A Glamorous History

Timeless style and casual elegance.

Rancharrah enjoys a rich and glamorous history. In 1937, casino magnate Bill Harrah arrived in Reno and changed its landscape forever. In 1957, after acquiring considerable wealth and status, he embarked on creating the perfect place to call home: Rancharrah. Close enough to the action, but with its own private allure, the ranch was surrounded by pristine natural beauty, warmth, style and casual elegance. Here, among towering trees, stunning views, a three-hole golf course and a private lake, the Harrah’s escaped from the everyday to raise their family.

The Fastlife

Throughout the years, an impressive star-studded list of celebrities, including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Bennett, Debbie Reynolds, Don Rickles, Ann-Margret, Kenny Rogers, John Denver, Glen Campbell, and Steve Martin were frequent guests of the estate. Guests would often arrive at the mansion in one of Bill Harrah’s famed and historic automobiles from his personal collection. At the time, it was the largest collection in the world, comprised of 1,400 classic and rare cars. now on display at the National Automobile Museum in downtown Reno. For nearly six decades, the property remained within the Harrah Family until acquired by Reno Land Inc. in 2016.


Bill Harrah, founder of Harrah’s Hotel & Casino, buys his Reno estate from Norman Blitz, ‘Duke of Nevada.’ On March 1, 1957, Bill renames Gentlemen’s Ranch to ‘Rancharrah’.


Bill Harrah establishes the Nevada Gaming Commission to help fight corruption. Red Skeleton headlines the gala opening of Harrah’s Lake Tahoe South Shore Room.


Regular guests at Rancharrah and Villa Harrah include Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Debbie Reynolds, Tony Bennett, Liza Minelli, Red Skeleton, Waylon Jennings, Wayne Newton, and Paul Anka.


Harrah’s automobile collection opened to the public with 325 cars on display.


Bill Harrah acquires the adjacent Reno Grand Hotel property and contracts noted casino architect Martin Stern Jr.


Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. becomes the first gaming company to be trade on the NYSE.


Bill Harrah buys Winthrop Rockefeller’s extensive automobile collection. The car collection was purchased for $947,000 and included 68 motorized vehicles and three horse-drawn carriages.


Bill Harrah dies at the age of 67. John Denver sang ‘Singing Skies and Dancing Waters’ at his funeral and 76 people were named as honorary pallbearers. Bill Harrah’s estate divides in two: the Rancharrah mansion and 15 acres to his wife Verna, and the remainder to his sons, John Adam and Tony Lee.


John Harrah buys out Verna and Tony’s Rancharrah holdings and rebuilds what is now the existing mansion with its extensive grounds.


John Harrah buys back all three additional Gentlemen’s Ranch Properties, increasing Rancharrah’s acerage to 141 acres. The 52,000 sq. ft. climate-controlled equestrian center is constructed.


John Harrah sells the estate to be redeveloped into The Club at Rancharrah.


Groundbreaking ceremony hosts more than one hundred local dignitaries and guests. Construction begins to convert the mansion into a premier private club.