BOULDER, CO—Once among the best-known destination recording facilities in the world, Caribou Ranch has been sold for $32.5 million. Closed since a 1985 fire, the facility hosted the likes of U2, Michael Jackson, John Lennon, Billy Joel, Frank Zappa, Stevie Wonder and dozens more over the course of its storied history.
Caribou Ranch, one of the top destination recording studios of the 1970s, was sold in June. Originally a lot of 4,000 acres, the studio was founded in 1971 by owner and musician Jim Guercio. After the fire damaged the facility, Guercio began selling parcels of the land to Boulder County Parks and Open Space, as it sits roughly 30 minutes outside of Boulder, CO and 10 minutes from Eldora Ski Area. On the market since summer 2013, when it debuted with an asking price of $45 million, the remaining 1,600-acre plot includes a main house, cabins, a lodge, riding area, stable, barn and various other buildings.
Caribou Ranch was sold to Indian Peaks Holdings, LLC., which the Denver Post noted only filed as an entity with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office in June. Some reports state unverified claims that Indian Peaks Holdings is in fact owned by descendants of the Walmart-founding Walton family, and that the current plan will be to preserve the property rather than develop on it.
During its run from 1971-1985, Caribou Ranch drew artists like Chicago, The Beach Boys, Joni Mitchell, Joe Walsh, Stevie Wonder, Stephen Stills, Earth Wind and Fire, Rod Stewart, Waylon Jennings, Dan Fogelberg, Amy Grant, John Denver, Willie Nelson, Badfinger, Charlie Daniels, War, Michael Martin Murphy, America, Kris Kristofferson, Supertramp, Michael W. Smith, Jeff Beck, Al Green and others to its studio to record, write and mix. At the facility, Elton John recorded his aptly titled 1974 album, Caribou, which included his staple hits “The Bitch Is Back” and “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.” In all, the studio resulted in sales of more than 100 million albums.