It was supposed to be a happy occasion: Country star Billy Ray Cyrus was giving a concert at Boulder Creek Ranch, on the banks of the Mojave River, as a fund-raiser for Forever Wild Exotic Animal Shelter.


The entire thing was being taped to air on Extreme Makeover Home Edition and would air just before Cyrus' new album was to be released.


Instead, on Feb. 6, tragedy struck: The lodge building at the ranch caught fire, canceling the concert and burning the building to the ground.


Although everyone agrees the lodge was up to code, rebuilding was going to be complicated, since Jim and Gail Hasty had originally built the ranch for their own use, after Jim was told his multiple myeloma was in remission in 2006, and hadn't been done with a great deal of oversight.


"Every one of these rocks, I brought in," he said Friday. "I planted every one of these 2,500 trees."


But the Hastys' decision to turn it into a commercial venture had meant months of wrangling with the city over required safety precautions at the ranch.


In April, 14 months and $850,000 after the fire that shut the 100-acre ranch down -- and forced the Hastys to return fees to 18 couples who had been planning weddings or receptions at the site -- Boulder Creek Ranch will once again host a wedding and reception.


On the site of the old lodge -- now a bare concrete foundation -- a 3,600 square foot event tent held up by airplane cables will be erected this month, on the shores of a former trout farm-turned-scenic lake.


"Obviously, in the spring, in the summer, there's green everywhere," Gail Hasty said, surveying the wedding gazebo next to the bare concrete slab. "The city's been working with us really good."


The Hastys put in an additional access road for emergency service vehicles to use, but didn't end up having to put in fireplugs. Instead, they put up a water tower that is filled from the same well that fills the ranch's lake.


"We've had a lot of different hold-ups, but we're trying to stay positive," she said.


And as for Cyrus, he might be back at Boulder Creek Ranch at some point, although probably as a guest.


"I text him once in a while," said Jim Hasty. "Last time we talked, he said he wanted to come out with the family and relax."


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star