A long fall from the top of the bubble
In the heyday of the housing boom, Bob Fowler and Ron Hertel cut a wide swath across the West Coast.
By Fowler’s own account, their flagship company, R.W. Hertel & Sons, built some 1,100 homes in and around the tri-county region. They were active as far north as Oregon and as far south as Woodland Hills.
On Fowler’s home turf of San Luis Obispo County, they were part of the group spearheading the Santa Margarita Ranch project on the north side of the Cuesta Grade.
But their ambition didn’t stop with homebuilding. They were among the biggest donors to U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, who has taken some heat on the Internet for his ties to the duo.
And they had some pricey toys. In Hertel’s case, one of those toys was a 106-foot yacht called the Cajun Princess, currently berthed in Florida.