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If you rent it, they will come. That's Kevin Costner's surprise gambit when it comes to his beloved Colorado home, Dunbar Ranch. And that means the rest of us now have a golden opportunity to vacation like a Hollywood A-lister.
Costner's 160-acre ranch, just a 10-minute drive from downtown Aspen, boasts three standalone properties — a main house, a lake house, and a river house — and can accommodate up to 34 guests. You'll have plenty to keep you occupied during your visit, too, with a private ice rink, tubing track, and dog sledding, not to mention world-class skiing in nearby Aspen Snowmass, of course.
During the warmer months, the lengthy list of activities includes horseback riding, hiking, and fishing, as well as pursuits that channel some of Costner's famous roles, such as archery lessons (for the "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" fans) and hitting balls on the actor's personal baseball field (for "Field of Dreams" aficionados). There's even a selection of kayaks and paddleboards on hand, for those interested in recreating the "Waterworld" denouement on Costner's private lake.
The houses themselves ooze old-fashioned warmth and deep, cozy, rustic comfort. They're the kind of places where you imagine a fire is always snapping, a delicious-smelling pot is permanently simmering (the team of private chefs will handle that), and one of the old wardrobes might just lead to a magical, snowy realm — other than Aspen.
The star of the show is the six-bedroom, six-bathroom main house, which has a disguised trapdoor in the master suite that leads down a flight of stone steps to an enormous hidden jacuzzi straddling the Continental Divide. The views out over Independence Pass and Aspen Mountain are spectacular throughout the property, but this has to be the pick of the bunch.
Costner named the ranch in honor of his "Dances With Wolves" character, Lieutenant John Dunbar, and the pack of stone wolf busts guarding the nightstands and mantelpieces around the property further hint at that influence.
Costner still frequently uses Dunbar Ranch, but the filming schedule for his new TV show, Yellowstone, means he's spending a large chunk of time on other people's ranches in Montana — hence the recent decision to rent out Dunbar for the princely sum of $36,000 a night.
The price might seem somewhat daunting, but as realtor Amy Mottier points out as she shows me around, that's a little over $1,000 per head if you fill it with friends for a special event. It's comparable to block booking the best rooms at Aspen's five-star hotel, The Little Nell.
Dunbar Ranch is precisely the kind of place you'd build if you love the great outdoors and money was no issue. And that's exactly what Costner did some 20 years ago, eagerly rolling up his sleeves like Ray Kinsella to help build his forever home. Now you can buy a piece of that dream on this wedge of private wilderness, too. Just don't break any crockery or block any toilets — this is one landlord you don't want to mess with.
To inquire about renting Dunbar Ranch, visit dunbarranch.co.
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