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Caribou Ranch, Where Elton John, Chicago and Others Recorded Albums, Sells for More than $32 Million

Island/Universal MusicCaribou Ranch, the site of a famed recording studio near Denver where Elton John, Chicago and many other pop and rock artists recorded and mixed their music, was recently sold for $32.5 million.  The Denver Post reports that the 1,600-acre property was purchased by a company called Indian Peaks Holdings LLC from music producer Jim Guercio and his family.

Guercio, who managed Chicago and produced most of the band's early albums, purchased the ranch, which originally included 4,000 acres, in 1971.  His idea was to create a secluded mountain retreat offering state-of-the-art equipment where musicians could come and work on their records.

Elton recorded three of his 1970s albums at the facility, including 1975's Caribou, which was named after the ranch.  Even John Lennon once visited the ranch, to lay down vocals for Elton's cover of The Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."  Among the many other stars who recorded at Caribou are Joe Walsh, Rick Derringer, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, Carole King, Stephen Stills, Supertramp, and The Beach Boys.

Guercio closed the studio in 1985 after it was damaged in a fire.  After that, he began selling off parts of the property to the city of Boulder, Colorado, as well as Boulder County. 

According to the Mountain Marketing Associates real-estate company, the original asking price for Caribou Ranch was $45 million.  The property, which is protected by a conservation easement, serves as a refuge to elk, deer and the occasional bear and mountain lion.  The ranch includes a main house, a barn, equipment buildings, guest cabins, a lodge, and a riding area.

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