If you still remember all the words from “Happy Trails,” then this auction might spark your interest.
The Roy Rogers Double R Bar Ranch in Oro Grande, Calif., where his show was filmed and where Rogers and his wife, Dale Evans, once lived, will go up for auction on July 12. The minimum bid for the ranch, which still bears Rogers’ name but is no longer owned by any kin, is $100,000, but the auction company, Williams & Williams, expects to get much more.
“This is perfect for people who want an equestrian facility not too far out of Southern California,” said Amy Bates, chief marketing officer at Williams & Williams. “And then you add on top of that the appeal of Roy Rogers.”
Rogers and his wife owned and operated the property from 1965 to 1998, using the ranch primarily as a horse training and breeding facility. It changed hands once before being sold to the current owner, Eric Enriquez, who bought the property for $300,000 in 2002 as a gift for his father. Since then, he has spent what Bates said is an “unquantifiable” amount of time cleaning, repairing and restoring the property.
“That’s why an auction makes sense to them,” said Bates. “Because it’s hard to put a figure on a property that you’ve spent so much time and money working on.”
The Enriquez family put the ranch up for auction in 2009, as well, but got little interest and ended up holding on to the property. Then, the minimum bid was $2.9 million.
Chris Carter of Hansen Auctions & Realty, who was hired to auction the property, chalked it up to the economy at the time. His partner on the project, Sharon McGill, also said they didn’t market it like Williams & Williams is currently doing, and thinks this time around will produce better results.
But a $2.9 million minimum bid is a lot bigger than a $100,000 bid. Bates said that is all in the strategy.
“The more people bidding the merrier, so we always put the absolute lowest minimum bid,” she said, adding that she is confident the winning bid will be fair market value.
The ranch sits on 64 acres and contains two residences: a 1,700-square-foot home with three bedrooms and three bathrooms, and a 1,200-square-foot brick home that was on the ranch when the famous couple purchased it. The brick home has since been converted into a museum to showcase Roy Rogers memorabilia.
Additionally, the barn on the property has been turned into a theater for watching movies, and there is a 1,500-square-foot bunkhouse that provides a large reception area with two carpeted bedrooms and one bath; a stable with two tack rooms and 15 stalls — most of which are outfitted with watering systems, lighting and feeders; a half mile track; 10 fenced in pastures; and a four-horse electrified walker and 50-foot round pen with metal roof.
In addition to auctioning off the property itself, memorabilia will also be auctioned off separately. Items include an authentic Wells Fargo buckboard wagon that was used in the movies, a one-man-band instrument Rogers used to entertain guests and a Decker Brother’s 1863 Baby Grand Piano.