Koch Billionaire Builds Private 'Old West' Town

Bill Koch reserves town for friends, family, and historians
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2012 4:40 PM CDT
Updated Aug 20, 2012 5:05 PM CDT
Koch Billionaire Builds Private 'Old West' Town
An Old West town.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Jesse James, Wyatt Earp, and General Custer would be proud of Colorado's new town—but they might not be allowed inside. The replica Old West town is billionaire Bill Koch's ode to a pricey obsession: American frontier memorabilia. Built on Koch's 6,400-acre Bear Ranch property, the town includes board sidewalks, polished brass, and a water-treatment system, the Denver Post reports. It also has a locked gate and guards—because it's never open to the public.

The town is only for the Koch family and friends—and historians—to treat as their plaything. "It's like something out of a 'Gunsmoke' movie set," says a county planner. Known as "Wild Bill" to his friends, Koch is worth around $4 billion and is brother to David and Charles Koch, billionaires famous for their Tea Party politics. But Bill is known for collecting wine, winning America's Cup, and writing multi-million-dollar checks for photos of old gunslingers. His wife tells him he belongs on TV—if the show Hoarders will take him. (Read more Colorado stories.)

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