4. Performance. In a nutshell, the Agusta 119Ke is the fastest, and most powerful tour helicopter to take to the air. Max. speed: 175 mph, or 281 KPH; Range: 616 miles, or 953 KM.
5. Safety: Safety features exceed other helicopters in its class. Equipped with dual hydraulic and fuel systems, it's also the first tour helicopter equipped with an SAS (autopilot) system.
GRAND CANYON RANCH AWAITS YOU AFTER YOUR TOUR OF THE GRAND CANYON!
The second part of your travel package includes a day or night stay at this legendary Arizona ranch, owned by Nigel Turner. This is a 106,000 acre working cattle ranch, with real cowboys who've branded every one of our 600 Corriente cattle. (note the brand: the Heli USA logo!). Come rodeo season, Nigel sells off a certain percentage of his Corrientes to the rodeo circuit every year. Why? This breed, originally from Mexico, is lean, muscular ... and FAST, perfect for steer roping. Our cowboys often chase them down in the arena, and try roping the fast moving animals, while our guests capture the action on their cameras and wireless devices. But first things first:
1. You're met at the helicopter landing pad (we'll eventually have ten), handed a flute of champagne, then escorted via a wagon pulled by Belgian draft horses up to the ranch house, where a hearty breakfast has your name on it. After breakfast, you have a pick of many things to do.
2. Horesback riding. Nigel has a great rent string, with a horse for everyone on the ride: gentle, slow, fast, faster, frisky -- the last in the lineup is reserved for the really good rider, as ole Frisky will want to break for the barn at the slightest provocation. The cowboy who leads you will take you oversome of the prettiest Arizona high country in the West. You'll smell sagebrush, the West's most common brush, and you'll find it infinitely more pleasurable than the automobile exhaust you may be used to. You'll cross over the Mormon Trail, headed due north, ride through a Joshua Tree forest, eventually climb to the summit, where one of the cowhands breaks opens a couple of bottles of champagne, and you can toast the mountains, the sunset, if it's a late ride, that cougar chasing a coyote for dinner (I just made that up, though there are cougars all around us; you just can't see 'em). And soon you're headed for home, where a great dinner awaits you -- how do you like your steak, podner?
Rodeo Arena. This is where cowboys do what cowboys do best. Our new Rodeo Arena puts on shows frequently, and steer roping is probably the most watched cowboy event. One of the more difficult of those events occurs when the chute opens, the steer shoots out of there, and two cowboys spur their horses into a full gallop, chasing the steer. The lead cowboy catches up to the steer,drops a lariat on his head (the horns are sometimes a problem), and waits for his compadre to lassoe the two hind legs on the steer. The steer is not hurt, just sort of left dangling between the two horses. Visitors to the Ranch love our Rodeo Arena, and settle in to watch these and other "cowboying" events. You see them on T.V. a lot, but here it's live, and if your eyesight is sharp, you can see certain tricks the cowboys use to catch and rope the steer.
Buffalo Safari. Save the Whales. Save the Buffalo. Who knows what other species is on the chopping block because of Man's greed? The buffalo were so numerous in the 19th century, that, as one newspaper journalist put it: "They blackened the plains, in all four directions to the horizon." During Custer's day, it is estimated there were close to 50,000,000 buffalo roaming the plains. They were the Native Americans' best friend, who used them for food, winter coats of fur, the horns for drinking cups, and a hundred other uses. But the U.S. Army was determined to kill every last one in an effort to drive the Native Americans back to the reservation. And they came mighty close, with the assisance of "sportsmen," who shot the animals from trains, and hunters like Wild Bill Hickok, who is reputed to have shot and killed one hundred buffalo in a single day.
Nigel's buffalo, or American bison, were purchased from a ranch in Montana. He was happy to hear that another conscientious rancher shared the same goal as he: to restore the American Bison to its natural status as America's Icon.
The Buffalo Safari is open to all guests of Grand Canon Ranch. Just sign on in the Ranch House, and you have the opton of riding up to where they graze, and start snappng pictues! Three new calves have joined the herd, and they are mighty photogenic!
Real Cowboy Entertainment. Our resident balladeer, Casey Adams, is an ex-cowboy, who discovered a talent years ago for singing authentic cowboy songs made up by wranglers who herded as many as 10,000 head of cattle up the old western trails to railheads in Abilene and Kansas City. It gets mighty lonely on the prairie at night, and composing and singing these songs often turned into a competition. Casey researched every one, picked out the best to sing while you're enjoying your meal in the ranch house, and later, at night around a roaring campfire, and he sings them like a pro, capturing the feeling of the Old West. His own, original songs are beautully written and sung, and are also available on CD's.
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 descriptions of our authentic pine cabins for overnight stays, we're at grandcanyonranch.com.