Lightning W Ranch was originally established as the premier cattle ranch in Northern Nevada by Antonio Sala, who settled on the ranch in the 1850’s to provide dairy products to the miners of Virginia City.
In 1954, Grant Weise purchased the ranch after retiring from an electrical manufacturing company. Combining his logo of the lightning bolt with the initial of his last name, Grant registered the ranch as “Lightning W Ranch”. Ownership of the Lightning W Ranch changed hands in 1976 when Grant’s son, Bob Weise, purchased the ranch from his father.
Although the ranch was successful in its ranching practices, changes outside the historical white fences eventually led to the decision to transform it into a golf community. In the early 1970’s, the Franktown Road area began transitioning to rural estates and continued over the next 20 years. During this same time, Washoe County devised a new regional plan restricting the growth in Washoe Valley.
With this new plan, and dedicated to preserving the beauty and integrity of their ranch, Bob and his wife, Cathy created a private golf club and estate community to enhance the beauty of the valley. The 335 acre golf course development permits the preservation of more than 200 acres of groomed fairways and mature open space.
In 1994 Roger & Gayle Block became Founding Members of the Golf Club at Lightning W Ranch. As owners of PolyPhaser Corporation, a successful lightning protection manufacturing company, it seemed to be a natural fit. In 1999, Roger and Gayle purchased the Club from the Members and because of their success in lightning protection, they renamed it Thunder Canyon. Their vision and dedication to the operation allowed the Club to continue thriving, and eventually earned Thunder Canyon the award of Nevada Golf Course of the Year in 2011 by the National Golf Course Owners Association. Gayle and her late husband Roger provided the Club stability and a lasting legacy. In 2016, although it wasn’t an easy decision to leave the Club that she and Roger had invested so much time, passion and effort together while owning, Gayle sold the Club to long-standing friend, Stan Jaksick. Gayle wanted to ensure the Club would be placed in the careful hands of someone who could lead the Club to a successful future as a premier golf course. The timing was perfect and Stan looks to carry on Gayle’s vision for developing it into a premier golf course.
Senior Leadership Team
The senior leadership team brings a combined 60 years of golf industry experience, all most recently from Montrêux, to Toiyabe Golf Club. Although they are not all working on-site, the team oversees the overall operations, financial and human resources.
A second generation Nevadan, Stan Jaksick has been intimately involved with the golf industry since early in his career. In the early 1990s, together with his late father Sam, they developed the acclaimed Montrêux Golf and Country Club, home to a Jack Nicklaus signature design. Stan worked closely with Nicklaus during the design and construction of the golf course and clubhouse. Montrêux is also home to the PGA’s Barracuda Championship now in its 18th year. Stan and his father were responsible for bringing the PGA tour to Montrêux and Reno.
Stan started in the golf business at a young age, performing every single job imaginable at Lakeridge Golf Course before he took over as the manager in 1987. He brings extensive knowledge in golf course planning, design, maintenance and management to the operations of Toiyabe Golf Club. Toiyabe is a meaningful name to the Jaksick family. Coupled with the beautiful layout of the golf course in the foothills of the Toiyabe National Forest and Sierra Nevada, it made sense to change the name and start a new chapter as Toiyabe Golf Club.
Stan was recently featured on the cover of the Golf Course Business magazine as the focus of an in-depth article on club management and industry best practices.
He is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, College of Business and a proud father to three children, Sawyer, Sydney and Reagan.
Ken graduated from Idaho State University with a degree in Accounting and a minor in Computer Science. Ken holds a CPA license in the State of Idaho and is a member of AICPA, Idaho and Nevada Society of Accountants. Ken started with a Big 8 accounting firm in Boise and worked many years with high-tech manufacturing companies in Silicon Valley and Colorado, including an overseas assignment in Singapore and Hong Kong. Ken has been a Nevada resident since 1990 and worked for Montrêux Golf & Country Club and Lakeridge Golf Course since 1995. Ken and his wife Rosie enjoy golf, kayaking, riding motorcycles, as well as traveling to Mexico and hiking in their spare time.