The “Biggest Loser” RanchMay 7th, 2009 | By Lindsay | Category: TV Locations
This past weekend, I dragged my boyfriend out to Calabasas to stalk the King Gillette Ranch, otherwise known as The Biggest Loser Ranch. I found this location thanks to the couple we met while stalking the Adamson House a few weeks back. Our new friends, who just recently got engaged, have been traipsing all over the Los Angeles area touring wedding locales. Many of those locales also happen to be filming locations! I swear, if my boyfriend ever gets off his butt and proposes, a whole new stalking world is going to open up for me. Anyway, our friends recently toured King Gillette Ranch and immediately called me up to let me know that it is where The Biggest Loser is filmed. And even though I’ve never watched the show, I just had to run right out and stalk it! THANKS Nancy and Eric!
Actually, I did see one brief segment of The Biggest Loser on Talk Soup a few months back when Joel McHale showed the above clip of trainer Bob Harper absolutely FREAKING OUT at a contestant. LOVE IT! LOL LOL LOL I think I need to hire that guy to be my trainer!!!
King Gillette Ranch was originally built by King Camp Gillette (yes, that’s an actual name), the founder of the Gillette Safety Razor Company. King purchased the 588 acre property in 1926 and commissioned famed architect Wallace Neff – who designed Brad and Jen’s famous former home– to built a 26,000 square foot Mediterranean style mansion on the site. When Gillette died in 1932, his widow sold the extensive property to movie director Clarence Brown. Clarence threw so many elaborate Hollywood parties in the mansion that he ended up building his own private airstrip so that his famous guests could land directly on the property ! LOL In 1952, the Ranch was sold to Bob Hope and his wife, Dolores, who donated the entire 588 acres to the Claretian Order of the Catholic Church. They used the property as a seminary for the next 25 years, until eventually selling it to New Age leader Elizabeth Clare Prophet. Elizabeth planned to use the property as the headquarters for her religious movement, the Church Universal and Triumphant, but faced much government opposition and ended up selling it to Soku University of America in 1986. The Ranch was finally collaboratively purchased by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, California State Parks, Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, and National Park Service, who opened the property to the public on June 30, 2007. It is currently a nature and wildlife reserve featuring numerous hiking trails, a former Chumash Indian settlement, walking paths, a man-made lake, and picnic grounds.
And, of course, it’s also a filming location! For the past two years, beginning with Season 4, King Gillette Ranch has been used as the location where contestants vie to become The Biggest Loser. While we were stalking the place, we had the good fortune of running into one of the Biggest Loser crew members who was busy setting up for Season 8, which begins filming in a few weeks. He was INCREDIBLY nice and pointed out all of the areas featured on the show, including the gym, which, as you can see in the above photograph (which was taken through a closed window! LOL ) was empty at the time;
the pool –
the production offices;
the “dormitories” where the contestants sleep – which is actually just a section of the main house;
the patio area;
and the Administration Building –
which is used for the filming of the elimination ceremonies. Again, the above photographs were taken through a closed window, so they aren’t the greatest.
Evidence of the filming of The Biggest Loser could be found all over the Ranch, which I, of course, LOVED seeing! There was a leftover tape marker that was stuck on the ground outside of the elimination room;
wire cords were strung up on all of the buildings;
and those yellow signs that I so love were posted at the entrance gates.
King Gillette Ranch is a truly beautiful place. It is the perfect spot to spend an afternoon outdoors, go for a long hike, take a bike ride, or just sit back and nature watch.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: King Gillette Ranch is located at 26800 Mulholland Highway in Calabasas. The park is open daily to the public from 8 a.m. to sunset. Dogs are not allowed. Parking costs $5 per day. The Ranch is also available as a wedding or event location.