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The Atherton Hotel and Rancher’s Club were sure to be packed this weekend for homecoming. Parents, alumni and fans came out to support the Cowboys this weekend against Nebraska. The game did not end too happily for the Cowboys, but I know I can speak for myself and my friends that we still had a great time!

Football game dates are posted on the Atherton’s Web site for convenience because football weekends are some of their busiest. From what I’ve heard from my cousin, a graduate of OSU, and my boyfriend, a crazy fan, these weekends get booked months in advance. My boyfriend once told me the Atherton is booked for Homecoming up to a year before the game. I don’t know if that’s true, but I wouldn’t be surprised!

The Rancher’s Club has special game day hours from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., which although are limited left perfect timing for people to go get a delicious meal before or after the game Saturday afternoon. All this business in the Atherton and Rancher’s Club surely had the student employees hard at work! My old roommate, Gabriella, is an HRAD major and has worked at Rancher’s Club. I’ve worked in restaurants before, but what I noticed was different about Gabriella’s job was that she told me everyone would stay until everything was done. In my experience, everyone had their own responsibilities and when those were taken care of, you could leave. This teamwork aspect is important and contributes much to the hotel and restaurant’s success, especially during busy weekends like this one.

Unfortunately, our Cowboys didn’t pull through this weekend to beat the Cornhuskers, but hopefully everyone still had a fun time, and I’m sure Rancher’s Club and Atherton enjoyed their pop of business!

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Outside the Atherton and Rancher's Club

Now for my favorite topic of this blog: the food.  I love food. Doesn’t everyone?  Of course, most of the food I eat is ready in less than 5 minutes in the microwave.  Oh, the college life!  Fortunately, OSU opened The Rancher’s Club, a luxurious dining option for Stillwater students, residents and visitors.  From perfectly cooked steaks to homemade pasta, The Rancher’s Club knows exactly what it’s doing.  And the best part is, OSU students are doing it!

My mom’s friend who I previously mentioned, now a sales manager at the Colcord Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City, told me about students’ roles at the restaurant.  During lunchtime, students run the restaurant.  They apply what they learn in front- and back-of-house courses to operating the restaurant.  Students act as hosts, servers and student managers.  During dinnertime, they serve as the wait staff.  They are the best of the best, as The Rancher’s Club prides itself on having some of the best service in Stillwater.

Chef Marc Dunham shares his talent through the OSU YouTube channel by putting on an online cooking show, “Play With Your Food,” where he cooks a different dish every episode. This keeps Dunham connected with Rancher’s Club fans and encourages them to try some of his cooking techniques. Dunham was also featured on Tulsa news station KRJH’s Fun Food Friday, where he talked a little bit about the restaurant and prepared a quick salad that viewers could try at home!

Besides the great service, the food is amazing. I’ve been for the breakfast buffet with my mom and sister, and a couple times with friends for dinner. I was impressed every time and can’t wait to go back! Hopefully my roommate has some extra meal plan money at the end of this semester…

The Atherton Hotel at OSU has been around for 60 years now.  When parents and alumni need a place to stay on game nights or graduation weekends, the Atherton is the place to go.  Not only is it conveniently located at the heart of OSU’s campus, but its luxurious decor and atmosphere have also kept people coming in for years and will continue to do so for many more.  A fact that may be surprising to some guests and people who pass by, though, is that a majority of the work done around the hotel is done by students.

A friend of my mom’s graduated from OSU with a master’s degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration, and he let me in on more details about students’ roles and responsibilities working at the Atherton.  HRAD students do anything and everything from working the front desk to housekeeping.  Different courses require different responsibilities; students enrolled in the Front Office Management class work the front desk and do everything an employee at an off-campus hotel would do, including taking reservations and phone calls and checking guests in and out.  Although most of the housekeeping staff are local residents, students are required in some courses to work in various departments including housekeeping.  Students learn about bringing in new business and strengthening marketing techniques from the hotel’s director of sales; they also work with the engineering departments to make sure everything in the hotel is working properly.

The Atherton is not only a luxurious, upscale environment for students, families, alumni and Stillwater residents to enjoy, but also a learning lab for students at OSU.  This is such an important aspect of the hotel as a business and a classroom.

