If you combined their land holdings, their ranches would exceed the size of Connecticut.
These six moguls either are based in Colorado, have have strong ties to Denver, or have large real estate holdings in Colorado.
Led by John Malone, chairman of locally-based Liberty Media, and the nation’s No. 1 landowner, these half-dozen ranch barons together own more than 4 million acres of property, according to the fall edition of the Land Report, which recently published a list of the top 100 landowners in the U.S.
That’s the equivalent of all the land in Connecticut with enough room left over to add five cities the size of Denver.
Malone accounted for more than half of the total, with 2.2 million acres. His holdings include the 290,100-acre Bell Ranch in New Mexico, as well as more than a million acres of timberland in Maine and New Hampshire. He bought a million acres this year alone, putting him ahead of long-time friend, CNN-founder Ted Turner. Turner ranked No. 2 on the list this year. Indeed, Malone says it was Turner who first inflicted him with “this land-buying disease.”
Malone: Good time to buy
Malone’s land-buying spree in 2011 was fueled by the same factors considered by many recent home buyers who are not billionaires – depressed prices and low interest rates.
He told Land Report that he operates his property to break even and he thinks real estate is a “pretty decent hedge on the devaluation of currency.” Ultimately, Malone plans to put all of his land into perpetual conservation easements.
Here are others based in Colorado or with strong ties to the state who made the list.
Rank: No. 10
Who: Stan Kroenke
What LandReport said: Stan Kroenke is perhaps most famous for his extensive ownership interests in various professional sport franchises: the NFL’s St. Louis Rams, the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, the NHL’s Colorado Rapids, the MLS’s Colorado Rapids. But he’s also made a name for himself in the West with his CedarRanch, PV Ranch and Q Creek Land & Livestock Company. If you find yourself at Kroenke’s Pepsi Center in Denver to watch his Nuggets play, try a buffalo burger at his Blue Sky Grill, supplied by his herd at Q Creek.”
Rank: No. 18
Who: Philip Anschutz
What Land Report said: Although fiercely private, Philip Anschutz has made his name known in a wide variety of industries thanks to his unerring business acumen. In addition to owning sizeable and successful ranching operations such as the Overland Trail Cattle Company in Wyoming, his Anschutz Corporation has worldwide investments in energy exploration and production, real estate, ranching and agriculture, telecommunications, newspapers, and Internet publishing. And his Anschutz Entertainment Group, the world’s largest owner and operator of sports and entertainment venues, recently made new by announcing a new NFL stadium in Los Angeles.
Rank: No. 25
Who: Patrick Broe
What Land Report said: The Broe Group founder Patrick Broe champions sustainability and conservation efforts on his ranches At his Notch Peak Ranch in Wyoming, the focus is an ongoing reforestation project as well as initiatives to protect wild game. The ranch is home to one of the area’s largest herds of bighorn sheep. At his Great Western Ranch in New Mexico, Broe works to preserve the spirit of the true Western ranch, complete with a large, well-managed herd of cattle an an abundance of big game.
Who: Louis Moore Bacon
What Land Report said: The bulk of this hedge fund manager’s holdings can be found in Southern Colorado, where his 171,000-acre Trinchera Ranch abuts Great Sand Dunes National Park in the San Luis Valley. Trinchera is also home to the fifth highest peak in the lower 48. A noted conservationists, Bacon is battling to prevent Xcel Energy and Tri-State Generation from erecting a $180 million power line that will run some 136 miles over La Veta Pass and into San Luis Valley. (Editor’s Note: Xcel said this week it is considering pulling its plans for the power line due to a lack of projected demand and other factors.)
Rank: No. 87
Who: Linnebur Family
What Land Report said: The family had a proud history of land-holdings in Colorado. Gene Linnebur and descendants of his late brother, Emmett and Lloyd continue the tradition in a variety of farming and ranching endeavors, including Linnebur Grain & Buffalo.
To read the entire Land Report magazine, please visit this link.
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