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Prepping Sky Ranch

After undergoing a major renovation, the historic Sierra Sky Ranch Resort off Highway 41 just north of Oakhurst is now renting rooms, with the long awaited reopening of the Branding Iron Restaurant scheduled for early May.

The Sky Ranch renovation project began last year after the property was purchased by Aung Oo, who purchased Fish Camp’s Narrow Gauge Inn in 2011. The Narrow Gauge Inn’s Dinning Hall and Buffalo Bar will also open in early May.

Now that the makeover is complete, Sky Ranch, which sits on four acres, offers 16 newly decorated rooms, complete with complimentary Wi-Fi, flat screen televisions, new carpeting, redesigned and decorated bathrooms, and central air conditioning and heating. An additional 10 rooms in the ‘bunk house’ will be completed for the summer season.

Other improvements include modernizing the kitchen, new hardwood floors throughout the main building, and fresh paint inside and out.

Since September, both Sierra Sky Ranch and Narrow Gauge have been managed by Blackstone Hospitality Group, Inc., of Fresno.

Doreen M. Lopes, corporate director of human resources for Blackstone, said the March 19 and 20 job fair held at Sky Ranch was very successful.

“We are still looking for line cooks for both the Sky Ranch and Narrow Gauge Inn, although we hope to fill those positions soon - we are also getting close to announcing our new executive chef and sous chef for both restaurants,” Lopes said. “People are going to love our new menus, and we are looking forward to an exciting and successful summer season.”

Blackstone Hospitality Group Inc. was formed in 2013 to answer the growing need for a hotel management company in the Central Valley that would serve the needs of hotel owners and investors.

Blackstone has a diverse team of hospitality professionals with nearly 100 years of independent and franchised hotel management experience.

In addition to Sierra Sky Ranch and the Narrow Gauge Inn, the company manages the Holiday Inn Express & Suites and the Hilton Garden Inn in Clovis, Fresno’s Best Western Village Inn, Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Dinuba, the Solvang Gardens Lodge (owned by Aung Oo), Quality Inn & Suites in Seattle, and a Days Inn in Bellevue, Washington.

Details: Sierra Sky Ranch, (559) 683-8040, sierraskyranch.com - Narrow Gauge Inn, (559) 683-7720, narrowgaugeinn.com.

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