Mountain River Ranch closing its doors after 35 years of business
RIRIE – Mountain River Ranch in Ririe has been a popular destination for customers for the last 35 years, but as of about six weeks ago the business was listed for sale.
Owner Tran King tells EastIdahoNews.com the family is ready to pursue other interests.
“I started it 35 years ago. My daughter later took it over. She did a great job with it, but it reached a point where she had other interests,” King says.
Several people have shown interest in the property since it was put on the market. King says many customers have called and asked for reservations this year and until now, he opted not to go into detail about the closure.
“With the virus, places like ours would have been closed anyway,” says King.
But as he looks back on the last 35 years, King says it’s the customers he’s going to miss most of all.
“The customer base we have had here has been fantastic,” he says. “If you read the reviews, it’s just amazing. The customers make the business, and I’ve always tried to put the customers first. I pride myself on that and it’s paid off very well.”
Mountain River Ranch has more than 47 acres of land near Kelly Canyon Ski Resort. It includes an RV Park and campground and frontier town styled buildings with nine overnight cabins, tents, tepees and a riding arena.
The business offered horse and wagon rides every summer, along with dinner and a western-themed variety show inside the Meadow Muffin Event Center.
“We hosted a lot of company picnics and parties out here for people to enjoy themselves…and damn good food,” King says. “I never settled for anything that wasn’t first class and I think it made a difference.”
King says the variety show began as a melodrama when it first started in 1985. It later changed to a variety show because King thought it would be more fun for customers.
One of the most popular attractions at Mountain River Ranch was the Christmas dinner show and horse-drawn sleigh ride.
“It’s just magical. It truly is,” King says. “I feel pretty proud of starting it. It was a unique thing to do. My wife’s been a fantastic partner in everything we’ve done. You make a decision to move on and hope for the best.”
King says he and his wife, Annie, are looking forward to spending their retirement enjoying themselves, playing golf and doing lots of traveling.
Now that the business is for sale, King says they’ve considered selling the RV park and dinner theater portion separately after several inquiries about it.
“I was hoping it would go on as a complete unit…but if it gets broken up, I guess that’s the way it is,” he says.
King worked with Kerry Howell and Paul Fife at SVN High Desert Commercial and Century 21 High Desert in listing the business for sale. If you’re interested in purchasing it, call (208) 521-2827.