CALGARY — An iconic piece of Alberta history, nestled near the Kananaskis River, is available for purchase.
The Rafter Six Ranch Resort, where movies have been filmed and where famous Hollywood stars have stayed, is listed for sale at $12.5 million by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.
“We’ve had it listed for under six months. We’ve had some pretty good institutional interested investors. We actually have quite a few buyers who are interested in it. It’s definitely a property for somebody who is looking at running a business out of it. It could definitely be a strong business,” said Daren Gull, realtor with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada in Calgary.
“In Sotheby’s, it’s definitely one of the Sotheby’s premier ranches right across North America ... It’s actually really put Calgary on the map as far as ranching communities internationally. It’s so unique.”
The property is currently owned by a bank. The resort currently is still operating.
It sits on 30 hectares of land that is bordered on the east side by the Kananaskis River, just minutes south of the Highway 1 and the Seebee turnoff, about 90 kilometres west of Calgary and 20 kilometres east of Canmore in the Municipal District of Bighorn.
The Sotheby’s listing says the purchase price includes a 19,116-square-foot, three-storey guest lodge that has 18 guest rooms, a dining room, a coffee shop and two meeting rooms. A 6,326-square-foot hall is utilized for a variety of group events that can hold up to 400 guests. A 2,430-square-foot church was built in 1996 for about 100 guests and incudes a choir loft, fireplace, and finished basement.
The barn and tack shop is 5,041 square feet surrounded by corrals. There are eight guest cabins, and four chalets ranging from 368 square feet to 1,266 square feet. There is also a 2,700-square-foot Quonset. The property includes a 3,400-square-foot, two-storey, owner’s residence, and various out structures.
The property has a rich history. According to the Rafter Six Ranch Resort website: “In the 1880s Colonel James Walker of the Northwest Mounted Police (NWMP) established a rough line shack, and pastured and bred horse’s on the land that today is Rafter Six Ranch.”
The website says that in the 1940s a location scout for Walt Disney Pictures discovered the Rafter Six Ranch.
“Walt Disney visited Rafter Six Ranch, and was so taken with the stunning scenery, that soon a steady stream of Disney Productions were using the Ranch. A cabin was specially built for Walt Disney — and still carries his name,” says the website.
“River of No Return, was Marilyn Monroe’s first movie, and many of the scenes were shot on and around the ranch. Rafter Six Ranch has been the backdrop for many wilderness themed Movies and TV Shows. Productions like, Grizzly Adams, Wilderness Family, Wolf Boy, and Across the Great Divide ... have all been shot at the Resort.”
In 1994, the television movie, How the West Was Fun, using the ranch’s name, starred Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and was filmed on location.
The website says some of the guests and visitors over the years have included: Charles Bronson; Paul Newman; Martin Mull; Robert Logan; Lee Marvin; Kevin Costner; Robert Mitchum; Stuart Margolin; and Hardy Kruger.
Over the years, the ranch has been used for a variety of activities including: weddings; corporate retreats and meetings; lodging; horseback adventures; whitewater rafting; treetop ropes and zipline; entertainment; winter adventures; and dining.