Carmel Magazine

CM Winter 2016 Issue

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142 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • W I N T E R 2 0 1 6 When interest in the game waned, the owners responded by converting several of the courts into a basketball cour t and miniature golf course. Recently, Bruce built a grand log-cabin style clubhouse adjacent to the swimming pools. Equipped with a commercial kitchen, a game room and every other possible amenity, it's become a focal point of family fun. Utilities came as well. PG&E needed a right of way at Rancho to build a high-tension line to service Big Sur. The company constructed an "underbuild," a second, lower voltage service line under the high-tension wires to supply elec- tricity to the Rancho. "We would never have been able to afford electricity otherwise," Bruce explains. The entire complex is serviced by two wells and a spring. The mountain spring is slow but sure—putting out five to six gallons a minute, day after day. Members own their cabins, but lease the property for a 99-year term. Membership fees pay for construction and maintenance of the facilities. Aside from the Dormody family, there are no permanent residents here. All 100 cabins are vacation homes for the owners. The San Clemente Rancho is the site of some forgotten Monterey Peninsula history. In the 1970s, Mike Dormody purchased a tract of land on the northeastern edge of the Rancho that included a section known as "the 14 acres" from Del Monte Properties, now the Pebble Beach Company. The parcel is adjacent to the Carmel River at the site of the now-demolished San Clemente Dam. In the 1920s, Del Monte Hotel guests were ferried to this remote meadow, where they were treated to a "full-on rodeo." Period photos on the walls of the clubhouse depict dude-ranch-dressed guests watching the action, seated on horses or fence rails while sip- ping bottles of beer. For those in the know, the Rancho is a home away from home, a haven of relaxation and communing with nature. While enjoying its miles of hiking trails through untouched primal forest, it's easy to be transported back in time to the days when all of California was undeveloped and untamed. The Dormody family is dedicated to preserving this land and keeping it pristine for coming generations. For more information on San Clemente Rancho, please go to Two swimming pools are heated by an extensive solar panel array. The popular water slide was constructed with earth removed when the property's trout pond was excavated. This area is a popular family gathering spot during Fourth of July festivities. Photo: Bruce Dormody

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