The Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch carefully selects each of their 21 employees to be sure each adheres to the high quality standards and expectations of your hosts, Jerry and Cheri. Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch Employees are there to ensure that you and your family have a very memorable vacation and with a guest to staff ratio of 2:1, we are quite able to give our guests the individual attention they deserve.
Jerry and Cheri Helmicki, Your Hosts
Since 1995, this amazing couple of 40 years has owned the Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch and have called Colorado home. Born and raised in Michigan, Jerry traveled the country as a sales manager for a large direct marketing corporation. Cheri was a high school physical education teacher and a track, cross country and swimming coach. After leaving the corporate life in Detroit and with an intense love for the outdoors, Jerry and Cheri decided to pursue their life- long dream of owning a Colorado guest ranch.
With their daughter (now a lawyer) in tow, they exchanged their commuter passes for horse saddles. "Coming from Corporate America, which is stressful and all-consuming, we understand the importance of allowing guests to experience one week out of 52 that is quiet, refreshing and rejuvenating". Owning the guest ranch combines everything they enjoy most – people, outdoor activities and horses – and it gives them the opportunity to put others in touch with the wonders of nature.
The payoff for this incredible couple is watching the adults tear-up as they leave the ranch. Jerry explains, "They tell us that they didn’t realize how important the week would ultimately become to their family".
You'll find Jerry and Cheri an integral part of your ranch week. One of their favorite times is sitting out on the patio with their guests after one of Jerry's All-Day rides or Cheri's guided hikes to enjoy a cool beverage and laugh over the day's favorite memories. Come see for yourself why Bar Lazy J was awarded the Best Ranch Hosts in the country in the Signature Ranch Awards!
Grant Bradley, Chef
Chef Grant Bradley was born and raised in Kentucky, but after a few years as a guest at the ranch, told us he'd love to make Colorado his home if an opportunity opened in our kitchen. After joining us last season as an assistant chef when a position opened, it became obvious very quickly that Grant's place was at the front of our culinary team. Not only were his additions to our menu outstanding, but his leadership in the kitchen and care for our guests was second to none. We are incredibly fortunate to have him here for his 2nd season working his culinary magic in the kitchen. Combining his artistic talent with his passion for delicious foods, Grant provides a diverse daily menu including Western favorites and daily specials made fresh from only the finest "Colorado-grown" ingredients. In between meals, you'll likely see him joining in on ranch activities or heading out to enjoy the beautiful summer days. You'll love his new menu items and don't forget to pick up a copy of the recipe book he's been putting together this winter after countless requests. He's happy to share his kitchen "secrets" for our guests to enjoy year round, but we have to admit--it just tastes the best when Chef Grant makes it. He's really looking forward to meeting and chatting with guests this summer so please make sure to say “howdy" if you see him--and if your timing is right, you can grab a warm cookie from his Grandma's recipes while you're there!
The Yurich Family, Ranch Managers and Official "Ranch Kids"!
When Tammy joined the Bar Lazy J staff in 1999 as a Children's Wrangler, she could never have guessed she'd find her life-long passion. In 2003, Chad joined the wrangling staff as well and after a year of Co-Managing the barn, the two were married in 2005. Chad served as the ranch's Head Wrangler for many years until taking a full-time position as a Patrol Lieutenant in the county. Three ranch kids later, they all continue to be a significant part of the ranch. In the winter, Tammy handles the office and the ranch's winter needs. Although we are closed, there is quite a bit daily to be done in preparation for our summer months. You'll most likely speak with Tammy if you're calling to inquire about a week and she's always ready to answer any questions you may have. During the season, Tammy and Chad serve as our Ranch Managers and oversee many of the day to day operations of the ranch. Their three kiddos act as the official "ranch kids", helping welcome the children to the ranch and show them the ropes related to the Kids' Program. You'll be sure to quickly get to know them all!
Kache Kearney, Head Wrangler/Barn Manager
The Bar Lazy J was fortunate enough to hire Head Wrangler, Kache Kearney, in 2017 as one of our adult wranglers. Originally from Idaho, it took no time to see that his passion and talent for working with both the horses and our guests, made him a great asset to our program. In 2019, Kache was promoted to our year round Herd Caretaker and has done a tremendous job handling our feeding and vet program. He and Tess handle the feeding and fodder operation in the winter months, along with some general maintenance and snow removal--which we need quite a bit of! His love and care for our herd shows in every horse and we're so fortunate to have him as our Head Wrangler/Barn Manager this season. Make sure you say hello and if you want to more about our feed program or horses, he's always happy to answer questions. You'll find he's passionate about our herd and loves sharing that passion with our guests. He hopes to see you on the trail!
Tess Fountain, Maintenance/Grounds/Master Gardener
In 2017, we were delighted to welcome Tess to the Bar Lazy J team as our Lead Housekeeper and it quickly became evident she was a woman of many talents! She has since remained on ranch through our winter months as well and after leading our Crew Team for years, expressed interest in starting a green house in order to do more "farm-to-table" offerings for our guests. Her love and knowledge in the horticulture field have now led her into the grounds position where she transformed our flower gardens and grows herbs, greens and vegetables for our guests to enjoy. You can get a tour of "Tess' Green House" while you're here and she'll give you a literal taste of of the delicious greens we're growing on ranch. Besides grounds and gardens, Tess also covers maintenance on the ranch, so be sure to snag a chat with her while you're here since she has expertise in almost all areas of the ranch. In her off time, you'll find her fishing the river and often working on her handmade turquoise jewelry that you can find for sale in the ranch gift shop--you'll definitely want to pick up one of her incredible custom pieces!
We're always looking for friendly and hard-working individuals to join our team. We suggest getting your application in as close to the New Year as possible to be considered for the following season. Please check out our blog post, “So You Want to Work at a Dude Ranch”, and if interested, fill out our Employment Application Form.