Hotel reservations can be made online or by phone at (405) 744-6835.

The Atherton Hotel has been a tradition for Oklahoma State since 1950.  When it opened, the hotel was known for its chilled water running from the faucets. It’s hard to believe that cold water was ever so treasured to make a hotel famous!  The Atherton has held famous guests such as Presidents Truman, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush and of course…myself! I stayed in the Atherton with my mom and sister last year and it was a great experience!  Our room was gorgeous and the stay was a treat, as I’m not accustomed to staying in upscale hotels!

The Rancher’s Club is another fine experience at OSU.  Another upscale, enjoyable environment at OSU, The Rancher’s Club is home to friendly service and exceptional dining.  I have been twice this semester, once with my boyfriend and a couple of weeks later with my roommate.  Both times, I was very impressed.  There were different crowds each time, from students my age to professors and alumni my parents’ age.  I’m not used to fancy restaurants either; my most visited restaurants at home were Charleston’s (my workplace), Chili’s and Taco Bell…not quite the same environment!  Of course I greatly enjoyed my filet and homemade pasta at The Rancher’s Club and can’t wait to go back for more!

To me, the most important aspect of the Atherton and Rancher’s Club is the fact that they are student-employed.  Both are learning centers for students in the Hotel and Restaurant Administration program at OSU.  It’s great to provide students of the HRAD school hands-on experience in an upscale environment in which they might like to work one day, as well as other students, faculty and alumni a place to have a wonderful meal and stay!

Comment #1
“Catfish (2010),” by Aiden R.
http://ctcmr.com/2010/10/01/catfish-2010/
10/3/10
I saw this trailer online and heard about the movie from my cousin just a few nights ago, and she insisted I see it.  It looks really interesting and definitely a good insight on how easy it is to be fooled online. When I watched the trailer on YouTube, someone in the comments mentioned the fact that the girl was 8 years old and I was crushed because I thought the ending had been ruined for me…is this not the case? Either way, I really want to see this and hope it will be playing in a theater in my area!

Comment #2
“I Loved The Social Network,” by Jane Pollak
http://janepollakblog.com/2010/10/04/i-loved-the-social-network/
I’m guilty of being somewhat addicted to Facebook, so I was excited for this movie the first time I saw a preview…my only fear was that it wasn’t going to be as good as the previews made it look. I went to the midnight showing and I absolutely loved it! I felt like the movie did attempt to portray Zuckerberg in a bad light, but I still loved his character. I loved his intelligence and wit that he didn’t even realize he had, and I especially loved the fact that he really didn’t care what people thought of him even if he was being a smart-ass. Overall, I thought it was a great movie and definitely worth my time and money!

Comment #3
“The Ranchers Club…not just for people with suits.” by Nick Morris
http://thecowboyeatingclub.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/the-ranchers-club-not-for-just-people-with-suits/
10/5/10
I’ve been to The Rancher’s Club a few times and thought it was amazing! I stayed in the Atherton with my mom once last year and we had the breakfast; it was pretty good, but I prefer the steaks for dinner! I had always thought of it as a fancy sit-down restaurant too and both times I’ve gone for dinner I’ve dressed up, but I’ve always seen students in everyday clothes and it never seems to be a problem. I think that’s a cool part of the restaurant…it is “fancy” but doesn’t necessarily demand a certain crowd. Anyone (in any clothes) can go and enjoy a great meal!

Comment #4
“Dancing IS a sport..” by MIranda Wright
http://shockdancers.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/dancing-is-a-sport/
10/5/10
I danced from when I was about five years old to when I graduated high school two years ago, and I definitely agree with you that dancing is a sport! I don’t know how people can say that it’s not; it’s obviously a workout! Dancing got me into shape and kept me there my whole life, and I’ve definitely noticed the difference since I stopped after high school. I also tried everything–ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop–so I completely understand that it does take strength and endurance to dance multiple times a week, just as with football, basketball or any other “sport.”

