Ponderosa Ranch sold
July 10, 2004
Ponderosa Ranch sold
Owners of the 570-acre Ponderosa Ranch announced Friday they have agreed
to sell the Lake Tahoe property to Incline Village businessman David
Duffield.The property, which has operated as a
theme park since the late 1960s and was based on the "Bonanza"
television series, went on the sale block in February.Officials
from several agencies working on a deal to
buy the property for public use were caught off-guard by Friday's
announcement."I'm disappointed," Nevada State Parks Administrator David
Morrow said. "Our staff was up there just this past Tuesday, discussing
plans. I've been out of town, got back this morning and was shocked when
I heard the news.""The agencies involved, even though they worked very
hard, never really made a commitment," said Royce Anderson, vice
president and co-owner of the Ponderosa. "We just felt that this was the
best thing for our families to pursue."A sale price was not disclosed.
Duffield's representative, Tom Clark, said it was "comparable to what
the agencies were offering."
"Running the Ponderosa Ranch these many years has been a great
experience for our family," said David Geddes, president of the ranch.
"We started looking at options to sell the property about a year ago."
Since the announcement that the ranch was for sale, the Geddes and
Anderson families, through the Minden-based company Terra Firma
Associates, had been trying to work a deal that would involve the
purchase of the property by various government agencies, including the
Incline Village General Improvement District, Nevada State Parks, Washoe
County, U.S. Forest Service, Department of Transportation and the Tahoe
Rim Trail Association."While these agencies have done a fantastic job in
trying to put together a very complex project, the deal was still in the
formative stages and had an awful lot of contingencies," Geddes said.
"When we went public with our plans to sell, we knew that it had to be
done in a timely manner and, even though we knew that the agencies were
working hard, David's (Duffield) offer allowed us to meet that
goal."Duffield said he has no plans for immediate development of the
property."As a full-time resident of Incline Village, I appreciate the
concerns about the future of this property as it is the gateway to our
community," he said."I've known David (Duffield) for a long time and I
know that he's very genuine in his desire to do something good for the
community," Geddes said. "This will allow the agencies more time and a
chance to plan and work with the new ownership."
Asked if his department has plans to approach the Duffield ownership
group, Morrow said, "Certainly we would be interested if there was any
chance we could negotiate a deal with the new ownership."Karen Mullen,
director of Washoe County Parks, was also surprised by the
announcement."The wind has gone out of the sails," Mullen said. "There
was so much work put into this and we (the agencies) were so close to
getting it all done."Maribeth Gustafson, forest supervisor for the U.S.
Forest Service, said "We retain the hope that we will be able to work
with the new owners to acquire the upper part of the property for public
and conservation purposes.""My initial reaction is that we spent
hundreds of staff hours on making this deal work," said Bill Horn,
Incline Village General Improvement District general manager. "I'm
extremely disappointed, but from a positive standpoint, I guess it buys
us more time."IVGID Board Chairman Syd Brosten was more upbeat.
"I actually think it's one of the best things to happen to Incline
Village," Brosten said. "Bonding $8 million at this time would not be
prudent or in the best interest of the community."Duffield, his wife
Cheryl and their six children have lived in Incline Village since 1999
and are active in many community endeavors. Duffield was founder and CEO
of the business software maker PeopleSoft. A supporter of the local Boys
and Girls Clubs, Duffield is also chairman and benefactor of Lake Tahoe
School.In a prepared statement, Duffield said: "I am
aware of how this property might help solve some of the issues facing
our community, such as the need for a transportation center, and the
need for land coverage for public projects that might become available
through a large-scale restoration project and, in time, I would like to
figure out what is good for our community and how we might address some
of those needs with a long-term plan that will benefit all of us."In the
meantime, the ranch is open for tourists."Now that this is done, we want
to let people know that the Ponderosa is planning to continue doing
business as usual until our closing on Sept. 26," Anderson said. "This
is the last chance people will be able to see the ranch as it is and has
been since 1967."
Huge estate once on 'Bonanza' for sale at Tahoe for $59 million
Monday, July 11, 2016
Huge estate once on 'Bonanza' for sale at Tahoe for $59 million |
The Sacramento Bee
George and Clare Schmitt's Lake Tahoe estate is on the market for $59
A mammoth Lake Tahoe estate once featured on TV's "Bonanza" is on the
market for a whopping $59 million, one of the priciest listings in the
Known as Sierra Sunset, the 31-acre Zephyr Cove, Nev., property is being
sold by telecommunications executive George Schmitt and his wife Clare.
