The following is part of a Forbes blog post from Monte Burke. A link to the entire blog is posted at the bottom of the page.
The market for trophy recreational western ranches in the U.S., long bogged down by the world economic slump, has recently caught fire again. In the last month, four high-end ranch properties were sold.
In Montana, near the town of Twin Bridges, the 34,000-acre Hamilton Ranch (also known as G Hanging Dash) was sold to Swift River Investments. The Bolton, Mass., firm is owned and run by the James family, whose most prominent member is the billionaire president and chief operating officer of the Blackstone Group, Hamilton “Tony” James.
The ranch is located at the confluence of four great trout rivers—the Ruby, the Big Hole, the Beaverhead and the Jefferson—and features four spring creeks. According to the Montana Standard, the James family intends to continue the cattle operation on the ranch. They are also reportedly avid fly fishermen. The James family did not return calls for comment.
The Hamilton Ranch had been owned by Alan Hamilton, a Montana-born Chicago real estate investor. Hamilton died in a plane wreck in 2007. The listing price: $32.5 million.
Also in Montana, billionaire Tom Siebel’s N Bar Ranch–located 100 miles north of Billings on the edge of the Snowy Mountains–was sold to Dan Wilks, the chief executive officer of Frac Tech Services, an oil-drilling equipment-maker located in Cisco, Texas.
N Bar features the trout-rich Flatwillow Creek and an abundance of game, including deer, antelope, turkey, pheasant, grouse and trophy elk. The listing price: $45 million. Wilks did not return calls for comment.
Both the Hamilton Ranch and N Bar Ranch were mentioned as potential sale targets in my post about the August 2010 sale of the 290,100-acre Bell Ranch in New Mexico.
The Saypo Ranch, located near Choteau, Montana, and bordering the Flathead National Forest, sold to an undisclosed buyer who is rumored to be a Wall Street executive. The 16,000-acre property, which features glacial lakes and Deep Creek and borders the Bob Marshall Wilderness, was listed for $24 million. Also recently sold: The 6,400-acre Oak Ridge Ranch, in California’s Carmel Valley, a property rich with deer, turkey, bobcat and boar. It was listed for $16.9 million.
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Posted by Haylie Shipp