New Dawn Ranch – Formerly Fifes – Sells for 20 Million

A 120-year-old rural resort in north Sonoma County has sold for $20 million.

Guernville-based Isaac LLC, an affiliate of agent Michael Clark, sold the 15-acre Dawn Ranch Lodge at 16467 Hwy. 116 in Guerneville to San Francisco-based Tidewater Capital and Bridgeton Holdings, a private real estate firm based in New York, the San Francisco Business Times reported.

The wooden lodge, perched on the Russian River, has 55 cottages, three bungalows and a restaurant, with extensive grounds for weddings and other events, about an hour drive from San Francisco.

Amenities include wine country tours, canoeing and kayaking, and trips to the nearby Sonoma coast.

Drive-to hotels and resorts in the Bay Area have been some of the hospitality market’s best performing properties, sought after as long-term investments and for their repositioning potential.

Dawn Ranch, with no in-room TVs or phones, can accommodate 500-person weddings and has been featured as a choice venue in magazines from Martha Stewart Weddings to Glamour. Its grounds also feature about 30 so-called “glamping” sites.

Established in 1905 after Theodosia Button Murphy bought the then-orchard site, Dawn Ranch was built into a hospitality property and run for decades by the Murphy family until it was sold in 1978, when it became known as Fife’s Resort.

Isaac LLC bought the rsort in 2001 for $3,025,000, according to records from Property Shark, and rebranded the property as Dawn Ranch Lodge in 2005.

Dawn Ranch Resort “will be positioned as one of the top lodging properties in the market,” Akash Sharma, president of Bridgeton, said in a statement. “We are excited to realize the full potential of the resort through thoughtful design and management.”