It includes at 16,703-square-foot main house and stables for 15 horses;
the facilities have been used to raise racehorses.
Lexi Cerretti, one of the two listing agents at Sotheby's International
Realty's Tahoe office, said the Schmitts are trying to sell the property
because they're often out of the area.
"They're just not using the home as much as they'd like to," she said.
Schmitt made his fortune in wireless communications.
While high-priced real estate transactions are fairly common at Tahoe,
the Sierra Sunset listing stands out. If sold at the asking price, it
would eclipse the reported $48 million paid in 2013 for an estate owned
by Joel Horowitz, co-founder of the Tommy Hilfiger fashion empire.
The main house, including eight bedrooms, a home theater and a four-car
heated garage, was completed in 2004.
The meadow adjacent to the house was featured in the opening scenes on
"Bonanza," the long-running NBC Western.
Read more here:
complete article: Huge estate once on 'Bonanza' for sale at Tahoe for
$59 million | The Sacramento Bee
Thank you for viewing the Incline Village Real Estate blog. If you
require additional information or discussion please contact me via
Incline Village, Nevada, United States
I am a Nevada licensed Realtor, Sales Associate with Lakeshore
Realty in Incline Village, Nevada on Lake Tahoe. I blog about local
market conditions and other items that appeal to me. Email me at:
# 1 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Lorne Greene (Ben Cartwright)
Canadian actor and musician Lorne Greene landed the role of Ben
Cartwright, the widowed patriarch of the clan. In 2007, a /TV
Guide/ survey listed Cartwright as TV's #2 favorite father. Greene died
in 1987 at the age of 72 due to complications from pneumonia, but not
before appearing in numerous TV shows and films through his career.
# 2 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Not Another Idiot Father
When /Bonanza/ first premiered, TV's conventional method of depicting
fathers was a dimwitted man often managed by their wives. However,
producer David Dortort wanted something different. He wanted Ben to be
an admired father-figure worthy of respect. Dortort insisted the show
also ditch the 30-minute limit for a full hour show to better explore
# 3 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
They Never Changed Clothes
Eagle-eyed fans of the show might have noticed the characters never
changed clothes. This tactic made it so production could work in stock
footage when necessary and lower production costs. Despite the lower
costs, the show was still one of the most expensive of its day.
# 4 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Michael Landon (Joseph "Little Joe" Cartwright)
American actor, writer, director, and producer Michael Landon played the
role of /Little Joe, /the youngest Cartwright son, whose mother was of
French Creole descent. Before his successful career in/Bonanza, /Landon
had a number of small roles in movies and TV shows. He died in 1991 at
the age of 54 after a battle with cancer.
# 5 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Michael Landon's Real Name
Michael Landon's real name was Eugene Maurice Orowitz. Initially,
Orowitz wanted the screen name, Michael Lane, but another actor already
had the name in the Screen Actors Guild. Going back to the ol' phone
book (memba those?) Orowitz stumbled across the name Alf Landon and soon
Michael Landon was born. (We would have taken Alf, if we're being honest.)
# 6 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
A Multi-Talent Cast
Not only were the actors of the show talented in front of the camera,
most could sing and four of the Cartwrights contributed to the 1964
Christmas-themed album, /Christmas at the Ponderosa/. Lorne Greene even
had a single, "Ringo," that became a huge hit in the U.S. and Canada.
# 7 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Pernell Roberts (Adam Cartwright)
American actor and singer Pernell Roberts Jr. played he role of /Adam
Cartwright, /the oldest son. Aside from /Bonanza, /he had guest-starred
in over 60 television series. After working on /Bonanza /for only 6
years, he decided to leave the show. After that he returned to
doing some stage work and appeared on other programs. He retired in the
1990's, and died in 2010 at the age of 81 following a battle with cancer.
# 8 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Pernell Roberts Hated the Show
Roberts leaving the show after six years may have surprised viewers, but
people behind the scenes knew that Roberts' politics and lack of regard
for the intelligence of the script caused him to detest the show from
# 9 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
The TV Show That Inspired a Restaurant Chain
Restaurants Ponderosa/Bonanza Steakhouses/ /were actually inspired by
the show and started by /Bonanza/ cast member Dan Blocker. He founded
the first American Bonanza Steakhouse in Kokomo, Indiana in 1965. The
chain expanded to Canada in 1971. The restaurants are owned by the
Metromedia Restaurant Group.
