Boone Pickens’ Mesa Vista Ranch
Pampa, Texas | $250,000,000
Acreage: 64,809 +/- Acres
Location: Texas Panhandle
Pampa, Texas/Roberts County
Offered by: Sam Middleton
LOCATION: The Mesa Vista Ranch is located in Roberts County in the Eastern Texas Panhandle. The ranch is located about 30 miles north of Pampa, Texas, and approximately 85 miles northeast of Amarillo.
HISTORY: In 1971, Boone purchased approximately 2,900 acres along the south side of the Canadian River in Roberts County, Texas.
Over the years, Boone began to assemble additional adjoining land positioned along the Canadian River corridor, and today the Mesa Vista Ranch comprises over 100 square miles of prime Eastern Texas Panhandle ranch land.
As Boone’s assemblage continued, he spent millions and millions of dollars to make Mesa Vista one of the best improved ranches in the United States. He used cutting edge conservation practices to enhance the wildlife on the property.
Today Boone proudly boasts that the Mesa Vista Ranch is, “the world’s best quail hunting.”
PROPERTY DESCRIPTION: “You do everything to make the land perfect, hoping the next owner has the same passion.” – T. Boone Pickens
The Mesa Vista Ranch stretches approximately 25 miles along the south side of the Canadian River. This lush river bottom land creates the centerpiece for the property, but the ranch features an unmatched variety of land types ranging from rolling sand hills to elevated ridges, mesa points and gently rolling, open prairie lands. The river bottom and numerous major drainages support abundant massive cottonwood trees, as well as willows, hackberry trees and others. Much of the river bottom is sub-irrigated and suitable for native hay production. Live spring water is found throughout several of the major drainages.
In an effort to enhance wildlife on the property, over the years, Boone has been a leader in conservation practices that are now followed by many other sportsmen in the country. As a testament to Boone’s conservation efforts, in 2008 he was named the recipient of the prestigious Park Cities Quail Unlimited Lifetime Sportsman Award.
IMPROVEMENTS: The Lodge, along with multiple support structures is located in a manicured, tree covered “park-like” setting. This Lodge Compound has been the major gathering area for Boone’s family and guests over the years. It has served an important role as a place where corporate heads have met to discuss and craft multi-million-dollar business transactions, politicians and large donors have gathered for political events. Few if any facilities can match the beauty of the Lodge Compound. Initial construction on the Lodge began in 1988, with numerous updates and additions added over the years. Presently, the Lodge itself comprises in excess of 25,000 square feet with an additional approximately 10,000 square feet of porches and patio areas.
In 2007 Boone constructed a charming Chapel located on the north end of the Lodge Compound area. This chapel is situated along the banks of a flowing creek and lake area. Adjacent to the Chapel is the Memory Garden, which was constructed in 2014. There are pergolas and a beautiful stair-cased waterfall feature behind the structure.
Boone’s Lake House has been featured in Architectural Digest Magazine and Cowboys and Indians Magazine. The Lake House contains approximately 11,500 square feet of living area and over 3,800 square feet of porches and patios. The front entry door was originally the front door to Bing Crosby’s home. The upper level of the home features a large living/great room with fireplace, dining area, master bedroom and bath, 1 1/2 bathrooms, kitchen, utility room, and elevator. A spiral staircase with stone imported from France leads to the lower level where there are two guest bedrooms, three bathrooms, wine cellar and tasting room, office, exercise room, utility room, cedar closet, mechanical room, and storm/safe room.
Outdoor balcony railings are bronze and all balconies and porch areas overlook astonishing water features, such as lakes, ponds, waterfalls, and aqueducts. The landscaping, topography features, and water enhancements make the Lake House truly “fit for a king.”
The airport is located on the western portion of the ranch. The runway is approximately 6,000 feet long and 100 feet wide. The airport facility was designed and built with FAA approval and meets all of their requirements and regulations. Approach lights are installed along the runway. This airport runway is designed to handle most any size private aircraft. Adjacent to the runway is a 52,600-square foot concrete tarmac, which connects the airport to the hangar. The hangar facility contains approximately 25,000 square feet with epoxy coated concrete floor. It features a heated electric hangar door opening system, an attractive lounge and restroom area downstairs and a two-bedroom, two-bathroom pilot’s apartment upstairs.
The Dog Kennel is located east of the Lodge complex, between the Lodge and the highway. The Kennel contains approximately 11,000 square feet of usable kennel area, with approximately 3,600 feet being enclosed and air conditioned. There are 40 chain-link dog pens, 20 on each side of a concrete center alleyway. The Kennel is equipped with full office facilities, a large meat processing-center. The facility includes a veterinary lab, upper level storage, overhead crane and bathroom.
