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Ted Turner at Vermejo

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Home on the Range

Inside Bernal Cabin's Exclusive Experience at Ted Turner's Vermejo

“Vermejo is a special place where the land looks much as it did 100 years ago,” says Mr. Ted Turner, the man who transformed television and one of the most influential philanthropists in the country.

Mr. Turner is the chairman of Turner Enterprises, Inc, which manages his business interests, land holdings and investments, including the oversight of two million acres across eight states- one of which is Vermejo, a nature reserve and guest ranch in northeastern New Mexico and southern Colorado. 

“These beautiful places are unfortunately disappearing from the American landscape as we continue to build and develop. Vermejo is a success story. It is proof we can reverse the damage and restore the lands,” says Turner.

The media mogul has one of the most impressive resumes, having launched CNN, the world’s first live, 24-hour global news network. Since CNN’s conception in 1980, Turner spent the next two decades building a portfolio of unrivaled cable television news and entertainment brands and businesses, including CNN International, TNT, Cartoon Network, and more. In the mid-’90s, Castle Rock Entertainment and New Line Cinema became Turner Broadcasting properties. In 1996, the company merged with Time Warner Inc., and in 2001, Time Warner merged with AOL to create AOL Time Warner. The company later changed its name back to Time Warner Inc.

However, Turner’s true passion is preservation, restoration, and the great outdoors. In fact, through Turner Enterprises, he manages the largest commercial bison herd (45,000) in North America.

“I have accomplished much in my lifetime, but there is no greater legacy to leave our children and grandchildren than a more peaceful and healthier planet.”

In 2015, Turner launched his hospitality venture, Ted Turner Reserves, a groundbreaking initiative inviting the public to visit and enjoy four unique, Turner-owned locales, totaling over one million acres of stunning landscapes. 

“It’s incredible to see the species that call this place home, like the American bison, elk, and black bears. Observing them in their natural habitat will undoubtedly inspire visitors to make every effort to protect this planet for generations to come. There is nothing comparable to witnessing the work we’re doing to save endangered species, such as the Rio Grande cutthroat trout.”

One of Turner’s most esteemed properties is Vermejo, a respected leader in regenerative tourism. The vast property offers luxury accommodations, an abundance of immersive experiences, upscale culinary options, and high-touch service in one of North America’s most dramatic, natural destinations. With over 550,000 stunning acres of picturesque, rewilded lands, Vermejo is the jewel of Northern New Mexico, replete with snowcapped alpine tundra, vast forests, prairie land, 19 lakes and 137 miles of rivers and streams. The landscape is a sanctuary to a wide variety of endangered and sensitive species.

Our Paradise Valley City Lifestyle ownership was invited to experience Vermejo’s newest addition prior to its official opening this summer. Introducing Bernal Lake Cabin, a premium, secluded wilderness experience for guest stays.

The unveiling of Bernal Lake Cabin is like nothing you’ve ever- or will ever- endure.

The 1,460 square foot, rustically luxe accommodation features a split-floorplan with two master suites, each boasting a king bed and clawfoot soaking tub. A spacious living room with a propane fireplace, third bathroom, children’s loft/play-space, and heated floors throughout makes the cabin a perfect year-round vacation destination. This all-inclusive experience comes with a private chef, but there are also cook-it-yourself dining options, as well as access to the Main Lodge Dining Room.

A taste of dinner options includes: sous vide bison filet, pan fried trout, and roasted quail. Breakfast is delivered fresh daily to Bernal Lake Cabin’s custom milk door and lunch can be enjoyed at the Main Lodge or via box lunches and picnics.

However, what truly makes this cabin ultra-special, is the opportunity it gives guests to immerse themselves in nature and have a completely exclusive experience. Sitting secluded well away from the main Lodge, the cabin boasts a private lakefront far from public areas, with ample outdoor living spaces, including a cedar soaking hot tub.

The private lake gifts guests an abundance of recreation activities spanning canoeing, fishing, and swimming, along with unfettered access to surrounding nature through hiking, mountain biking, and all privately guided activities available on Vermejo. Whether an adventurous UTV ride or an up-close, North American safari-style wildlife experience, Vermejo tours let you sight-see an abundance of wildlife. Vermejo is also home to Via Ferrata, a fun climbing course with balance-beam walks, a swinging bridge, and a rock prow traverse that puts you almost 30-feet off the ground. You can also opt for ice fishing, a weather-permitting once-in-a-lifetime activity. Guests utilize a complimentary itinerary-building service prior to arrival. 

The cabin is stocked with board games, allowing families to connect – or reconnect – over Monopoly versus TV (which you won’t miss whatsoever).

The original structure was built in 1928 by the Vermejo Club, an invitation-only social organization attracting celebrated members such as Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and Herbert Hoover. The foundation, log beams, and fireplace from this time remain, providing an air of authenticity throughout. Elements of weathered steel siding were added to the exteriors for an aged appearance, in addition to new decking and landscaping. Bernal Lake Cabin’s interiors were designed to evoke a true sense of place: a charming-meets-rustic hideaway.

  • Ted Turner at Vermejo
  • Bernal Cabin Lake
  • Bernal Cabin View
  • Bernal Cabin Master Suite
  • Bernal Cabin Master Suite
  • Bernal Cabin Living Room
  • Culinary Creations
  • Bernal Cabin Master Suite
  • Bernal Cabin Soaking Tub
  • Bernal Cabin Kichen
  • Via Ferrata

Tailored Excursions

The world-class fishing destination is ideal for first timers to seasoned spin-casters and fly-fishers. Hook Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout, which were almost extinct prior to Vermejo’s restoration project.

In spring, elk and deer shed their old antlers. When this happens, so begins shed hunting season. It takes a keen eye, but you might just find one of these natural treasures as a souvenir. 

Fall’s elk rut tour brings guests face-to-face with a bugling elk. When the bulls are fired up to breed and chasing after the cows, guides bring them in close enough that their screams will rattle your chest.

The American West is alive among Vermejo’s range of safe and educational shooting sports through archery, rifle shooting or a wobble deck experience.

"Vermejo is a success story." -Mr. Ted Turner

"There is no greater legacy than leaving a peaceful and healthy planet.” -Mr. Ted Turner