Iconic Rancho de la Osa Guest Ranch Purchased by Dude Ranch Pros, Will Reopen Feb. 1

Sasabe, AZ, December 23, 2016 --(PR.com)-- Two passionate dude ranch owner/operators are partnering to save historic Rancho de la Osa near Sasabe on the Arizona/Mexico border. The storied property dates from the 1700s and was operated as a guest ranch from 1925 to 2014. The new owners plan to reopen the ranch resort and welcome guests on Feb. 1.

The partners are Robert Bucksbaum, who owns the Majestic Dude Ranch outside of Durango, Colorado, and Russell True, who grew up at and is now co-owner of the White Stallion Ranch in Tucson, Arizona.

The 240-acre property with 10 buildings was auctioned to the highest bidder on Oct. 22 and the sale closed Nov. 23. La Osa had been owned and operated for the past 20 years by Veronica and Richard Schultz who fully restored and upgraded the ranch that abuts the 117,000-acre Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge.

La Osa has ties to Father Kino, the King of Spain, Pancho Villa, Hollywood stars and U.S. Presidents. The original adobe structure is believed to be the oldest continually used building in Arizona and was constructed by Jesuit missionaries to serve as a trading post for local tribes and a resting place for traveling missionaries. For much of the next century it was a large cattle ranch. The main hacienda still in use today was built in 1889 with adobe bricks made onsite. In 1916 Pancho Villa attempted to capture the ranch during the Mexican Revolution. A cannonball from the attack was removed from the adobe and is now on display. In 1925 La Osa was converted into a dude ranch.

Bucksbaum and True plan to continue to showcase the ranch history and retain its traditional emphasis on fine cuisine, wines and tequila. They’ll bring back the horses and cattle – essential for the authentic dude ranch experience. They also have ambitious plans to add more adventure to the guest experience – providing opportunities for rock climbing, fat-tire and electric bikes, hiking, stargazing, archery and shooting, birding, croquet, even human foosball, which Bucksbaum says is insanely popular at ranches in Colorado.

True said, “We are stewards of this one-of-a-kind property. La Osa deserves to be open to the public. We will keep the authenticity, yet expand the options. We’re going to introduce Colorado’s adventure-style dude ranching to Arizona.”

La Osa is surrounded by pristine high desert vistas as far as the eye can see – including the Baboquivari Wilderness and the Tohono O’odham nation to the west and the Buenos Aires National Wilderness Refuge to the east. La Osa is located roughly 70 miles southwest of Tucson just outside of Sasabe, a community of some 2,500 residents that straddles the Arizona/Mexico border.

Bucksbaum purchased his first dude ranch in 2011– the Lake Mancos Ranch in the San Juan mountains some 35 miles from Durango – fulfilling a lifelong dream. “Since I was 10, I wanted to work at a dude ranch. It’s been a passion all my life.” He renamed it the Majestic Dude Ranch, in keeping with the Majestic Crest, the historic independent film house he owned, operated and restored near Los Angeles.

Last fall, as the Colorado dude ranch season ended, Bucksbaum and his wife saw online that La Osa was for sale. They visited and “fell in love with property. It’s a truly magical spot,” he said. Then he connected with True. “I wouldn’t even consider doing this without Russell and his expertise.”

As a child True watched his parents work tirelessly, then began learning the trade himself. He is a co-founder and president of the Arizona Dude Ranch Association and has twice served as president of the Dude Ranchers Association, the only multistate dude ranch group. He also co-owns the 270-acre Tombstone Monument Ranch in southeastern Arizona. Now he and Bucksbaum have the opportunity to maximize efficiencies and share resources by co-managing the dude ranches – La Osa, White Stallion, Tombstone and the Majestic.

Ultimately, True and others have a long-term goal to protect and preserve other historic guest ranches in the West – by forming the Ranch Preservation Fund and attracting investors. “Especially since the Great Recession, most dude ranches have found it difficult to maintain a reasonable bottom line because of the burdensome costs of marketing and operating as a single entity. As a result, ranches are coming to market at prices well below their potential value. We see the potential for administering and marketing these historic ranch properties through a centralized modern boutique management system.

Travelers today seek out unique experiences and destinations – and they have a great appreciation for history. People care. Historic is huge in tourism today. True said a trusted central location for information on dude ranches that meet rigid member guidelines is www.duderanches.com.

Contact: Russell True, White Stallion Ranch, rtrue@whitestallion.com or (520) 297-0252 or Robert Bucksbaum, robert@majesticduderanch.com or (970) 533-7900
Rancho de la Osa Guest Ranch
Donna Kreutz