New Year's Eve parties typically include loud music and large crowds, but Mary Beth Stevenson wanted to plan something different at Circle S Guest Ranch and Country Inn.
The inn is offering a weekend designed for "contemplative revelers."
"Instead of doing something glitzy and instead of going forward, we thought we'd go back 100 years," Stevenson, owner and operator, said, referring to the western dress and atmosphere of the event.
The inn's New Millennium package -- Dec. 31 to Jan. 2 -- includes two nights in a spacious room; a New Year's Eve party with a five-course dinner for two featuring prime rib and salmon, a dance, party snacks, keepsake mementos, midnight toast and a photographer; a New Year's Day brunch followed by a mid-day sandwich bar and four-course dinner for two featuring chicken and pork tenderloins; and a hearty country brunch of eggs, bacon and potatoes on Jan. 2 before check-out.
"We plan on eating way too much," she said with a laugh.
Activities available throughout the weekend are a big-screen TV for watching football games, card and table games, a hot tub and hiking.
"Last year, it snowed on New Year's and so some people hiked around and came in to the fire and warmed up," she said, adding that all rooms at the inn were full last year.
Room packages are $600, not including tax, alcohol and gratuity. The dinner party only is $150 per couple.
"We're filling up quickly so people need to go ahead and call," she said.
The ranch-inn, which opened in May 1998, is in a secluded valley north of Lawrence and includes 1,200 acres of tallgrass prairie, thick timber and a herd of buffalo. The inn has 12 rooms and has a rustic, western decor. In addition to serving as a destination for special get-aways, the inn also is a bed-and-breakfast and a site for corporate retreats.
For reservations or more information, call (800) 625-2839 or (785) 843-4124.
-- Jan Biles' phone message number is 832-7146. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.