Billionaire Bill Koch Builds His Own Wild West Town on His Colorado Ranch


billionaire Bill Koch wild west town

The Wild West isn't gone -- in fact, it's re-emerging in Colorado.

Billionaire Bill Koch is building an entire Wild West town (pictured above) on his 6,400-acre Bear Ranch in Gunnison County, Colo., the Denver Post reported. It has 50 buildings, which include a saloon, a jail, a church and a train station.

But Old West enthusiasts shouldn't expect to visit Koch's private, unpopulated town: It's for his amusement only and reportedly will not be open to the public.


"It's the kind of stuff I guess you would expect a billionaire to construct," Ramon Reed, chairman of the Gunnison County Planning Commission, told the Post. "It's like something out of a 'Gunsmoke' movie set."

billionaire Bill Koch wild west townTo build the town, Koch, who is founder and president of energy company Oxbow Group, bought Buckskin Joe (pictured at left and below), a former Wild West tourist attraction in Colorado. He uprooted the buildings there and had them transported to his ranch. Koch doled out $3.1 million for Buckskin Joe in 2010.

Koch's net worth is estimated at about $4 billion, according to Forbes. He's a brother of David and Charles Koch, who have become famous for their contributions to politically conservative causes, and he's also active in those circles.

The billionaire is a lover of the days of the Old West. He paid $2.3 million last year for an original photo of famed Wild West outlaw Billy the Kid. At the time, he told the Post: "I love the Old West. I plan on enjoying it and discreetly sharing it. I think I'll display it in a few small museums."

billionaire Bill Koch wild west townGunnison County has also approved a 22,000-square-foot residence that Koch wants to build on a hillside above his Wild West town. That's right: Koch won't even live in the town -- he just wants to be in a prime location to simply look at it.

AOL Real Estate could not reach Koch for comment.

This may be the first example of someone actually building his own Wild West town, but it's certainly not the only one of its kind out there. The town of Woodside, Utah, a Wild West ghost town, recently hit the market for $3.9 million. And the town near Hildebran, N.C., called District 12, which was used in "The Hunger Games," was also up for sale earlier this year for $1.4 million.


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