$149 million ranch featuring helipad, bison herd is Colorado’s most expensive property on the market

Colorado has the fourth-most expensive home listed for sale in the United States. But hurry, it may not be on the market much longer.

West Creek Ranch in the Utah border town of Gateway lists for a cool $149 million. The property includes a 22,000-square-foot main house built in 2001, two guest houses and several cabins on an expansive 6,919 acres.

Not enough? There is also helicopter pad, an observatory with a 10-inch telescope and even a bison herd. A resort nearby can accommodate dozens more guests. The surrounding land, which is mostly in Mesa County but stretches into Utah’s Grand County, has bears, mountain lions, dinosaur tracks and petroglyphs.

“The property has been on the market for a year. We are getting close to going under contract with a buyer. It could be gone by the end of the year,” said Kerry Endsley, an agent in Denver with LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, which has the listing.

The surrounding land is under a conservation easement, which will protect its pristine qualities. And the property comes with plentiful water rights, which Endsley said adds about $20 million to its value.

PropertyShark.com took a look at the most expensive listing in every state and then ranked them by price. California, New York and Florida had the three highest valued properties, no surprise. But then there was Colorado.

Topping PropertyShark’s survey was the $500 million Los Angeles area mega-mansion called The One. The home, topping out at 105,000-square-feet, has 20-bedrooms, a 30-car garage, a bowling alley, a private nightclub, four swimming pools and jellyfish aquariums as ceilings.

The home took six years to build, but updated building rules mean L.A. won’t ever see a spread that large again.

The next most expensive listing at $175 million is a 42-acre oceanfront New York estate, formerly owned by the Ford family, in The Hamptons. Third up at $159 million is a 30,000-square-foot home on the Florida Gold Coast, compete with two deep-water yacht docks. That home is set to go on the auction block next month.

There are comparable or even larger ranch spreads available in Colorado for a fraction of the price of West Creek Ranch. And homes listed for sale in Aspen, Snowmass and Vail seem like a comparative bargain with price tags from $19 million to $36 million.

“The price is high because it is unique,” said Endsley. The climate is more pleasant than in other parts of the state; the land, when irrigated, fertile, and the area rich in geologic features and wildlife.

The seller of the property is John Hendricks, founder and former chairman of Discovery Communications and the popular Animal Planet channel. Endsley said Hendricks visited the Unaweep Canyon in his youth.

Five decades and a successful career later, he was able to start assembling parcels in the scenic stretch of Colorado 50 miles south of Grand Junction and the Grand Mesa.

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In 2006, Saudi Prince Bandar bin-Sultan listed his 15-bedroom home on the 90-acre Hala Ranch and the nearby 38-acre Bear Ranch for $135 million. At the time, it was the most expensive residential property listed in the country, according to the Aspen Times.

But estates that expensive have a limited pool of buyers and are a tough sell. The property ending up going for a much more modest $49 million in 2012 to hedge-fund manager John Paulson.

Billionaire hedge-fund manager Louis Bacon spent $175 million back in 2007 to purchase the Forbes Trinchera Ranch in southern Colorado. That deal included 171,000 acres, about 25 times the amount included in West Creek Ranch.

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