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Caribou Ranch for sale in Colorado
Thursday, July 25 2013

The Caribou Ranch, the Rocky Mountain recording studio that has drawn the likes of John Lennon, Michael Jackson, Elton John, and Waylon Jennings, is on the market for $45 million.

Record producer James William Guercio is selling the 1,600-acre history property near the Denver suburb of Nederland, Colorado, through Mountain Marketing Associates, Ltd., The Denver Business Journal reported. Guercio sold 2,600 acres of the ranch to the City of Boulder and Boulder County. The rest of the property is under a conservation easement, but can be cut into multiple lots.

Guercio purchased the ranch in 1971 for $11 million and built the studio. The ranch, nestled in the mountains, became a haven for recording artists who wanted to produce music away from the bustle of big cities. The Denver Business Journal reported Joe Walsh recorded his "Barnstorm" album there. Elton John named a 1974 album "Caribou" in honor of the ranch. Michael Jackson went horseback riding there and worked on songs while on tour in 1984.

Guercio told the Rocky Mountain News in 2008 that union rules in New York and Los Angeles limited his creative ability, which led him to look for a way to produce music without restrictions. "They'd unionized the studios. I couldn't touch a button," Guercio said. "I was at a point in my life with huge success and I said, 'You know, people are going to conform to my environment. I'm not going to conform to theirs.' They all refused Chicago, all these guys. 'We're not going up to the mountains.' They eventually did, but when I first started I had a lot of resistance."

Other stars that recorded, mixed records, or wrote at the ranch include Stevie Wonder, Amy Grant, Billy Joel, Earth Wind & Fire, Frank Zappa, Rod Stewart, and Waylon Jennings.

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