#10 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Dan Blocker (Hoss Cartwright)
Dan Blocker played the character of Eric "Hoss" Cartwright, the middle
son. His character was gullible, sweet, and a little dimwitted, which
was quite the opposite of Dan Blocker in real life. Before he entered
the acting industry, he had received a Master's degree and worked as a
teacher. Sad to say, he died in 1972 at the age of 43, 19 days before
the production of the 1972-73 season was scheduled to start.
#11 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Dan Blocker - The Largest Baby Ever Born In a Town in Texas
Weighing in at 14 pounds at birth, Dan Blocker was, at the time, the
largest baby ever born in Bowie County, Texas. In his first grade,
Blocker already weighed a whopping 105 pounds.
#12 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
From Barely Surviving to Thriving
/Bonanza /suffered very low ratings during its first season as it aired
every Saturday night to dismal ratings and was nearly cancelled.
However, because it was the first TV show filmed and broadcast in color,
and NBC was intent on keeping the show running due to its color
production, they moved it to Sunday evenings, where its ratings soared.
/Bonanza /eventually reached number one in 1964.
#13 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
David Canary ("Candy" Canaday)
David Canary joined /Bonanza /as "Candy" Canaday/ /to help fill the gap
that was left when Pernell Roberts left the show.
Before /Bonanza, /Canary was among the candidates to take over the role
of Mr. Spock in /Star Trek/. Canary died of natural causes in November 2015.
#14 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
The Ponderosa Ranch - Disappointment Turned to Delight
Because of the success of the show, many /Bonanza /fans traveled
to Incline Village, Nevada, the location of the fictional Ponderosa.
However, they were disappointed because there actually wasn't anything
there. Sensing opportunity, land developers Bill and Joyce Anderson
partnered with the producers of the show to develop a large theme park
in Incline Village, which included a complete recreation of the ranch
house. Portions of the show were even filmed at the park, and it
continued to attract fans until it closed in 2004.
#15 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Victor Sen Yung (Hop Sing)
In a case of art imitating life, Victor Sen Yung, the actor who played
the Cartwright family's chef Hop Sing, was actually an accomplished chef
in real life. After the show ended, Yung supported himself by appearing
on cooking shows and authoring /The Great Wok Cookbook/ in 1974.
#16 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
The Western Version of King Arthur
When Dortort started to think about the show and how it would be put
together, he pictured it as an Old West presentation of the legend of
King Arthur. In his vision for the show, Ben Cartwright was King Arthur
and his sons were his knights. In many ways that premise came true as
Ben led and guided his children through life.
#17 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Stock Footage That Saved A Ton Of Money
Because of the stock footage used, the production saved thousands of
dollars per episode. It was a simple but very effective trick that cut
out plenty of big shoots that would have inflated the show's budget.
#18 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
One of the Most Expensive Shows On TV
Even if the production saved money using stock footage and using the
same clothing, the network was spending between $100,000 and $150,000
per episode. That made /Bonanza/ one of the most expensive scripted
shows to produce on a weekly basis. It was also one of the best
performing TV shows, which helped justify the large amount of money
spent on each episode.
#19 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Zorro Could Be Adam Cartwright
Guy Williams was offered to play the role of Adam Cartwright. Williams
refused and decided to play the role of Zorro instead. While he never
took on a main role, he did appear on five episodes of the show as
cousin Will Cartwright. His character was created as a replacement for
Pernell Roberts in case he ever walked off the show. Guess they sensed
something was up with Roberts early on!
#20 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Hoss Had A Real First Name
Hoss Cartwright was actually named Eric Haas Cartwright. His family
and other characters on the show always used the nickname "Hoss" which
was a play on his middle name.
#21 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
The Cartwright Curse
Every woman that Cartwright fell in love with either ended up dead or
left town. It became a joke among the show's actors and fans and there
was obviously a "Cartwright Curse." We would have settled for just one
marriage that lasted but this dad was obviously cursed to raise his kids
as a strong father figure with no mom in sight.
