Through the years, the ranch property had transferred numerous times between its first settlement in 1870 as the "Home Ranch" to its modern day Beaver Creek Golf Club and Ranch House Restaurant. The historic property was
first settled by one of the
The popular Quail's Nest, now The Ranch House Restaurant had been established in 1939. It dated back to the golden Hollywood era when people like Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Clark Gable and Betty Davis regarded it as a charming countryside getaway. Betty Davis was married at the Home Ranch on New Year's Eve 1940, while it was owned by Justin Dart and his Hollywood starlet wife, Jane Bryan.
In 1948, it was owned by Kenneth and
Elizabeth Watterses. The Watterses sold to Burt McCarroll in the mid-1950s, who in failing
health sold the place to D.K. and Nina Wingfield in 1957, who in turn sold it
to a group of investors the next year. Which is where the real story of
The most prominent member of the investor group
One of his first moves was to change the name
of the place from
the Home Ranch to
In the late 1960s, the development sold to
Charles Hallett, a
trustee for the Lake Montezuma Development Company,
By 1972, the country club was in bankruptcy. The golf course was kept in shape through the efforts of the homeowners. The business flipped several more times after it was purchased out of bankruptcy in 1978.Eventually, Larry Hayes and Donnie Powers acquired majority ownership. It is Hayes and Powers whose signature defines the new resort. They changed the name from Lake Montezuma Golf and Country Club to Beaver Creek Golf and Country Club. They changed the name of the restaurant from the Quail's Nest to The Ranch House in 1986.
Like so many rural communities in Arizona, Beaver Creek, specifically the portion known as Lake Montezuma, began as a ranch. In the late 50s one of the largest and most prosperous dude ranches in Rimrock, the famous Soda Springs Ranch, was owned and supported by the wealthy. One such frequent patron of Soda Springs, Charles Bell, liked the area so much that he bought a ranch known as the Jackson Ranch later to become the Bell Ranch. Bell Ranch was later subdivided and called Lake Montezuma.
Lew King, who is best known for having discovered Wayne Newton, would become the first person to exploit the ranch's development potential. He had originally intended to create a ranch/camp, a retreat in the country, but soon figured out the most lucrative thing to do was to sell it off, piece by piece. One of his first moves was to change the name of the place to Lake Montezuma, recognizing its connection to Montezuma Well and Montezuma Castle. The name also recognized the pond on the ranch that he expanded into a lake. The original headquarters home was converted to a restaurant, bar and golf shop. What was once the clubhouse of the Beaver Creek Golf Resort was once the ranch house, a name that lived on with the clubhouse restaurant..