New-Look Westgate River Ranch Resort, World's Largest Dude Ranch, Debuts July 5-6 With 'Red, White & Blue Holiday' Celebration

Jun 17, 2002, 01:00 ET from Westgate Resorts

    LAKE WALES, Fla., June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Live rodeo performances,
 talented bluegrass bands, thrilling gunslingers, tasty barbeque and fun-filled
 trail rides will provide just some of the excitement on Fri., July 5 and Sat.,
 July 6 at a "Red, White & Blue Holiday Celebration" celebration for the re-
 opening of the world's largest dude ranch, Westgate River Ranch Resort, 30
 minutes east of Lake Wales.
     Hosted by Westgate Resorts, the event is being held to commemorate the
 Polk County property's renovation and re-opening by the Orlando-based
 timeshare giant.  Conveniently located one hour from Tampa, Orlando and Vero
 Beach in the heart of old Florida's cattle country, the resort is on the
 Kissimmee River and is located on S.R. 60 at 3600 River Ranch Road.  Easy-to-
 read directional signage to the event will be posted in the immediate vicinity
 of Westgate River Ranch Resort.
     Jam-packed with more western-themed fun than the 1,700-acre property can
 hold, the event will run on both days from 9 a.m. to midnight.  Guests at the
 Red, White & Blue Celebration can enjoy a multitude of family-friendly
 activities including three performances daily of a real wild west rodeo that
 include bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing and a greasy pig chase for
 kids; performances by popular bluegrass bands McKinley & Beggs and The
 Bluegrass Buddies; gunslinger performances and wild animal shows featuring
 Simba from the Lion King.  Overhead, vintage Warbirds airplanes and Ultralight
 aircraft will take to the skies.
     Delicious barbeque and other western-style delights will be available in
 the East Corral, as well as tempting seafood at the ranch's Fisherman's Cove
 Restaurant.   (A full list of activities follows below.)
     Many activities will be available free of charge and others will have only
 a nominal charge. Tickets to the rodeo will be $14.95 per adult and $9.95 for
 children. The public can obtain advance tickets, directions and other
 information by calling, toll-free, 1-800-375-7201 or visiting on the Web.
     "We're excited about adding the River Ranch Resort to our family of
 vacation resorts," said David Siegel, president and CEO of Westgate Resorts.
 "It's already the biggest, but now our goal is to make Westgate River Ranch
 Resort the best dude ranch in the world.  And, to kick-off the unveiling of
 this fabulous vacation experience, we wanted to share the resort's amenities
 with as many people as possible.  Hence, our 'Red, White & Blue Celebration!'"
     River Ranch Acres was purchased by Westgate Resorts in November 2001 and
 renamed Westgate River Ranch Resort. The resort has undergone extensive
 renovations to its existing facilities, and is slated for a massive expansion
 that will include extending its nine-hole golf course to 36 holes, lengthening
 its airplane landing strip and expanding the marina to include additional boat
 slips and dry storage.  In addition to these and other improvements, Westgate
 Resorts plans to add over 2,500 vacation residences, which will include
 timeshare, whole ownership and private hanger homes on the airstrip.
     The Westgate River Ranch is the first vacation property of its kind in
 Westgate's family of 12 timeshare resorts across the United States.  The
 timeshare leader's properties in Orlando, Miami, Daytona Beach, Gatlinburg
 Tennessee, Las Vegas and Park City, Utah, offer a wide range of unique and
 luxurious vacation experiences.
     A complete lineup of family activities for July 5 and 6 includes:
     *  Rodeo
     *  Horseback riding and petting zoo
     *  A western arts and crafts fair
     *  Special children's activities including face painting, arts and crafts,
        and pony rides
     *  Hay rides and trail rides
     *  Plenty of waterfront fun including fishing charters, airboat rides, and
        pontoon nature cruises, plus other marina services including a boat
        ramp and overnight boat slips
     *  Trap and skeet shooting (guns provided)
     *  Aircraft shows including demonstrations of Ultralight aircraft and
        shows staged by the Warbirds Flying Museum, featuring vintage aircraft
     *  Family street dancing parties
     *  Miniature golf and shuffleboard
     Directions to Westgate River Ranch Resort:
     *  From Orlando: Take Interstate 4 west. Exit at U.S. 27 and go south. At
        S.R. 60 (Lake Wales exit), turn left and head east approximately 25
     *  From Tampa: Take S.R. 60 east.  Continue east approximately 25 miles
        past Interstate 4.
     *  From Vero Beach:  Take S.R. 60 west 50 miles.
     *  From South Florida:  Take the Florida Turnpike north to S.R. 60 (Yeehaw
        Junction exit).  Travel west 23 miles.
     For more information:
     Karen Waltrip, Westgate Resorts. (407) 351-3351 ext. 535
     Rod Caborn, YP&B (public relations), (407) 875-1111, ext. 1799
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SOURCE Westgate Resorts