#22 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Many of the actors on the show wore toupees, including Blocker, Roberts,
and Green. Landon's hair however was all real.
#23 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Equal Screen Time
The four men of the /Bonanza/ household share the same screen time. The
production wanted that no one of the four overshadowed the other
three. Every script was closely scrutinized to make sure there were four
stars during every episode. It paid off and led to a very well-balanced
show that offered the chance for every star to shine.
#24 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
The Show's Title Is Slang
The name /Bonanza /was a slang term used by miners to describe a large
mineral deposit or ore. The term is also synonymous with the
word "jackpot."/ /A real life bonanza was discovered right by the
Cartwright's ranch in the famous Comstock Lode.
#25 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
The Show Stayed On TV To Sell Color TVs
/Bonanza /was one of the earliest TV shows to be filmed in color. When
it suffered ratings, it remained on air because NBC and its parent
company RCA wanted to sell more color TVs. As the TV show increased in
popularity it didn't have to rely any longer on its ability to sell
#26 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Michael Landon Was Obsessed With the Show
Michael Landon didn't just have a role on the TV show, he was also
highly devoted to every filmed frame. Landon appeared in all but 14 of
the show's 416 episodes. It was also the show where Landon started his
writing and directing career. You might not be aware that Landon
actually wrote and directed some of the series' most beloved episodes.
#27 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Landon Was Also Incredibly Hard To Work With
When the show entered its final five seasons, Landon became hard to work
with on a daily basis. It was rumored he made sure that no new major
characters were introduced to the show. He also regularly delayed
production shoots as he attempted to create his own vision for the series.
#28 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Dan Blocker Was Turned Down For A Role In "M*A*S*H*"
Dan Blocker was considered as one of Robert Altman's top choices for the
lead role in the movie /M*A*S*H*/. However, Altman's request was not
granted by the producers. The movie was still a huge success, but it
would have been interesting to see which role would have been written
for one of TV's favorite actors.
#29 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
It Was The First Time A Show Acknowledged A Character's Death
Blocker died unexpectedly. Because of that it was announced that Hoss
would be killed in an accident in an episode of the show. It was the
very first time in television history that a show had dealt with, or
even mentioned, the death of one of its characters.
#30 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Guest Stars Were Paid More Than The Show's Stars In The First Season
On the first season of /Bonanza, /the production was not yet sure if the
viewers would love the show because the main characters were not as
well-known as the other actors in the industry. In response, many famous
stars were brought in for guest appearances. The show's producers paid
those actors more than the show's actual stars. By the second season the
show's ratings were increasing and the show's actors had become bonafide
#31 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
The Theme Song Actually Had Lyrics
We mostly heard the theme song on its instrumental version. However, it
really had lyrics. The song was created by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
and there is footage of the lead actors singing those lyrics. Lorne
Greene, Dan Blocker and Michael Landon sang a lyric version for the
pilot, but it never aired. Famed singer Johnny Cash recorded his own
version of the /Bonanza/ theme song.
#32 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
The First Western TV Series Filmed 100% In Color
/Bonanza /was not just filmed in color. In fact, it is the very first
U.S. Western TV show to be 100% produced in color. That's also the
reason why it's one of the most expensive of its time. If it wasn't for
that decision the show would have been canceled before it had the chance
to become one of the most popular TV shows of all-time.
#33 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
It Was the Second Longest Running TV Western of All Time
The only Western TV series to run longer than /Bonanza/ was /Gunsmoke,/
which ran for 15 seasons while /Bonanza/ for just 14. Syndication for
both shows continues in various parts of the world up to this very day.
#34 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
The Cartwrights Were Not Hostile To Visitors
During the first few shows the Cartwrights were hostile to visitors who
came onto their land. However, Lorne Greene realized that the family ran
an important business for the community. That meant many people would
visit their homestead to conduct business. The show's characters were
soon altered to make them more approachable for their neighbors.
#35 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
The Chevrolet Connection
Large portions of /Bonanza's /income came from its long-standing
partnership with Chevrolet. The car company sponsored almost all of the
TV show's 431-episodes which helped keep the series in production. The
stars appeared in numerous Chevrolet commercials as part of the
sponsorship deal which showed them endorsing various vehicles.
