BISBEE — Two massive old cottonwood trees greet guests to Mile High Ranch, a bed and breakfast up in Tombstone Canyon in Old Bisbee now under new management.
Rick Fernandez and Henry Miller want to provide visitors a uniquely Bisbee experience in the quiet upper canyon nestled amid the towering trees. They hope to make it a destination for special events in the mile-high town.
The couple have been together for the past 35 years and feel they have found a new life as they set about taking the seven guest rooms, and their lives, to a new comfort level.
Fernandez, an attorney, and Miller, a special event coordinator, decided they wanted a change in their busy, hectic lives and move forward on their dream of owning a bed and breakfast. The search for the perfect place led them across America and even Spain, but Mile High Ranch, nestled in the mountains with plenty of space, a fishpond, fruit trees and gardens, won their hearts. The laid-back feel and calm surroundings were important in making the decision to move here from Portland, Oregon.
The rooms offer full or partial kitchens with dishes and cookware, coffee machine, refrigerator, stove, microwave, TV, complimentary WiFi, bath products, hairdryer, heating and AC. For an additional fee, guests can pre-order a delicious breakfast basket. All rooms and the property are smoke-free. Pets are welcome, but not allowed on furniture or beds.
“We came down in February and just loved it here. This has definitely been a challenge, but it is a lot less stressful and more relaxing than what we were doing,” said Fernandez.
In May, work began on refreshing the rooms to make the accommodations more appealing. They decided to welcome the town’s mining history and are naming the rooms after Bisbee’s mines. An 1895 miner’s cabin built by Mayor John Joseph Muirhead that sits on the hill above the orchard filled with fruit trees also is scheduled for renovation.
Currently they are working on the main house, which they want to make into a community room for their guests. Another plan is to remodel one of the buildings to be used for special events like weddings and special parties.
In the back yard, a peaceful pond with lily pads and goldfish — in declining numbers due to hungry raccoons — awaits with comfortable seating creating the perfect atmosphere to enjoy the evening under Bisbee’s dark skies and maybe even catch a glimpse of a few shooting stars.
Miller is a respected events coordinator who has worked for state fairs, Disney, various parades and Super Bowls, to name just a few. So, he could not resist arranging the Ranch’s first big event for the community — a Mile High Ranch Halloween weekend not to be forgotten. The free family fun starts on Friday, Oct. 29, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 31, and even includes a haunted house tour in the old miner’s cabin.
“Set on the hill behind the ranch, the historic miner’s cabin seems quiet, abandoned,” notes an announcement. “But some say that strange sounds can be heard late at night coming from the old Scorpion Mine portal located in the basement below the cabin. Are those screams or is it just the wind? The scorpion hunt will take us past the cabin ... and what lies within.”
Miller said, “It’s fun to go through a haunted house, but it’s more fun to act in one. I did that and it was the most fun I ever had.”
Mile High Ranch can hold 120 people for the outdoor event. Plans are to close the gates when that number has been reached, in part to provide social distancing.
“We are looking forward to the fun night,” said Fernandez. “We hope to see a lot of people come up for a visit.”