The oil-and-gas magnate is selling his beloved Mesa Vista Ranch in the Texas Panhandle.
In 1971, T. Boone Pickens purchased 2,900 or so acres on the south side of the Canadian River in Roberts County, Texas. The only structure was a corrugated metal livestock feed house that Pickens would use to keep warm while he was quail hunting. Now, T. Boone Pickens’ ranch, which has benefited from 50 years of architectural and wildlife improvements by the Oklahoma-born businessman, totals more than 64,000 acres and is on the market for $250,000,000.
In our 2011 interview with Pickens about his magnificent, sprawling property, he told us he expected potential buyers to be equally passionate about the property and its conservation legacy. The property is offered jointly and exclusively by Hall and Hall and Chas. S. Middleton and Son. In a written brochure for the ranch, Mr. Pickens writes about the place he calls “an oasis in the Texas Panhandle”:
“Growing up in Holdenville, OK, I once walked five miles down to the Canadian River — and back — to earn a Boy Scout Merit Badge.
Today, 80 years later, that very same Canadian River remains a prominent part of my life. It forms the northern boundary of my picturesque 65,000-acre Mesa Vista Ranch in the northeast part of the Texas Panhandle. The name commemorates the stunning mesa views to the north that mark the start of the Great Plains that unfold straight to Canada.
Years ago, at a high school commencement speech for my grandson, I offered to trade that ranch (and my jet, and my then-billion dollar bank account) for their place as graduating seniors with a lifetime of dreams and accomplishments to come.
Today, trading my ranch is off the table. Selling it is not. I’m officially putting it on the market.
Asking price: $250 million.
Perhaps you know of the ranch as it’s been profiled in Architectural Digest, C&I, and countless other publications of note. It’s known for its tranquil rolling hills, wildlife habitat, quail hunting and amazing architecture.
Selling the ranch is the prudent thing for an 89-year-old man to do. It’s time to get my life and my affairs in order. There are many reasons why the time is right to sell the ranch now, not the least of them ensuring that what I truly believe is one of the most magnificent properties in the world winds up with an individual or entity that shares my conservation beliefs.
Reflecting back, one of my keys to success has been the ability to accept and embrace change. That has been especially true in the fourth quarter of my life. Several years ago, my long-time doctor said he had “good news and bad news” for me. “Shoot straight,” I told him. “Well, the good news is you will live to be 116. The bad news is you won’t be able to hear or see,” he said. “Hell, I’m already there,” I countered.
My fading vision and hearing slowly, but inevitably, has forced me to give up things I’ve loved and excelled at — golf and hunting, in particular. The beauty of Mesa Vista remains, and the ranch roads I have driven thousands of times, are more blurred. It’s time to embrace and accept that my life has changed.
My vision of Mesa Vista and its future remains as vivid as it was when I began purchasing that land 46 years ago, beginning a multi-step program to help the land recover and, over time, investing millions on wildlife management programs and facilities to achieve what many believe is the best quail hunting in the world. We have minimal cattle grazing on the ranch, preferring instead to let the land revert to pristine prairie conditions, much as it has been in centuries past. Much of the ranch has not been grazed in more than 20 years.
And Mesa Vista is water rich, with miles of creeks and nearly 20 lakes of varying size that we constructed over the course of 20 miles.
We invested heavily in accommodations, too, with a spectacular Lake House (12,000 square feet of living space with 4,000 square feet of porches; the Lodge (33,000 square feet under roof); the Family House (6,000 square feet); the Gate House (1,700 square feet); the Pub (1,600 square feet); and the Kennel (12,000 square feet, with space for 50 dogs). On top of that, we built a 6,000-foot runway and hangar (25,000 square feet). Moreover, there’s a stunning chapel that has a glorious view of the mesas that has seen, sadly, marriages and funerals. There’s also housing for staff scattered across the ranch.
Some of the numbers associated with the ranch are stunning. For example, semi-trailer trucks delivered nearly 16,500 loads of materials to help construct the buildings. And I’ve personally directed the placement — or replacement — of 20,000 plus trees.
Mesa Vista’s unique combination of a pristine prairie-like environment and world-class amenities have provided an unparalleled forum site for some of the nation’s most influential political and business leaders to share their insights on matters critical to our times — national security, economic policy, political involvement, philanthropic investment, and energy issues.
In large part, this is a lifetime of work. And I intend for a lot more good to come from the sale of the ranch.
Throughout my life, my charitable giving totals in excess of $1 billion. Much of the proceeds from the sale of Mesa Vista will flow into my personal foundation (T. Boone Pickens Foundation) to fund a variety of philanthropic charitable commitments.
I see this sale as a new beginning – for the new owners and for the recipients of my charitable giving the sale will spur.”
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