HESPERIA Jim Hasty, the owner of Boulder Creek Ranch, died Friday, San Bernardino County Sheriff's officials said.


Deputies and emergency personnel were called out to a Hesperia home on Lemon Street and Choiceana Avenue at 8:40 a.m. Friday.


Hasty, 58, was pronounced dead at the scene.


Hasty and his wife, Gail Hasty, began building Boulder Creek Ranch in 2006, first as a private ranch, but he later opened it to the public.


The Hastys and the city of Hesperia butted heads several times since then over permits and a proper business license.


In February 2009, just hours before Billy Ray Cyrus was scheduled to perform as part of the television show "Extreme Makeover Home Edition," the main lodge burned to the ground, but the couple vowed to rebuild.


Since the fire, the ranch has hosted several private events and the annual Harvest Festival and Chili Cook Off.


Hasty had reportedly been battling a serious illness. Officials are investigating the case as a possible suicide.


Beatriz E. Valenzuela may be reached at (760) 951-6276 or at BValenzuela@VVDailyPress.com.