Local equestrians, riding enthusiasts and nature-lovers, rejoice! The Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf and Tennis Resort has opened its stables to begin trail rides, riding lessons, desert adventures and more within the resort’s 500-acre-plus property and the surrounding area.

“Our plan is to make this resort uniquely southwest,” said El Conquistador general manager Ghee Alexander. “In this day and age, our guests and travelers really want much more than just a generic resort or hotel experience. They want it to be customized to the surrounding area. That way, they could possibly experience the entirety of the region.”

To better tap into the heritage of Tucson and the southwest, Alexander said that the resort looked to both Mexican and Spanish cultural tradition for inspiration and found one aspect which fit perfectly: the use of horses in everyday life. So it only made sense to offer a riding experience to guests.

The resort will offer locals and visitors the opportunity to embark on a desert adventure on an eight-acre plot of land within the property, as well as the nearby Linda Vista Trail. The tours will be led Pot A Gold Adventures, a company which Alexander said came highly recommended not only because of the Mather Saddle Horses and Pack Station in Yosemite, California, but also the company’s locations in both Phoenix and Flagstaff.

Alexander said guests will be able to choose among themed dates, family hayrides, carriage rides, cowboy breakfasts or an evening group cookouts.

The new options come as the resort looks to finish the largest renovation in its 34-year history, according to Alexander.

As first reported by The Explorer last December in an interview with HSL Properties President Omar Mireles, the Hilton has been undergoing a $16 million renovation across the resort property. Beginning with concrete work around the outdoor casitas, moving into the lobby and communal spaces and finally ending with renovated guest suites, the renovation will keep up high standards that guests expect, Mireles said.

According to Alexander, the renovations should be completed at the end of next spring with the completion of the guestrooms.

Though changes are still ongoing, Pot A Gold has been greeted with a warm welcome to the property. In addition to the various opportunities for a desert adventure, experts will also offer lesson based on the skill-level of the rider, giving novices and experts alike the chance to see the flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert and the directly adjacent Santa Catalina Mountains as they do what they love.

The El Conquistador Western Adventures will be available from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily. Prices for a guided horseback ride start at $60 for one hour, $75 for 90 minutes and $100 for two hours. Prices for a sunset trail ride start at $80 for one hour, $95 for 90 minutes and $120 for two hours. Horseback riding start at $75 for a one-hour lesson. A discount will be given for groups of eight or more, and packages can be customizable upon request. Ages 5 and older are welcome.

For more information, visit www.potagoldadventures.com/el-conquistador-stables/ on the internet or call 989-1219.

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