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A river runs through this stunning Utah ranch


When Smith bought the estate about six years ago, his quest was a familiar one to Paul Benson, a luxury real estate agent based in Park City, Utah. Celebrities and business magnates often tell him they want a place where they can bring their family ...


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This copy is for your personal non-commercial use onlyTo order presentation-ready copies of Toronto Star content for distribution to colleagues, clients or customers, or inquire about permissions/licensing, please go to: www.TorontoStarReprints.comLifeHomesA river runs through this stunning Utah ranchNature gets a helping hand to give ranch owners the maximum benefit of a waterfront home.The river snakes around the back of the house while the front faces landscaped grounds and circular driveway.  (Engel & Völkers)  Views of Utah's scenic Weber River can be enjoyed from every room in the sprawling ranch house.  (Rocky Maloney / Engel & Völkers)  Reclaimed wood on ceiling and floor adds character to the massive great room that's designed for family gatherings.  (Rocky Maloney / Engel & Völkers)  Exterior wall on the river side of the large kitchen slides open for easy access to outside.  (Rocky Maloney / Engel & Völkers)  Rustic wood interior blends harmoniously with the natural beauty of the landscape.  (Rocky Maloney / Engel & Völkers)  The dining area is designed for family gatherings and has sliding walls that open to a heated stone patio and fire pit on the riverbank.  (Rocky Maloney / Engel & Völkers)  Main entrance of Riverbend Ranch sets the tone with burnished wood floors and multiple windows that take advantage of mountain views.  (Engel & Völkers)  By Carola VyhnakSpecial to the StarFri., Jan12, 2018It took millions of dollars, countless hours of dredging and more than a mile’s worth of boulders to perfect the river flowing past Vinny Smith’s Utah ranch house.But when it was finished, the billionaire venture capitalist had all the makings of the ultimate family experience he was after.Fly-fishing off the porch, tubing adventures and views of the Weber River from every room were among the attractions awaiting Smith, his wife and their five children on vacation getaways to the mountainous stateOn dry land, there was tennis, hiking, snowmobiling, ATV-riding and even dog sledding around the almost 2,000 acres of woods and hills in Oakley, near Salt Lake City.Views of Utah's scenic Weber River can be enjoyed from every room in the sprawling ranch house.  (Rocky Maloney/Engel & Völkers)  Article Continued Below“There is so much to do on-property that it feels like your own private oasis,” Smith recently told financial news website Business Insider.(In 2000, at the age of 36, the technology entrepreneur was worth $1.9 billion (U.S.), and No9 on Fortune magazine’s list of 40 wealthiest Americans under age 40.)When Smith bought the estate about six years ago, his quest was a familiar one to Paul Benson, a luxury real estate agent based in Park City, Utah.Celebrities and business magnates often tell him they want a place where they can bring their family together, Benson says.Reclaimed wood on ceiling and floor adds character to the massive great room that's designed for family gatherings.  (Rocky Maloney/Engel & Völkers)  For Smith, a multiple-home owner whose business interests were based in California, that meant enjoying a close-to-nature “mountain lifestyle” with year-round indoor and outdoor fun.Riverbend Ranch was just the ticket — with a little tweaking, according to Benson, CEO of Engel & Völkers Park City“It took a lot of work and a lot of thought to create a true riverfront masterpiece,” Benson recalls.Exterior wall on the river side of the large kitchen slides open for easy access to outside.  (Rocky Maloney/Engel & Völkers)  While the sprawling ranch house was newly built, the river running alongside needed to be “realigned” to prevent flooding during spring thaw and to optimize the views from various parts of the house, Benson explains.That involved regrading, building up one side of the riverbank with boulders and dredging the bottom — an operation that alone cost more than $1 millionThe living space on the main floor is designed for family gatherings and entertaining with easy access to outside, according to the realtorA large kitchen and dining area have sliding walls that open to a heated stone patio and fire pit on the riverbankThe dining area is designed for family gatherings and has sliding walls that open to a heated stone patio and fire pit on the riverbank.  (Rocky Maloney/Engel & Völkers)  But it is the 3,000-square-foot great room with fireplace, custom mahogany bar comfy and seating areas that is the true heart of the home, says Benson, who calls spending time there “a pretty mesmerizing experience.”The residence’s rustic interior is filled with reclaimed wood from abandoned barns and a schoolhouse that was made into cabinetry, bookcases and flooring by Amish craftsmenFireplaces throughout the house add wintertime ambience.“It’s warm, it’s modern,” Benson says of the overall impressionMain entrance of Riverbend Ranch sets the tone with burnished wood floors and multiple windows that take advantage of mountain views.  (Rocky Maloney/Engel & Völkers)  Outside, the landscaped grounds include a tennis court and heli-pad for quick trips from the city or through the mountainsA large barn on the property is set up for special events and entertaining large groupsThe “gentleman’s ranch,” which can accommodate horses and cattle, also has livestock barns.At $30 million, Riverbend is an “epic listing,” says Benson“Nothing else comes close.”THE NUMBERSPrice: $30 million (U.S.)Size: 16,800 sqft.Bedrooms: 8Bathrooms: 9Fireplaces: 11Do you want to help shapethe Toronto Star's future?Join our team of readers who are passionate about journalism and share your views.Sign upMore from the Toronto Star & PartnersLOADING                                             LOADING                    

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