TAHOE CITY, CA.-- If you have ever been to Tahoe City, you have probably stopped at a small riverside restaurant for a beer and a bite to eat. For almost 90 years the River Ranch lodge has served customers right beside the Truckee River.
But now the iconic restaurant is up for sale; the owners are ready to retire and are offering up the property for 5-million dollars.
Nestled in a bend of the Truckee River, the River Ranch lodge has been a Tahoe landmark since 1925.
"Bought this in 1972, 41 years ago and started the renovation project that continues to this day," said Brick Haley, owner of River Ranch.
Once used to house foreign diplomats during the 1960 Olympics, the building is now a 19-room hotel, but it's better known for an apres-ski snack.
"It's ideally located between Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Tahoe City," said Mark Moore, listing agent for River Ranch.
In the summer the ranch serves as a final stop for river rafters looking for a bite to eat after a long float.
"The two rafting companies deliver approximately 1000 people here every day," said Moore.
It's such a hub for Tahoe activity that a good percentage of people who have passed through the area have stopped in once or twice.
The doors to River Ranch are currently closed, but that is not because of the sale; the building is currently undergoing renovations, and the hope is that the restaurant will remain open when new owners take over.
"The River Ranch is going to continue operating as usual, the food, the staff, the cook, the banquet staff, everything is going to remain the same," said Moore.
Once someone puts $5-million to buy the lodge, things will likely change, just like Tahoe itself has changed.
"The demographic is changing, but it is changing from our perspective, to a fairly favorable degree," said Haley.
For the owners, the sale is bittersweet but they say it's time to retire.
For most of this month, the lodge has been closed for seasonal cleaning and repairs. It will open back up on Friday, just in time for the ski season.