From Rogers Ranch to Howard Hughes
The Ranch Club Estados, its original name, was launched in 1971 and built in 1973, almost sold out. Here's a brief history of the previous surroundings developments that lead to our Ranch Club and a few key points since its creation.
1930s • MINK AND MANURE CLUB AT SUNRISE / VISTA CHINO
Source: The Desert Sun
In 1931, when Palm Springs claimed just 1,040 residents, prominent citizens banded together to form Desert Riders. Envisioned as a social club, the whole town aspired to saddling up for trail rides, breakfast rides and jaunts through the wide-open sand dunes of the valley floor. Movie stars like Olivia de Haviland, Robert Taylor, William Holden, Don Ameche, Dennis Day, Hugh O'Brien, Clark Gable, Henry Fonda and Gary Grant joined the group.
Among the prominent citizen cowboys were Tony Burke, the town’s relentless publicist and Trav Rogers, owner of one of the town’s first stables, and purveyor of the “Mink and Manure Club” near what is now Sunrise and Vista Chino. Carl Lykken, the owner of the General Store with the only telephone in town was one of the founders of Desert Riders, (and would end up being memorialized in one of the most arduous trails on the mighty mountain.)
1930s TO 1950s • MOVIE COLONY - HOWARD HUGUES AND THE RANCH CLUB
Source: Explorer's Guide Palm Springs & Desert Resorts: A Great Destination (Explorer's Great Destinations). Christopher P. Baker. The Countryman Press, Nov 3, 2008 - Travel - 288 pages
Centered on Ruth Hardy Park, the Movie Colony (the area east of Indian Canyon Drive, extending to Sunrise Way, between Vista Chino to the north and Alejo Road to the south) is named for the Hollywood stars who bought homes here in the late 1930s and 40s, when the area was on the outskirts of town. This flamboyant lifestyle with which the Movie Colony was synonymous was epitomized by the clothing-optional, luxury hotel Casa del Sol that Australian-born ban vivant actor Errol Flynn built in 1943 (he kept his name off the legal books for tax reasons). Hollywood's sybaritic crowd flocked to Flynn's wild hotel, which though it burned down in 1990, set a precedent for the Desert Shadows Inn, a nudist-lifestyle resort that currently occupies the same site. Back in the day, the area also had a western ranch—the Ranch Club—where the likes of Jane Wyman loved to ride horses while adorned in cowboy attire.
Among the Who's Who of past residents? Shock-jock novelist Truman Capote—author of Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood—wintered at his home at 853 Paseo el Mirador. Capote was a regular at the city's gay nightspots and party scene. Capote's neighbor, bandleader Lawrence "Ah-one and ah-to" Welk, lived at 730 Paseo el Mirador, where he parked his car with the license plate A1NA2. Noted local architect E. Stewart Williams designed a modernist home for himself at 1250 Paseo el Mirador.
Despite his vast fortune, eccentric billionaire aviator/filmmaker/industrialist/financier Howard Hughes tried to keep a low profile in public and had an intimate familiarity with Palm Springs. Hughes rented his first desert home in 1940 "to 'stash' his then 15-year-old acting protégée, Faith Domergue", claims author Howard Johns. In 1957 Hughes moved to another rented pad at 1451 N. Paseo de Anza, where he secretly honeymooned with his second wife, actress Jean Peters. In 1963, during the scandal of his Trans World Airlines antitrust lawsuit, he tried to avoid the press at a modest tract home at 1185 Pasatiempo Rd. Eventually Hughes descended into madness and died in an emaciated state in 1976.
DATE UNKNOWN • HOWARD HUGHES - A HOME AT 1445 SUNRISE WAY, PALM SPRINGS
Source: Palm Springs Celebrity Homes
The billionaire owned a home here when this was called The Ranch Club, a premier Dude Ranch. This home has since been torn down and replaced by condominiums called The Ranch and also a business park building. The address was originally 1600 Chia Road East.
