The Historic O’Keefe Ranch is working to open the third floor of the mansion to the public by next season, a delegate told council on Oct. 28, 2019. (O’Keefe Ranch Facebook)

The Historic O’Keefe Ranch is working to open the third floor of the mansion to the public by next season, a delegate told council on Oct. 28, 2019. (O’Keefe Ranch Facebook)

O’Keefe Ranch looks to open third floor of mansion by May

City of Vernon councillors hear update from historic ranch

Christmas planning is already well underway at the Historic O’Keefe Ranch, a delegate told city council Monday Oct. 28.

Ranch manager Sherrilee Franks said O’Keefe is ahead of its planning due in large part to the outsourcing of October’s Field of Screams. Thanks to the freed up time, the staff has been able to concentrate on Christmas, Franks said. And Easter, already.

Mistletoe and Glow will run throughout the month of December between 4-9 p.m. and will feature 15-minute light shows and sleigh rides through the snow.

Franks updated councillors on other O’Keefe milestones, such as relocating animal pens away from flood zones, a task that will take a few years to complete; replacing the boiler in the mansion, which Franks joked may be older than the mansion itself; and revamping the internet and updating the point-of-sale system.

The POS update allows O’Keefe to learn who is visiting—locals or tourist—and when they’re visiting.

Franks informed council the ranch has also been awarded a $30,000 grant to go toward restoring the third floor of the mansion. Additional grants have been applied for and ranch staff hope to open the top floor to the public in May when they re-open for the season.

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@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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