LIV Sotheby's International Realty lists Discovery Channel founder's $149M Estate and Ranch

06/14/2017 by

Colorado real estate brokerage, LIV Sotheby's International Realty, announced today that it would represent one of the most significant listings in the American West. The listing, West Creek Ranch, is a 6,919-acre land and estate property located in Mesa County, Colorado (approx. 6,412 acres) and in bordering Grand County, Utah (approx. 507 acres). West Creek Ranch is the property of John Hendricks, founder and former chairman of Discovery Communications, the global media company that owns Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet networks, among many other ventures. The estate, and the four distinct land parcels included in the sale, are a collection of some of the most enduring and treasured natural geological wonders in the canyonlands of the American West, which, surrounded by natural open space, will be preserved for years to come.

"I look forward to reaching out to touch the same emotions in the next curator that inspired John Hendricks and drove him to preserve this fascinating and one-of-a-kind treasure in perpetuity for all to enjoy," said LIV Sotheby's International Realty listing broker, Kerry Endsley.

West Creek Ranch is a spectacularly diverse private retreat property boasting one of the finest residences in the world.  The many expanses of West Creek Ranch include the scenic and verdant Gill Meadows parcel, with its historic ruins of Driggs Mansion, nestled within the soaring and majestic precambrian rock cliff walls of Unaweep Canyon; the remote Blue Creek parcel noted for its bear and mountain lion habitat; the expansive high plateau country of the Sky Mesa parcel containing a stunning log cabin retreat and helipad, with magnificent views of the La Sal Mountains of Utah; and the West Creek Ranch Headquarters parcel encompassing the 22,000 square-foot main residence, irrigated horse and bison pastures, fishing ponds, grass airstrip and hangar, helipad, stables, astronomical observatory, and trout stream.  These unique ranch properties offer their owner the ultimate private wilderness retreat -- all within minutes of one of the finest resorts and spas in North America, Gateway Canyons.  This listing also includes the Sky Adventures office building and airplane hangar located at Grand Junction Regional Airport, for buyers who may wish to have commercial rental property, a base of operations or the ability to conveniently hangar their private jet.

West Creek Ranch is owned by the developer of the boutique resort Gateway Canyons, also located in Gateway, Colorado.  West Creek Ranch's proximity to Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa affords the owner access to dining, spa, pools and other amenities of a resort voted in 2016 by Travel + Leisure readers as the "Best in the West," the #5 Best Resort in the U.S. and the #16 Best Resort in the World.

West Creek Ranch is conveniently accessed by nearby Grand Junction Regional Airport and a quick helicopter trip or scenic 55-minute drive through majestic Unaweep Canyon.  The ranch headquarters parcel also has a grass airstrip for use by small private aircraft.

West Creek Ranch offers a complete range of outdoor adventure and sporting activities.  Dinosaur fossils and Native American rock art, scattered throughout the properties as well as on surrounding public land, complete this offering of a unique and spectacular swath of the American West.

Land and Acreage

In addition to the ranch headquarters parcel (approx. 277 acres) containing the main residence, the West Creek Ranch parcels include Sky Mesa (approx. 5,803 acres), Gill Meadows (approx. 389 acres) and Blue Creek parcels (approx. 450 acres).

The deeded lands of West Creek Ranch are surrounded by hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service, assuring unspoiled views protected landscapes from all ranch parcels.  The expansive natural landscape views in all directions from the West Creek Ranch main residence contain no views of neighboring properties or structures.

Main Residence

Constructed over a three-year period, from 1999-2001, the West Creek Ranch main residence was designed in stunning Southwestern style by architect Jamie Daugaard of Centre Sky Architecture, designer of luxury homes throughout the West, including the Yellowstone Club in Montana.  The main residence features exquisite finishes and craftsmanship throughout more than 22,000 square feet of indoor living space that includes eight bedrooms and eight bathrooms on four levels, oversized elevator servicing all four levels, a great room, formal dining room, breakfast room, chef's kitchen, spacious study, art studio, theater room, game room, gym, staff quarters, pool and spa, four water fountains, six fireplaces, a two-level circular stone library, interior marble archways and columns, modern and geo-thermal heating and cooling, a backup generator, a five-car garage, a helipad, and all furnishings (exclusive of personal items such as art and fossils).  The main residence also contains approximately 3,500 square feet of covered verandahs with furniture, thereby bringing the total living indoor and outdoor space up to more than 25,500 square feet.

Conservation Land

West Creek Ranch includes a tract of 4,040 acres on the Sky Mesa parcel constituting the Cottonwood Canyon nature habitat and wilderness area that has been placed for protection in a conservation easement with The Nature Conservancy.  Although this conservation area can be enjoyed for scenic hikes, camping, fishing, and elk hunting, no new roads or structures can be added to this treasured wildlife habitat area.

In addition, 78 acres of land containing the ruins of the historic Driggs Mansion on the Gill Meadows parcel have been placed in a conservation easement with the Mesa Land Trust for long term protection.

Scenic and Geologic Attributes

West Creek Ranch includes one of the most majestic and awe-inspiring viewscapes in North America, containing breathtaking views of soaring red rock canyons, the stunning Palisade landform, the snow-capped La Sal Mountains, the winding green riparian areas of the Dolores River and West Creek, unique geologic features of ancient Unaweep Canyon with its vast exposure of precambrian rock, the undisturbed natural wilderness habitat of Cottonwood Canyon, and wondrous mesa-top overlooks of Sinbad Valley and the Dolores River Canyon.

In addition, dinosaur fossils and Native American rock art are scattered throughout the property.

Hunting and Grazing

West Creek Ranch provides hunting opportunities for mule deer, elk, mountain lion, and bear, and a large variety of small game and waterfowl.  The ranch lies within Game Management Unit 61, home to the Uncompaghre plateau herds of over 10,000 elk and 17,000 mule deer.  West Creek Ranch also holds BLM cattle grazing permits with an allotment of 520 AUMs.

Other features and facilities of West Creek Ranch include:

  • Observatory with 20" Meade Telescope and rotating copper dome
  • Creekside Guest House (2 bedrooms, 1 bath), separate garage, and all furnishings
  • Stables with office and shower facilities
  • Two irrigation ponds, pump house, and modern sprinkler irrigation system
  • 2,800 irrigated grass air strip
  • Aircraft hangar
  • Summer Cabin at Sky Mesa (3 bedrooms, 2 baths), helipad, and all furnishings with separate garage
  • Irrigated and wood-post fenced pastures currently containing American bison, American quarter horses, one Belgian draft horse and miniature horses
  • Grazing land with winter pastures capable of supporting a total of 285 cattle pairs
  • More than 1,000 hay-able acres of land
  • In total, the residential structures of West Creek Ranch (including the main residence, guest house, stables, and Sky Mesa cabin) contain a total of 14 bedrooms, 12 full baths, and 2 half baths

Sky Adventures Office Building and Hangar at Grand Junction Regional Airport

This offering includes the 17,333 square foot Sky Adventures office building and hangar located at Grand Junction Regional Airport.  The building and hangar are used currently as a base for owner and VIP guest transport to West Creek Ranch and Gateway Canyons Resort (by helicopter, luxury vehicle or Sprinter van).  The Sky Adventures building has 11 offices that may be rented to third parties or recaptured for use by the owner upon expiration of the current leases. 

Water Rights

West Creek Ranch holds significant water rights in western Mesa County, Colorado and eastern Grand County, Utah, that are supplied from the Dolores River and various tributary streams.

A monument to the American West, ownership of West Creek Ranch is a rare and special opportunity.