"Like his predecessors, my father bought The Alisal because it was a legitimate cattle ranch, a place for wintering cattle brought over from Nevada," relates Palmer Jackson. "The guest ranch was simply a small and incidental development of the ranch proper, created primarily to utilize the small homes that already existed.
"Of course, over the last 50 years, the guest ranch has replaced the cattle ranch as the most important use of The Alisal," Mr. Jackson affirms.
Mr. Jackson reasons that The Alisal has maintained the simple, rustic lifestyle and amenities of a cattle ranch precisely because that was its origin. "Additionally, we've attempted to retain a genuine ranch feeling. Anything new has been approached very conservatively," he explains. "Any changes to The Alisal must stay true to the original concept, so we make them slowly and thoughtfully. Some might say we're underdeveloped. That's true, but we haven't been pressured to grow. We never want to lose the original Alisal Ranch feeling."
For 50 years, The Alisal has also paid particular attention to fostering a sense of "family" among its employees, a feeling also shared by guests. Also a legacy of the original cattle ranch heritage, this emphasis on the family is another characteristic that the management of the Ranch consciously strives to maintain.