Comment #5
“Zumba your butt off,” by Rylie Alexandra
http://ryliealexandra.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/zumba-your-butt-off/
10/5/10
I went to my first Zumba class last weekend and I LOVED it! I wasn’t so brave as to grab a skirt, but I did allow myself to let loose and have fun! My instructor told us at the beginning of the class it was up to us whether we had a good time, and she was so right. I also went to the class by myself and was a little nervous beforehand, but I just followed the instructor and danced and did the best I could. I think Zumba is a great way to let loose, have fun and feel sexy. I had so much fun and I’ll definitely be going to more Zumba classes in the future!

Comment #6:
“Speed limits: A myth?” by drivingmsmiranda
http://drivingmsmiranda.wordpress.com/2010/10/08/speed-limits-a-myth
10/11/10
I definitely agree that speed limits are seen more as suggestions than actual obligations. I’ve gotten pulled over for going 78mph in a 65mph zone and wasn’t given a ticket. I was pleasantly surprised, as that was the first and only time I’ve been pulled over for speeding. Despite speed limits, everyone seems to choose their own when on the road, whether it be much faster or (annoyingly) slower than the posted speed limit.

And I have to add, school zone speed limits of 25mph are pretty ridiculous, especially on main roads. I’ve been in parking lots with 5mph speed limit signs posted. I don’t think I could drive that slowly if I tried…

Comment #7:
“Unhooked and Unsettled: Scared of Marriage,” by Nicolle
http://reactionarycentury.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/unhooked-and-unsettled-scared-of-marriage/
10/12/10
It’s natural to be afraid of relationships and marriage, especially if you’ve been surrounded by unhealthy ones your whole life. I’m very lucky to have parents that are still together, as well as aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. and have had great examples of healthy marriages all around me. I’m currently with a guy I’ve been dating for 2 years and couldn’t be happier. I do believe I’ll marry him, but I’ve seen friends’ relationships fall apart that thought they’d last forever. It does scare me, but I just have to trust in my heart that he is the one for me and I’ll be able to trust and love him forever.

And I make him watch Katherine Heigl movies with me! Chick flicks will never get old, even if I’m taken! 🙂

Comment #8:
“Breakfast couldn’t be any better.” by Nick Morris
http://thecowboyeatingclub.wordpress.com/2010/10/11/breakfast-couldnt-be-any-better/
10/17/10
The first time I went to Rancher’s Club I had breakfast too! I’d stayed at the Atherton with my mom and sister and a breakfast buffet was included in what we paid for the room. I thought it was great! I love breakfast food, and theirs definitely did not disappoint!

But you’re right, breakfast does not show the full potential of The Rancher’s Club. I don’t know if the lunch and dinner menus are the same, but I definitely recommend steak! It’s some of the best I’ve ever had, if not the best. The potatoes au gratin are really good, and both times I’ve eaten dinner there I’ve started out with a half order of pasta for my appetizer. I love pasta, and Rancher’s Club’s is homemade and so good! I hope you enjoy your lunch or dinner!

Comment #9:
“It Will Get Better,” by Quest & Ali (CNN)
http://newsroom.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/15/it-will-get-better/
10/17/10
I applaud Joel Burns for sharing his story and putting a very personal touch on the “It Gets Better” campaign, which I think is great. To hear of such young people taking their own lives breaks my heart; no one should be put down and bullied to such an extent for being who they are. I am disgusted by the Norman City Council meeting Burns mentioned, as I am from Oklahoma and embarrassed by whatever was said that led to yet another suicide. Once again, I am so proud of Burns for sharing his story and hope that it gets through to gay people, young and old, who feel that they are not accepted, that you will find people who love and accept you for who you are. I do believe that it will get better.

Comment #10:
“Honesty is…usually the best policy,” by Debra Rich Gettleman
http://unmotherlyinsights.com/2010/10/22/honesty-is-usually-the-best-policy/
10/24/10
I think you were right to tell him after it had been brought up in front of him, but I wouldn’t have that it was wrong to keep it from him had it never come up. He always would have wondered what his brother was talking about, but I think it’s okay to keep certain things from children until they’re at an appropriate age. I’m 19 and I don’t know (or want to know) all the things my parents did that they haven’t told me about…they did grow up in the ’70s after all! Haha. I completely agree with you that honesty is USUALLY the best policy!