Historic Jacks Valley Ranch, Former Home of Casino Magnate, Hits Market

Posted on: June 20, 2024, 05:18h. 

Last updated on: June 21, 2024, 09:12h.

The historic Jacks Valley Ranch near Nevada’s Carson City capital has hit the market with an asking price of $15 million.

Jacks Valley Ranch John Ascuaga Nugget Sparks
Jacks Valley Ranch, owned by John Ascuaga for 52 years before he died in 2021, has hit the market. The historic property comes with an asking price of $15 million. (Image: Casino.org)

Jacks Valley Ranch dates back to before Nevada was even founded. The more than 160-year-old, 1,230-acre working cattle ranch is being sold by the estate of casino tycoon John Ascuaga and his wife, Rose Ascuaga. Mrs. Ascuaga died in 2020, just shy of her 87th birthday. Mr. Ascuaga died the following year at the age of 96.

Soon after graduating college where he worked as a bellhop at a lodge in Idaho, which he said provided him with his first taste of the hospitality industry, Ascuaga moved to Sparks where he worked at the Nugget Café. He would later acquire the small coffee shop and would go on to develop the brand into one of Northern Nevada’s largest casino resorts.

For more than a half-century, Ascuaga owned and operated John Ascuaga’s Nugget in Sparks and continually expanded the resort into the sprawling complex that it is today. Ascuaga sold the casino resort in October 2013.

Jacks Valley History

Ascuaga purchased Jacks Valley Ranch in 1969. The storied property has called several other prominent Nevadans its owner, including Richard Kirman, the seventh governor of the state, oil tycoon Robert Lytle, and millionaire philanthropist Max Fleischmann of the Fleischmann’s Yeast empire.

Steeped in history, Jacks Valley was where John Wayne filmed his final movie, “The Shootist.” The Duke, as Wayne was affectionately known, is synonymous with Hollywood Westerns.  

During his ownership, Ascuaga permanently preserved most of the land by placing it into the Nevada Land Trust. The nonprofit helped Ascuaga obtain a conservation easement on 1,169 acres, which bars the land from further development.

My desire has always been to preserve the character of Jacks Valley and to maintain the ranch as a working ranch,” Ascuaga said in 2015 after the conservation easement was established.

Jacks Valley Ranch, located five air miles east of Lake Tahoe and just a short drive to Carson City, was the primary residence of the Ascuaga family. Ascuaga raised his children there, and Stephen and Michonne would go on to work at the Nugget and play critical roles in its perpetual development and governance.

Listing Details

Jacks Valley Ranch has four residences, with the main home consisting of three bedrooms, two baths and two half-baths, a study, and a two-car attached garage. The 5,428-square-foot home was built in 1963.

The three other homes are older, each dating back to 1942. They are each two-bed, one-bath units. The property has five barns, 737 acres of irrigated pasture, and 4,112 acre-feet of deeded water rights.

Importantly, the property has the right to divert the flow of a portion of Jacks Valley Creek for 5.5 days out of each eight-day cycle. The tributaries help keep natural springs on the property full and also replenish the property’s water tank.

The ranch also features 377 acres of mixed conifer forest and 111 acres of sage and bitterbrush. Jacks Valley Ranch is being listed by Chase International. Additional information can be found here.