Third Wildly Rich, Eccentric Koch Brother Builds Faux Wild West Town

Energy industry big-wig Koch is constructing a 50-building authentic Wild West town.


Billionaire Bill "Wild Bill" Koch is building a private Wild West town to store all of his priceless artifacts.


What do you do when you're a gazillionaire oil magnate with maybe a little too much time on your hands?

Build an elaborate, historically accurate Wild West-inspired adult playground, of course.

According to the Denver Post, Bill Koch—not to be confused with his other insanely rich, politically active brothers, David and Charles Koch, who've publicly backed conservative movements such as the Tea Party—is constructing a massive 50-building authentic Wild West retreat, complete with a mahogany and brass-adorned saloon, train station, church, and even a prison.

There are also plans for a 22,000-square-foot mansion to be built so Koch can survey his tribute to the old Wild West.

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The Potemkin village sits on Koch's 420-acre ranch in Gunnison County, Colo. but don't expect to get a tour of the outpost anytime soon. According to the Post, the town is "simply for Koch's amusement" and meant to function as a museum for his extensive collection of Wild West memorabilia.

The Post notes Koch, known as "Wild Bill" to some friends, has made headlines in recent months for picking up such items as a $2.3 million photograph of Billy the Kid, Jesse James' gun, Wyatt Earp's vest, Sitting Bull's rifle and a flag that belonged to Gen. George Custer.

And while building a town with a population of one might seem novel, Koch can't stake the claim for being the first person to come up with the idea. Over the past year or so, at least two self-contained towns have been bought or put up for sale.

[Read: The Left Sees the Koch Brothers Everywhere.]

Buford, Wyo.—the smallest in the U.S. incidentally—was auctioned off to a Vietnamese businessman for $900,000 in April. The town, although less luxuriously equipped than Koch's creation, includes a gas station and a three-bedroom house among a few other buildings.

Earlier this month, a Montana man posted for sale the town where U.S. Army commander George Armstrong Custer made his last stand in 1876 against Sioux and Cheyenne warriors, according to Reuters. The auction will sell the town's gas station and convenience store, as well as a manuscript collection including the papers of Custer's wife, Elizabeth Bacon Custer.

Meg Handley is a business reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can reach her at and follow her on Twitter.