By Annie Rhoades
Justin Flaherty (BA 95) is a man full of Southern hospitality and a love of the great outdoors. His career has taken him from Mississippi to his current position as general manager at Three Forks Ranch, a luxury lodge and spa, nestled on the Colorado-Wyoming border. The ranch is located approximately 40 miles north of Steamboat Springs, Colo.
While he fondly recalls his days at Ole Miss, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, he has found that the fresh air of “beautiful Colorado” suits him just fine.
Flaherty began his career in outdoor television as a TV producer for Mossy Oak Productions, traveling all over North America producing hunting and fishing television shows.
In addition to working behind the lens, Flaherty served as location coordinator for a group of seven people that traveled the country. He first visited Three Forks Ranch in 1999 while on a trip to film for Mossy Oak Productions.
“It was one of my favorite places” Flaherty recalled with enthusiasm. “The facilities were amazing, but more importantly the people were just fantastic and I thought, that’s something I want to be a part of.”
After enjoying the sprawling 200,000-acre ranch as a guest, Flaherty decided to hang up his camera lens and become a member of the Three Forks Ranch family.
His career with Three Forks, which began in 2001, has taken him from coordinator of the Ranch’s recreational events to his current position as general manager. As Flaherty described it, “over the years I’ve been tricked into a promotion here and there and now I’m manager of the ranch.”
During those 11 years, the ranch has undergone numerous changes. What started as, and still is, a working cattle ranch, has evolved into a luxury resort offering spa treatments, world class dining, culinary weekends, downhill skiing, snowmobiling and fly fishing.
“The ranch is much more than just a hunting and fishing destination now,” Flaherty said.
With Southern hospitality engrained in him by his Mississippi roots, Flaherty has been able to intertwine an amazing facility with amazing people.
“Being from the South…hospitality…you’re born with it,” he said. “What I’ve done is mesh a western location with a whole lot of Southern hospitality.”
Flaherty has successfully done just that with the steady recruitment of Ole Miss graduates who have brought a piece of the South to Wyoming. Will Hamilton, a recreational intern majoring in Parks & Recreation Management at Ole Miss, as well as Keagin Broadway (BA 10), are among a handful of Ole Miss students and graduates who have made the cross-country trek to Wyoming and,“love it.”
While his busy seven-day work week doesn’t allow him much time to get back to Oxford, Flaherty keeps up with what’s going on in Ole Miss sports by checking out the Ole Miss Sports website “several times a week” and chatting with his network of fellow Rebel fans.
Flaherty and his wife, Jenny Magers Flaherty, along with their two children, son Cyrus and daughter Abby, are thoroughly enjoying life in Savery, Wyo. but he said they will always remember their Mississippi roots.
While Flaherty and his family plan to stay in Wyoming, he still considers Mississippi his home. “I live in Colorado/Wyoming, but I’m still from Mississippi,” he said.