T. Boone Pickens spent years making his Texas ranch one of the world’s most valuable properties. The oilman and pioneering corporate raider began working on his Mesa Vista Ranch in 1971 adding a 6,000-square-foot family home, 12,000-square-foot lake house, 33,000-square-foot lodge, a chapel, pub, airplane runway and hangar, golf course, tennis courts and even the Oklahoma white-frame home where he grew up. The buildings have a rustic but contemporary ambiance dressed in variations of Pickens’ favorite color orange, giving warmth to the glass, stone and wood interiors. Dog lovers will be happy to know that with a capacity for 40 dogs, the palatial stone kennel also contains a vet lab and large exercise space.
But at age 89, even billionaires must begin making arrangements for the inevitable, and Pickens is making a special effort to be sure that his beloved ranch is passed into the hands of a like-minded individual who will carry on as a conservationist of the land. A self-proclaimed workaholic who considers making money fun, Pickens’ financial success comes not so much from the love of business involvement, but from his love of making money and the joy of the game. Quite a bit of that money has been spent over the last 50 years developing his 65,000-acre ranch Mesa Vista.
His first goal for the ranch was to enrich the land and returning it to an oasis for wildlife, much of which is back to its natural state of lush natural grasses which have never been grazed. It’s the perfect environment to protect thousands of quail and wildlife. He has also improved the land by creating almost twelve miles of waterways running through a number of man-made lakes, waterfalls and creeks.
Structures are separated from each other, providing an unusual amount of privacy between them. Imagine having so much land that one must drive twelve miles on your own land to get from their lodge to their residence, or three miles to their airport. With everything on the ranch so carefully thought out, even the airport which handles private jets with ease, has a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment above the hangar for pilots.
Everything is there; it was the ranch’s own picturesque stone chapel where T. Boone and his fifth wife were married.