1950s • A LAYOUT EMERGES
BEFORE THE RANCH CLUB PALM ESTATES
Actual photograph shows the thousand-acre complex known collectively as Ranch Club Enterprises and its proximity to downtown Palm Springs. Area in small white box is Ranch Club proper which includes recreational facilities and main building; large area enclosed in white borer includes Ranch Country Club and Ranch Club Estates.
1971 - RANCH CLUB ESTADOS PROJECT REVEALED
Source: The Desert Sun - Friday, June 11, 1971
112 CONDOMINIUMS - Ranch Club Home Project Revealed
Ranch Club Estados, a million, $3.5 million, 112-unit condominium project, will be constructed on North Sunrise Way in Palm Springs by Coble & Wessman. general contractors, it was announced today by owners Ed James, John Wessman and Warren Coble.
The eight-acre site for the one-, two- and three-bedroom bcondominiums is adjacent to the bhistoric Ranch Club, which will remain open to the public, the owners said. The project’s- first phase will be 36 units, with a $22,950 to $32,950 price range.
Each all-electric, air conditioned condominium will include separate entry areas, covered parking and storage space, large walk-in closets, individual patios with additional storage areas, luminous ceilings in kitchens and bathrooms, quality soundproofing and insulation. Kitchens will feature dishwashers, garbage disposals and self-cleaning ovens.
The architectural style will be early Californian, a Spanish motif with red Mission tile roofs and heavy, rough beam construction. The one-bedroom units will have one halh while the two- and three-bedroom units will each have two baths.
Floor plans will range from 800 square feet to 1,320 square feet. The first phase will include 16 one-bedroom condominiums, 28 two-bedroom units and 12 !three-bedroom units. Property maintenance will be provided.
“The response to Ranch Club Estados has already been tremendous even though we had not formally announced the development," Coble said. “We believe Ranch Club Estados offers the best value for the money of any condominium project in the Coachella Valley."
A clubhouse and recreation building also will be completed during the first phase. The structure will include men’s and women’s saunas and exercise rooms, table tennis and billiard tables, a complete kitchen and cocktail bar. Open and partially covered decking will overlook two swimming pools and two tennis courts. The outside recreation site will also have barbecue areas and putting greens.
To maintain the heavily landscaped grounds, huge palm trees now growing on the site will be relocated adding to the lush environment. The project is located on the west side of Sunrise Way between Vista Chino and Chia Road.
Palm Springs Realty Company maintains an office on the Ranch Club site, 1145 North Sunrise Way, and will handle condominium sales and rentals for owners at Ranch Club Estados.
1973 - RANCH CLUB ESTADOS SALES AD
Source: The Desert Sun - Friday, January 12, 1973
Sales ad featured in The Desert Sun
1978 - PANTELE'S RESTAURANT AND DISCO
Source: The Desert Sun, Saturday September 30, 1978
City Attorney seeks Pantele injunction
PALM SPRINGS - City Attorney Ray Ott is seeking a Superior Court injunction to close Panicle’s Restaurant and Disco because of complaints from residents living near it.
The establishment, on Sunrise Way near Vista Chino, used to be the restaurant and clubhouse for the old Ranch Club.
Police have developed a large file on Pantele’s since January, Ott said, including complaints of disturbances of the peace, fights, trespassing on nearby residences and a lot of traffic there early in the morning.
Pantele’s is open until 4 a m. four nights a week.
Ott contends the discotequeis a public nuisance and in violation of the zoning ordinance.
As the clubhouse for residents of the old Ranch Club, the facility conformed to the zoning ordinance, Ott said “But once the Ranch Club stopped its operation and condominiums were built, the restaurant-clubhouse became non-conforming in that basically residential vicinity,” he said.
A preliminary injunction would put a stop to the zoning violation, Ott said. He is working with A 1 Gergeley, an attorney representing Ranch Club Palm Estates Homeowner’s Association, who is seeking a permanent injunction against Panicle’s.
Help us improve the history section: If you have any information, pictures, and even a personal story, write us a note!