From Dream to Reality

In 1982, Gene Taylor first discovered Douglas Park, a beautiful, aesthetic 2,942-acre property covered with magnificent trees, open meadows, and rolling terrain with small hills and valleys. He immediately fell in love with it and, from his very first visit, envisioned an 18-hole golf course with authentic mountain character he called "Bear Dance."

"At the time, acquisition of any or all of the mountain property was out of my reach, but I could not forget it. For twelve years, my wife Joan and I would often bring a thermos of coffee and visit our favorite spot on the ranch. Finally, in 1994, fate smiled on us and we were able to purchase 671 acres.

Today, you can see the glorious results! Personally, I never expected this great a golf course, the Golf Club at Bear Dance, with its unique characteristics that are equal to any course in the state.

On the spot where Joan and I enjoyed our coffee for twelve years and daydreamed and hoped, now sits our family home! People often ask, "Who was the architect for Bear Dance?" - my answer - 'God deserves most of the credit, but a few of us mortals had a small hand in it!'"

Gene Taylor, Developer Developer Gene Taylor was given the challenge of naming the development. He wanted a name appropriate for the area from both an aesthetic and historic standpoint.

"Historically, I knew that the Ute Mountain Indians hunted and populated the area for hundreds of years,"" Gene recalls. "I struggled to identify just the right subject to base the name on and finally decided to use a major animal like bear or elk in the name, but I needed more.

I kept coming back to the feeling that this was Indian land and I admired the way they respected and cared for their 'Mother Earth.' Then I suddenly recalled that the most important ceremony in the Ute Mountain culture was the annual 'Bear Dance.'"

The origin of the Ute Bear Dance relates to the time when two brothers were out hunting in the mountains and, as they became tired, they laid down to rest. One of the brothers noticed a bear standing upright, facing a tree who seemed to be dancing and making a noise while clawing the tree. The one brother went on hunting while the other brother continued to observe the bear. The bear taught the young man to do the same dance and also taught the young man the song that went with the dance. He told the young man to return to his people and teach them the dance and songs of the bear. The dance is still a tradition in the Ute culture today. The legends show respect for the spirit of the bear, and the respect to the bear spirit makes one strong.

"The name testifies to the relationship the Utes had with nature. They respected the land and considered it sacred, and so do I. Today nature justifies the name as golfers report dozens on bear sightings on the course every year."