Today we’d like to introduce you to Dina Hevert.
Windwood Ranch is a unique vacation rental, glamping resort, and events venue located in the rolling hills of Paso Robles, CA. Right in the heart of one of the hottest wine country regions in California, this hidden gem of a resort was founded in 2017 by husband and wife business partners Jeffrey and Dina Hevert while both were living in West Adams, Los Angeles. Jeffrey was a reality TV producer and Dina is an executive in TV sales. They shared a love of the stunning Central Coast region from its natural beauty to its colorful mix of locals, its trending farm to table restaurants, and award-winning wine scene. There’s still a wild west mentality here, where anything is possible with a dream and a willingness to get dirty. Jeff was producing a TV series on home renovation for HGTV and another on Airstream restoration and told his wife they should give it a try. They bought a gorgeous piece of land in East Paso Robles with incredible views and their first Airstream in 2017. Three home renovations and five vintage trailer restorations later, they’ve built a unique glamping resort with vintage trailers, 20′ tipis, bell tents, and several vacation rental homes all with stylish interior design and luxury amenities.
Each of the units is named after favorite musicians including Janis, Zeppelin, Bowie, Eagles, Marley, Stevie, Crosbie, and Cash. The interior design and decor (and LPs) all with nods towards the style and persona of the artist. Thousands of guests later, they’ve slowly built a loyal following of repeat guests and fans on social media. Halfway between LA and SF, guests love staying at Windwood Ranch for its natural beauty and serenity. A place to unplug, disconnect, and return to nature through hiking, stargazing, and enjoying a bottle of your favorite local wine on “sunset point” with family and close friends. Windwood Ranch is 30 acres of vista views, moss-covered oak trees, hiking trails, wildlife like deer, red tail hawks, coyotes, and more. It’s an escape from the fast-paced modern world, a place with fire pits and adirondacks, star-filled night skies, and memories that last a lifetime. Jeffrey and Dina are currently working on expanding Windwood Ranch with a new glamping resort and winery a mile away that should be ready to host guests by the summer of 2022. Jeffrey has been working at Alta Colina Winery in Paso Robles, honing his winemaking skills and learning from their similar and amazing glamping business called The Trailer Pond.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Building and running a business with your spouse can be extremely challenging – and equally rewarding. We learned very quickly that our personalities and skillsets were very different. Dina believes things will always work out, whereas Jeff feels the need to stay on top of every aspect of their business and development. Dina loves interfacing with guests, whereas Jeff would prefer to prepare everything to the best of their abilities and stay out of sight. Together we’ve overcome our differences and learned a solid balance that has brought early success. Living in Los Angeles, working full time, and building a glamping resort business on the side 3 hours away has been one of the biggest challenges of our lives. We often left work Friday evening, drove three hours to Paso, worked all weekend and drove home Monday morning to be in our offices by 9am. When you are working that hard there are times where frustration seems to build on itself to the point where little things can feel insurmountable and you can’t see the forest through the trees.
However, small gestures like a note or a guest’s painting left behind as a token of their appreciation can fill your heart and fully restore your energy levels. Customer service was a new experience for Jeffrey and Dina. Learning how to roll with the punches and see things from the guest’s point of view is a challenge. Not taking things personally at times is also a major challenge. You never know what a guest is going through in their personal lives, they are coming to our resort to get away, return to nature, and relax. It’s our job to make sure they reach those goals and have the best stay we can afford. Sometimes turning an unhappy guest into a happy one builds a lasting relationship and a loyal customer. On a ranch EVERYTHING breaks. Jeffrey grew up with a father who could fix everything. Unfortunately, he was either too busy or too cool to listen to his father and learn. Now he’s become a handyman himself in the past three years learning how to fix anything that breaks. You learn quickly that DIY means saving ALOT of money.
And when you run a resort, if something breaks, you have a ticking clock to fix it before your guests start demanding a refund. YouTube can give you a start, and then you have to make ten trips to Home Depot and make a ton of mistakes before you get the hang of it. Everything from well pumps to electrical circuits, Airstream systems to polish, tools to cleaners. You name it, we’ve fixed it or given it our best try. It’s a part of ranch life that we are now proud of. Skills we didn’t need or use much living in Los Angeles. Covid was (is) difficult… We had nearly 100% cancellations last March. And then we got so filled up we had a hard time keeping up. People saw local road trips in nature as a safe way to get out and nature as a form of therapy for the global pandemic. We upped all of our cleaning protocols and make sure to remind guests to remain socially distant on our ranch, which isn’t really hard to do with all of the space and natural surroundings.
In some ways, it’s been a blessing to be busy, and it’s heartwarming to hear how many guests are thankful to get away and return to nature for a few days at Windwood Ranch. We had a baby boy, Ty Davin Hevert, in February right before the first shut down. Raising an infant while running a business, renovating homes and trailers, and serving our guests has been a huge challenge. It’s been the best of times, it’s been the worst of times. But we wouldn’t trade any of it.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Three vacation rental homes: The Ranch House, The Vineyard Farmhouse, The Hideaway House Four vintage restored trailers: Bowie, Janis, Cash, Zeppelin Three 20′ luxurious glamping tipis: Eagles, Stevie, Marley One bell tent: Crosby Campsites Winery & Tasting room in the works: Vinyl Vineyards.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
All of our families and guests!
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.windwoodranch.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/windwoodranchpaso/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WindwoodRanch
Jeffrey Hevert Photography Natalie Duke Stacia and Michael Photo