Horsin’ Around Dream Ride with Suzan Barnes

(Ernie Rodina) Hi, folks, I’m Ernie Rodina. (Dawn Dawson) I’m Dawn Dawson. Thanks for tuning in today to AGam in Kansas. (Ernie) …to the Horsin’ Around segment. We’ve got Suzan Barnes from Cottonwood Falls, the owner of Grand Central Hotel. Suzan, 17 years we’ve been doing the Dream Ride out here. (Suzan Barnes) Yes, 17. (Ernie) …17, and having a blast. There is not a better place to be than in the Flint Hills. (Suzan) No, absolutely, especially right now. This is just gorgeous, this is unusual. (Ernie) You’ve taken it to another level with the forming of flinthillsvacations.com. Tell us a little bit about what that is. (Suzan) Okay. Flint Hills Vacations started with a grant, a USDA Rural Development Grant through Flint Hills Tours of Coalition. We’re doing tours throughout the Flint Hills, which is 22 counties geographically, but we’re using 17 all the way from the Oklahoma border up to Nebraska border. (Dawn) Where do people find out about this? Is it something that they can come in for a day, a week, different places that they can stay? (Suzan) Good question. We started out wanting to have equestrian and contiguous riding throughout the 22 counties. However, we couldn’t find the landowners that would let us do contiguous riding. We’ve developed Flint Hills Vacations around equestrian, culinary, tourism, music, and photography, anything to do with tourism. We’re actually even doing, maybe, a craft beer tour. (Ernie) Suzan, anchored down by the Grand Central Hotel and your leadership, you’ve teamed up with some of the great ranches around here. Can we talk a little bit about them? (Suzan) Sure, absolutely. We’re on the Robin’s Ranch today, and we’ve used it for three years, it’s a great ranch. Good family friends of mine and Ernie’s both, and we’ve used the Bacon Ranch before; we’ve used- (Ernie) Flying W Ranch? (Suzan) – Flying W Ranch with Josh and Gwen Hoy. We’ve used the Panther Ranch. We’ve had some great ranches. (Dawn) You have had some beautiful ranches, and we have just been blessed this year with the beautiful grass and what a great ride we went on today Ernie. We’ve had a good time and for folks that want to be part of this Dream Ride, are you doing it again next year? (Ernie) Okay. (Suzan) Yes, Absolutely. (Dawn) Then they can go to this website to find out all the other places that they can visit right here in the Flint Hills. What’s that website again Suzan? (Suzan) flinthillsvacations.com and my phone numbers are on there; everything’s on there. (Ernie) While we’re talking about the grandcentralhotel.com, unbelievable state theater down there, make sure you eat down there. Suzan, we appreciate everything you do. (Suzan) Thank you. Thanks very, very much. (Dawn) It’s awesome. You’ve got to see the Grand Central Hotel. If you haven’t been, be sure to check it out, it’s beautiful. (Suzan) Thanks. (Ernie) Thanks for joining us today on AGam in Kansas with the Horsin’ Around segment.

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