#36 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
The Show Has A Deep Connection To The Original 'Star Trek'
Almost every major actor of the 1966 TV series /Star Trek/ appeared at
some point during /Bonanza/'s run. Some of them were William Shatner,
James Doohan, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, George
Takei, Grace Lee Whitney, Majel Barrett, and Walter Koenig.
#37 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Landon's Repeated Attempts To Write Scripts For The Show Originally Failed
Landon really wanted to write scripts for the show, but the show
producer David Dortort wouldn't allow him. While his first attempts
failed, Landon eventually submitted a script that Dortort thought was
good enough to produce. Not only would he become a regular writer and
occasional producer on the show, he eventually wrote many scripts for
/Little House on the Prairie/.
#38 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
It Was The First Issue-Oriented Western TV Show
/Bonanza/ was the first "dramatic" TV Western that didn't focus on
hunting down and killing bad guys. Instead, each episode of the show
focused on issues such as racism, prejudice, and social justice.
#39 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
The Credits Were Rotated Each Week
If you closely watch the opening sequence you will quickly notice that
the order of the actors' names were swapped out so nobody always had top
billing on the show 100% of the time. As previously mentioned, the four
main actors were considered equal stars and that was a carefully
monitored part of the show.
#40 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
A 'Bonanza' Theatrical Release?
/Bonanza/ actually had a theatrical release - in Mexico. The two
episodes for "Ride the Wind" were given a full release in theaters in
Mexico. The episodes were combined and renamed "J/inetes del Viento./"
There were no other theatrical releases of /Bonanza/.
#41 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Saturday Night Nearly Killed The Show
/Bonanza/ was nearly canceled because its Saturday night airtime didn't
attract a large audience. The series was targeted for cancellation but
given one final chance when it was moved to Sunday nights at 9:00 p.m.
By the mid-1960's ratings had skyrocketed and it reached #1 nationwide.
Not bad for a show that barely made it past one season and then went on
to finish 14 years of filming.
#42 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Michael Landon Wore Lifts Throughout Filming
Michael Landon's height is 5'9", but that didn't stop him from wearing
lifts on the set of /Bonanza/. Several sources claim that his new shoes
added a few inches to his height.
#43 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Landon Joked About All The Female Deaths In The Series
Michael Landon thought it was funny that so many females that
appeared on the show would end up dead or mysteriously leaving town. It
got to the point where he once joked that the Cartwrights "had to be
careful or their horses would trip over the graves" of the past female
characters. Maybe not the most tasteful joke but it was right on point.
#45 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
The Show Skyrocketed Michael Landon's Success
Michael Landon became a massive star because of /Bonanza. /He owns the
claim to be the only actor to have three TV shows to run consecutively
for at least five years. He starred in /Bonanza/ (1959-1973), followed
by /Little House on the Prairie /(1974-1983) and finally /Highway to
#46 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
There Are Three Reunion Movies
Because of /Bonanza/'s continued success in syndication, the show
continued to broadcast new TV specials even decades after the show went
off the air. It includes /The Next Generation/ (4/20/1988), /Bonanza:
The Return/ (11/28/1993), and /Bonanza: Under Attack/ (1/15/1995).
#47 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Even The Show's Theme Song Was A Hit
The show's theme song, which is written by Hollywood songsmiths Jay
Livingston and Ray Evans, reached No. 19 on the hit parade in 1961. You
know your show is successful when its' theme song can become a popular
hit on local radio.
#48 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
'Bonanza' Reruns Were Run Under the Title 'Ponderosa'
/Bonanza /was still being aired every Sunday night during the summer of
1972. When the production decided for a rerun, they decided to air it on
Tuesday nights at 7:30 p.m. under the title /Ponderosa/. The show, as
ratings fell, eventually filled the same time slot with new episodes on
#49 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
Big Name Stars Were Avoided
Producers on the show were so certain that the newer medium of color TV
was about to produce a new generation of stars that they decided not to
cast a bunch of well-known actors in the show's leading roles. That
decision paid off and before long the entire cast of the show were huge
#50 'Bonanza' Cast and Facts --- Things You Need to Know
The Show Was Full Of Musicians Who Released Albums
All Cartwrights sang on the 1964 album /Christmas at the
Ponderosa/. Greene even released a single titled "Ringo" that was a huge
hit in the U.S. and Canada. Greene also sang the theme song to
/Bonanza/. It has gone on to become one of the most recognizable and
popular TV theme songs of all time.