It seems impossible to comprehend all of the improvements made to this property, whether it is structural improvements, water enhancements, landscaping, wildlife conservation features, or others. As example, thousands of tons of landscaping rock, trees, shrubbery, plants, etc. were imported to the property over the years. Early on, Boone hired Tommy Ford, an architect from Dallas, Texas, to help in the planning, drafting, and construction of the many improvements placed on the ranch. Together, Boone and Tommy had the vision to take raw ranch land and transform this property into what now represents Mesa Vista Ranch.
In a recent conversation with Tommy Ford, he estimated that the total volume of building materials, landscaping rocks, trees, and other enhancements delivered to the ranch would exceed 120 trains, with each train load containing 110 cars of materials. Having overseen most all of the major structural construction on the property, Tommy estimated replacement cost of over $140,000,000, not counting the added cost of dredging and developing the lakes and creek water systems on the property.
WATER FEATURES: The Canadian River itself generally forms the north boundary of the ranch for approximately 25 miles. This river bottom is wide and fertile with a shallow water table. In some areas, standing pockets of water are common and portions of the river bottom are sub-irrigated. In the early 2000’s Boone began a massive water enhancement project, likely never before conceived or duplicated by a private citizen. By dredging and building a chain of dams, waterfalls, lakes, and other water enhancements, Boone created possibly the largest individual water park ever envisioned.
In addition to the countless lakes and ponds, he created a flowing, man-made creek called “Boone’s Creek,” which basically parallels the Canadian River. By dredging into the standing water table in the Canadian River bottom, this creek was formed. Boone, however, was not satisfied with standing water in the creek and wanted ever flowing running water throughout the creek bottom. With the use of well water injected into the creek, Boone’s Creek flows several thousand gallons per minute throughout this stretch of roughly 12 miles of creeks, lakes, waterfalls and ponds, all of which are man-made. With a system of pumps and pipelines, much of this water can be recirculated and used over and over. Without question, Boone has created an unmatched oasis in the Texas Panhandle.
HUNTING AND RECREATION: The Mesa Vista Ranch supports a variety of wildlife. Whitetail deer thrive in the productive creek bottom areas and mule deer are found throughout the sandhills, broken ridges, and mesa points on the southeast side of the ranch. Aoudad are also viewed from time to time in this rougher portion of the property. Antelope are found on the open plains country on the southwest side of the ranch. Besides quail, dove are also abundant and water fowl are seasonally present on many of the lakes. Hundreds and hundreds of turkeys are common throughout the tree-covered bottom lands. Most all of the lakes have been stocked with a variety of fish, and fishing is reported to be excellent.
RESOURCES: The Mesa Vista Ranch is located in an area of prolific quality ground water, being in the Ogallala Water Formation. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of acres of water rights have been sold in Roberts County for municipal water purposes. Recent commercial water sales in the area indicate that water rights have a commercial value in the range of $400 – $500 per acre.
As previously discussed, Boone acquired the Mesa Vista Ranch in a series of purchases over the years. Boone obtained water rights in the earlier purchases, but in more recent years, as he acquired adjoining land, the commercial water rights were already sold, due to their commercial value. Overall, Boone owns approximately 42,000 acres of water rights, which will convey with the sale. This is considered to be an extremely valuable asset.
In addition to this water resource, minerals are also considered to be a valuable resource in Roberts County. Like the water, Boone obtained a portion of the minerals on the earlier land purchases, but as he expanded to the east and west in more recent years, he was unable to obtain minerals with these acquisitions.
There is scattered oil and gas activity on the Mesa Vista Ranch. All of Boone’s owned mineral interests will convey. In 2015, Boone’s oil and gas royalty income totaled approximately $2,560,000. In 2016, with oil and gas prices declining, the total royalty income dropped to approximately $771,000. For the first nine months of 2017 the royalty income was approximately $541,000. Again, all owned water rights, all owned mineral rights, and royalty will convey with the property.
There are a number of large, operating wind farms located in the Texas Panhandle. All wind generation royalty rights are also included.
BROKER COMMENTS: To our knowledge, no other ranch can replicate Boone’s Mesa Vista Ranch. He has spent nearly 50 years transforming this Texas Panhandle Ranch into a wildlife paradise with spectacular water features and improvements fit for a king. The sale of the Mesa Vista Ranch is basically “turn key,” including all rolling stock, equipment, pick-up trucks, hunting vehicles, farming equipment, furnishings, bird dogs, etc. The only exclusions are Boone’s personal effects, livestock, and his vast art collection. The livestock are available to be purchased separately, as is the majority of the art collection.
2012 Texas Parks and Wildlife Conservation Hall of Fame Tribute video – T. Boone Pickens