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The “Biggest Loser” Ranch

May 7th, 2009 | By | Category: TV Locations

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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!  :)

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  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!!!  :)

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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. 

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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;  

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the pool -

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which was flanked by fake flowers!!!  LOL;img_6451-800

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the production offices;

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the “dormitories” where the contestants sleep – which is actually just a section of the main house;

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the patio area;

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and the Administration Building -

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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. 

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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; 

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wire cords were strung up on all of the buildings;

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and those yellow signs that I so love were posted at the entrance gates. :)

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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.  

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 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.

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19 comments

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  1. Chris says:

    I wanted to see the Ranch house just because of it’s history and I love old homes like that, so I ventured there on Sunday afternoon. When I pulled up to the first parking area, I parked, not knowing there was more up ahead where you were supposed to go and pay. I passed two larger women in workout gear and thought what a great place to walk for exercise. I kept walking up towards what I thought was the main house and noticed around the bend the exercise area, and was kind of confused at first, like why would an estate and park like this have an exercise area so nice outside like Muscle Beach. Then I looked to my left and saw the sign on the Biggest Loser blacked out windows building and was like, OOOH I stumbled on a site. Another woman came out and she too must be a contestant on whatever upcoming season. I was able to check out the other workout area they have farther up the path, but didn’t bother trying to look into the blacked out windows. The area is really nice and quiet, and it’s a nice place to walk around. I don’t watch the show either, but as someone who lost over 125 pounds, I am happy there is a show like this and Extreme Body Makeover (which is partially filmed right down the street from my work in Westlake Village (the Wellness Center off Lindero Canyon Rd.). So I finally have stalked something you’ve stalked. I have a lot of catching up to do.

  2. danwat1234 says:

    In 1993 or 1994, the movie ‘Confessions of a sorority girl’ was filmed at this location !!

  3. Staceyann Dolenti says:

    Pretty wild that they tear down the set between seasons, especially since they run seasons back to back.

    Staceyann C. Dolenti

  4. Jamie says:

    I visited LA in early September 2010 and seeing the Biggest Loser location was on the top of my list! It was very difficult to find where to turn in off Mullholland but we finally spotted a tiny yellow sign for BL Trucks and turned there. I was surprised there were no signs for King Gillette Ranch since it is open to the public. Anyway the place was nearly deserted and to our surprise the back of the gym was wide open so we actually got to go inside and take pictures. INCREDIBLE! What a rush to be in the place where so many people’s lives have changed! We could even see the weigh-in scales in the corner of the gym (they look small in real life). What a great experience.

    • danwat1234 says:

      Did the scales beep like 10 times like it does on the show and shows random numbers. I bet not. Good find

      • Diane says:

        I’ve heard from one of the former contestants I’ve connected with on fb that the scales are a ‘prop” and that they are weighed on actual scales the day before.

  5. DeeVee says:

    Just stumbled upon this site today. Thank you for your “stalking” of the Biggest Loser Ranch. Always wanted to know a little more background on it and found the history extremely interesting.

  6. rolene Hill says:

    I would like to visit the biggest loser ranch just for one day. I have lost 54 pounds in one year the doctor told
    me I had high blood pressure. So I had to do something about my blood pressure.

  7. Kelly says:

    Hey there – great find. I’ll be vising there one of these days. :) I’m huge BL fan. Sooo excited :)

  8. Corey says:

    Lindsay, what a great idea for a blog! I too am obsessed with finding filming locations and seeing behind the scenes. I was especially interested in this filming location because I wanted to hike/run the trails. Now I know where to go!

  9. LuAnn says:

    and parking was $7, the Iron Ranger or something or other it was called. I sure wish I had the guts to drive further into the ranch. Especially after flying in from the midwest. But it was still fun to see what I did. There is a nice overlook up on Mulholland. It overlooks the whole ranch area.

  10. NachoTX says:

    Hi, great info. One question though. I know they are different networks and all but I was watching “Wipeout” and, from a certain angle, the place where they filmed it looks very much like the Gillette Ranch. Any info on that?

  11. LuAnn says:

    I was out there Saturday, June 20th. There was a sign in the window of that guard bungalow at the entrance that it was closed for still photos and to call a posted number. I ended up calling the Park service who said it was ok to go in. I only went in to the first parking lot on the right to go back into some flower gardens but I was too timid to drive further in. I did get a picture of the ‘gym’ building from a distance though..

    It seems so far out from anywhere there. I wonder when they show them ‘in town’ just where they go. To the north or south?


Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. [...] Love mansion was located in Calabasas, in the same area as the ranch from The Biggest Loser (which I blogged about here). I so love that Ken knew that, by the way! Most people in the industry could care less about [...]

  2. [...] lived more than a decade.  Capture The Flag rules.  We once played a campus wide game at the Biggest Loser Ranch, which is where I grew up, and that was pretty freaking [...]

  3. [...] famed Los Angeles-area architect Wallace Neff, the very same man who was responsible for designing King Gillette Ranch (aka the Biggest Loser Ranch) and the dwelling where Brad and Jen lived during most of their five year marriage.  But even [...]

  4. [...] than King Camp Gillette, the razor blade magnate who also gave us King Gillette Ranch, aka the Biggest Loser Ranch, in Calabasas.  Amazingly enough, during the time that Simon lived in the house, my fiancé lived [...]

  5. [...] Jones Family sold their home to King C. Gillette, founder of the razor company of the same name and the King Gillette Ranch where TV’s The Biggest Loser  is filmed.  Nine years later, in 1921, Gillette sold the property to hotel entreprenuer Gilbert Stevenson, [...]

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