Several of the buildings, specifically those facing Highway 260, have timeshare units over retail space. There are a few stores in these retail spaces, a restaurant, a coffee and snack shop called Twinnies (which also sells an obscure "Marilyn" merlot, which I was not able to taste, but at $38 a bottle, better be pretty good), a Buffalo Museum, a couple of gift shops, and an arcade. Other than Twinnies and the restaurant, these venues were generally closed when we were at the resort (the museum, which we were told was actually quite interesting, was ONLY open for a few short hours on the weekends). It appeared that a few new businesses would be opening soon in the space, including the Overgaard Animal Clinic. There are also dozens of single-unit "cabins" on an adjacent property, along with a half-constructed building resembling the main buildings in which we were staying. I discovered that the entire property was actually owned by Bison Ranch/Mirage Homes, and that this Worldmark Trendwest resort – essentially the units and recreation/reception area - is actually a member of the homeowner’s association within the ranch (hence the Worldmark "at" Bison Ranch moniker). No issue, except that the management of the resort had no direct association with any of the retail businesses. And yes, there is a herd of bison on the property.
Although the entire property was in excellent condition, it – in fact both towns of Overgaard and neighboring Heber – is very remote (as my 15-year-old daughter says with a bit of exasperation, "It’s 3 hours from ANYTHING!"). This was not a real problem for us, but it would be frustrating for anyone looking for bustling activity and particularly any kind of nightlife. The two closest areas of any significant size are Payson, about 40 miles west (this is the town where you’ll switch from Rte. 87 to 260, driving to the resort from Phoenix – stop at the Safeway here for groceries on your way), and Show Low and Pinetop/Lakeside about 30 miles east. All are right on Rte. 260, so you won’t miss them. There are Wal-Mart superstores and Safeways in either direction, some good restaurants (Charlie Clark’s, El Rancho, Annie’s Sandwich Shop & Tea Room) and a Family Fun Park (go-carts, mini-golf) in Pinetop, as well as a small cinema and a few antiques stores.
Results 1-7of 7 Reviews
North Reading, Massachusetts
April 27, 2005
From journal Arizona Adventure
Las Vegas, Nevada
February 10, 2005
As you can see from the photos, the resort is multi-use, with themed shops, a catch-and-release fishing pond, horseback riding, and their very own herd of bison. The "feel" is very homey, with many planned activities in the warmer months/over holidays and large units with plenty of room for everyone.
We generally stock up on groceries at home before driving out, or at the Super Walmart in Showlow. The units had basic spices and all the utensils, etc., that we needed to cook and bake for the week. There is also a large grill on each deck, which is great for barbecuing. There is a small grocery store in town; however, as you would expect, the prices tend to be high and the selection tends to be low.
For a list of activities: http://www.wmowners.com/worldmark/resorts/infodetail/BISRNC#0
General Resort Info:
From journal Worldmark Bison Ranch - Overgaard, Arizona
Cary, North Carolina
June 19, 2004
Although there's not much nearby the resort, there's a lot within reach of a day trip...Meteor Crater, Petrified Forest, Painted Desert, hiking along the Mogollon Rim. Arizona is an incredibly scenic state - not just the dry desert that it's typically known for, but also beautiful lush green forested mountains. Both are within a short drive of this resort. My eighth grade son was so impressed by what we saw on this trip that he wrote a poem about it for a school assignment that ended up winning a county-wide award! I felt good knowing that this trip was so inspiring for him.
I would not recommend this resort for people looking for nightlife or fine dining, wanting to be pampered, or who don't like driving. (Everything in Arizona is a LONG drive.) It's a great place though for people who like the outdoors and who don't mind driving a few hours a day.
From journal Remote Arizona
by Rob Latour
April 4, 2004
If you want to find a place to just sit and relax, you could easily spend your whole week without leaving the resort. To see the sights of north central Arizona, you must be prepared to drive a bit. Grocery shopping was best at the Supercenter in Show Low. We highly recommend this resort to anyone. We met some people who have been to a number of WorldMark resorts and they said they are all equally as nice.
From journal Arizona
brooklyn park, Minnesota
October 30, 2003
The sculptures throughout were amazing and the grounds very well kept up. There really are bison on site as well. If the weather had not been so great, teenagers may get bored, but there was a pool room and ping pong in the check-in area.
From journal Bison Ranch Az
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
July 29, 2003
The small communities around the resort are surrounded by National Forests and area quaint and remote. For an outdoor lover, it was quiet and peaceful. The lack of people, cars, and stress was fantastic. My young niece informed me "only loners would be able to live here." Perhaps she is right.
However, we had no lack of activity. We drove to Show Low several days and since the young lady could not decide which movie she wanted to see -- we enjoyed three movies in one day (crazy, but only an aunt would do this for her niece ). NOTE: The company on the drive back to the ranch (30 miles) was that of a sleeping teenager.
We often spent time scrapbooking in the room at night, but during the day, we rode bicycles, took horseback rides through the mountains, which was a big highlight of mine, and swam in the pool. The resort offered several activities that we joined in on, including an outdoor Western show/barbecue and Indian taco night. Hiking was great as well and there are numerous exceptional areas to explore. We visited Montezuma Castle National Park ((prehistoric Indian cliff dwellings) and Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. Both were super areas and well worth the trip.
From journal Week in Arizona
September 20, 2002
From journal The Mediterranean in 2 Weeks