Sale of Marlboro Ranch Snuffs Out Smokers’ Vacation Dreams

Christine Dorgan has a field stuffed with swag and equipment she ordered with factors from the again of her Marlboro cigarette packs: a watch, a dart board, a conveyable picnic desk. And final yr, simply because the pandemic hit, she gained her most coveted prize: a visit to the Marlboro Ranch.

The journey, like so many holidays, was canceled by Covid-19. And now she’s going to by no means get the possibility to go. In June, cigarette maker Philip Morris USA sold the 18,000-acre Montana property the place the corporate for twenty years had hosted loyal prospects on all-expense-paid journeys. As cigarette smoking declines, so does its trappings.

“I signed up for that factor I don’t know what number of instances,” mentioned Ms. Dorgan, a 54-year-old diesel mechanic who lives in Windom, Minn. A smoker for the reason that age of 12, she give up final yr shortly earlier than she gained the Marlboro journey in a sweepstakes, however nonetheless needed to go. “I needed to see an actual cowboy,” she mentioned.

The getaway, formally often called Loopy Mountain Ranch, was a real-life incarnation of the cigarette maker’s Marlboro Man advertising campaigns, which featured gruff cowboys using horses and snowy Western peaks.

It was Disneyland for people who smoke. Company stayed in a pretend ghost city, with a mining workplace, financial institution, sheriff’s workplace and saloon. After they arrived, their beds had been piled with items: Stetson hats, cowboy boots, jackets, bandannas, digital cameras, sun shades, ashtrays and, in earlier years, packs of cigarettes.

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