A New Generation of Family
2023 marks the beginning of the next chapter in the life of Stehekin Valley Ranch. After pouring their hearts into their dream for 40 years, Cliff and Kerry Courtney are ready to pass the torch to the next generation. As they head off towards new adventures and time with grandkids, their niece Mistaya and her husband Jake will be taking over as owners of the Ranch.
We are happy for Cliff and Kerry, and wish them the very best as they transition to the next stage of their lives. Their passion and leadership have made this Ranch the unique and special place that it is, and they will be missed around here! Their plans will keep them busy – dividing time between visiting grandkids in Homer, AK, and bolstering the Stehekin Ferry to maintain Cliff’s dream of having excellent year-round boat service on a schedule that works well for the Stehekin community.
And while change can be challenging, we are excited to work with Jake and Mistaya as they take the reins at the Ranch – striving to maintain the high level of service, quality and relaxing atmosphere that makes this a favorite vacation destination year after year.
Who are these youngsters anyway?
Mistaya is the daughter of Cliff’s brother Mark, and grew up in the Courtney family home, right next door to the Ranch. She spent time at the Ranch in her childhood, and started working there in the summers as soon as she was old enough to reach over the counter to serve pies. Through her high school and into her college years, she spent summers cooking and baking for both the Ranch and the ever popular Stehekin Pastry Company. I think it is safe to say that the quality of food at the Ranch is in no danger of degrading with Mistaya in charge!
Mistaya met her husband Jake when they were both studying to become paramedics. Since graduating from that program, they have both continued to work in the paramedic field, and are excited to use their knowledge and connections to bring better emergency care to the Stehekin Valley. Jake also spent last summer learning the ropes at the Ranch, and has been proving that he has the skills and patience needed for this sort of commitment.
Jake and Mistaya have 2 boys – Miles and Bowen. Both boys are excited to be moving to Stehekin, going to the Stehekin School, and spending more time with their cousins and friends in the valley.
What does the future hold?
While there will always be new things to come, Jake and Mistaya recognize the unique balance that makes the Ranch what it is, and hope to maintain that atmosphere which keeps people coming back year after year.
Bethany Gerhard is sticking around as manager through the transition. Her 19+ years of experience at the Ranch should help keep things running smoothly, and long time guests can expect to see a familiar face when they arrive.
We are all looking forward to many more years of sharing this amazing place with all of you, and can’t wait to see you during your next visit to Stehekin Valley Ranch!