Some Texas obsessions will never fade, and near the top of the list—among passions like Longhorn cattle and chicken-fried steak—is the TV series Dallas, which debuted in 1978. Nevermind the original show ended 28 years ago; its fandom’s zeal shows no signs of slowing down. Devotees of the drama come from each of the 95 countries where the show aired around the world.
And that explains why Forever Resorts—owners of the famous Southfork Ranch, a real Dallas-area ranch house that served as home to the fictional Ewing family—is betting that guests will pay a pretty penny to inhabit the place, if just for a night or two. A new package, dubbed “Live and Dream Like a Ewing,” allows for up to six people to stay overnight at the big, white ranch home in the hamlet of Parker, just east of Plano and roughly 30 miles northeast of downtown Dallas.
Southfork has been open for day tours and special events for years. But the sleepovers are new. They carry a $1,978 per-night price tag for two guests (add $400 per person for an additional four guests), and provide more than a bedroll, of course. Guests have full run of the house and swimming pool. They also get a private tour of home and the 357-acre property populated by Longhorns and horses, as well as the chance to enjoy champagne, hors d’oeuvres, a steak dinner, and DallasDVD watching in the Ewing living room, complete with late-night snacks. Re-enactments of J.R.’s hurling of insults at Sue Ellen, heated arguments with brother Bobby, sheepish apologies to long-suffering mama Miss Ellie, and explosive rage at nemesis Cliff Barnes are entirely optional.
So far, six parties have booked the overnight stay, and four parties are booked for future dates. Because there’s a good amount of preparation and staffing involved, reservations must be made 72 hours in advance. “The customers booking the package are usually doing so for a special occasion such as an anniversary, or just to check it off their bucket list,” says Janna Timm, director of sales at Southfork. “We have had a couple of [guests] buy this package because they were married at Southfork Ranch.”
The bedrooms hosting guests are those where the characters J.R., Bobby, and Lucy slept. (Bonus points if you can identify the shower where Bobby emerged, thereby ending Pamela’s year-long dream that he was dead!) Breakfast by the pool—a favorite ritual of the Ewing family—is also included, and there’s a trail ride for those who want to saddle up. You’ll even take home an official Southfork wine glass souvenir.
Other packages include those with helicopter rides, limo service, barbecue dinner served from a chuckwagon, day-long equestrian experiences, and cowboy hats. For details, visit southforkranch.com/southfork-packages or call 972-442-7800.