Ear to the ground

“Brainstorm single-handedly revived the fax machine this week.”

– A local Brainstorm Internet subscriber as she plugged obsolete technology back into the wall

A buyer for Bootjack

A new breed of bargain hunter stepped into the Four Corners recently. Yet another Texas billionaire has landed in Southwest Colorado and snatched up Bootjack Ranch, a 3,151-acre spread near Pagosa Springs. The palatial ranch was purchased in late April at the “cut-rate cost” of $46.5 million ($46,500,000 – count those zeros). The deal represents the nation’s largest real estate transaction of the year.

When you consider that Bootjack was originally listed for $88 million, Dallas-based katrillionaire Kelcy Warren may be coming out on top. When was the last time you got half off of anything?  

The “recreational ranch retreat and family compound” tops out at 77,000 square feet and comes complete with 27 bedrooms, 29 bathrooms and 4 “half bathrooms.” The main house is a cozy 13,800 square feet, and the property’s numerous guest cabins accommodate up to 50 friends for a weekend in the lap of luxury. A 12,000-square-foot spa and aquatic center round out the Bootjack experience.

Bill Fadel, of Peaks Real Estate Sotheby’s International Realty, scored the commission and represented the buyer and the seller in the deal. “When there’s been so much volatility in the broader economy, people recognize the enduring value of land, especially really unique, iconic properties,” Fadel told the Denver Post.

Kelcy Warren ranked No. 289 on the Forbes 400 Richest Americans list last year and is the chairman and chief executive of the natural-gas-pipeline operator Energy Transfer Partners LP.

All day with Phil

Can you stand 12 hours of Phil? Dozens of Durango riders are betting they can. The 12 Hours of Mesa Verde bike race returns to the Phil’s World trail system on May 8. This year’s endurance test offers an interesting twist.

Riders on four-person, male teams have their work cut out for them. A “Local Legends” squad, comprised of four Mountain Bike Hall of Famers, will be taking to the start line. The team, made up of Travis Brown (Durango), John Tomac (Cortez), Dave Wiens (Gunnison) and Daryl Price (formerly of Durango), is sure to push the course record. Even better, all of their wives are also racing on a team, to be known as the “Better Halves.”

Racing runs from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. and begins and ends at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds, just east of Cortez. All proceeds benefit the Montezuma County Partners.