Business

See Nuggets-Avs Owner Stan Kroenke's Latest Buy — a Ranch the Size of a Country


Stan Kroenke, owner of the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche and lots of other stuff, clearly has a thing for ranches.

Until recently, he reportedly owned eleven of them in Arizona, Montana, Wyoming and British Columbia.

Now, make it a dozen — and number twelve is a whopper.

The W.T. Waggoner Estate Ranch in Texas is described by Bloomberg as "the largest U.S. ranch within one fence, marketed as measuring 520,527 acres (210,650 hectares), or 800 square miles (2,072 square kilometers)."

An earlier Bloomberg piece notes that the property is "the size of a small nation," and that's no exaggeration.

The Wikipedia page highlighting "sovereign states and dependencies by area," lists 195 countries, ranging from Russia (6,601,668 square miles) to Vatican City (0.44 square miles).

If Kroenke's new baby was included, it would place at number 169 — just behind Luxembourg and ahead of Bahrain, Tonga, Singapore, the Federated States of Micronesia, Barbados and more than twenty other nations.

The asking price for the spread, according to information at Chas S. Middleton & Son real estate, was $725 million. And while the amount Kroenke actually wound up paying has not been disclosed, the expenditure begs the question: Why didn't he spend some of that coin to make the Nugs and the Avs better?

Look below to see images from the ranch, interspersed with facts and details from the Middleton listing. That's followed by a video offering a tour of the place.


Property Description

Location:

The W. T. Waggoner Estate Ranch spans six counties of North Texas and is located south of Vernon, the county seat of Wilbarger County, Texas.

Acres:

510,527 acres


History:

This historic property has been under the same family ownership since 1849, and is now officially, for the first time ever, offered for sale.

Terrain:

The terrain of the ranch varies from fairly level to rolling and sometimes broken. Several major creeks run through the ranch. Approximately 30,000 acres are currently in cultivation, and many thousands of additional acres are suitable to be farmed, if desired. Mesquite is the principal invader in this part of Texas. Much brush work has been done, and the mesquite canopy is nearly extinct to moderate on portions of the ranch, while other areas have substantial regrowth. Hackberry and soapberry trees are common in the creek bottoms and cedar is predominately found in the rougher broken areas of the ranch.


Water:

The ranch is principally watered by live creeks and large earthen ponds. Several huge lakes are located on the ranch. These lakes typically cover from over 1,000 surface acres to as much as 16,000 surface acres each. Ground water is very hard to locate.

Access:

The Waggoner Ranch is accessed by paved highways, graded county roads and an extensive network of private ranch roads.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts