Once lost in a poker hand, Jackson Hole dude ranch lassoes new buyer


Gambled away by a cowboy in the 1940s, the 119-acre Wyoming ranch listed for $58 million in August. It borders Grand Teton National Park and encompasses half a mile of the Gros Ventre River.

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A massive, 119-acre dude ranch in Jackson Hole that was once gambled away by a cowboy in the 1940s has come under new ownership, the Casper Star-Tribune reported last week.

Grand View River Ranch, which was listed for sale in August for $58 million, has found a buyer.

David A. NeVille and Shawn M. Asbell of Keller Williams Jackson Hole represented the property. The buyer’s identity and the final closing price were not made public.

“It’s one of the most unique legacy properties,” NeVille told Inman. “It’s such a unique, fantastic, amazing property with the abundant water, access into Jackson, its location and setting.”

“It’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime sales that people get to be a part of, so we were excited to be part of that.”

He added that after a period of careful due diligence, he and Asbell believe they found a buyer who will be a good steward of the property’s legacy.

GVRR Midsummer Sunrise Trail Ride 10 scaled

Credit: Orijin Media

The property, which encompasses about half a mile of the Gros Ventre River, was a holdout of private ownership during the period in which John D. Rockefeller Jr. was acquiring parcels in the west to ultimately create some of the west’s most iconic national parks.

From the mid-1920s to the mid-1940s, Rockefeller acquired about 35,000 acres in the Tetons and by 1942 was ready to relinquish the land. A year later, President Franklin Roosevelt created the Jackson Hole Monument, which included Rockefeller’s land. The action angered ranchers who wanted to preserve private ownership of the land, and spurred protests. Ultimately, some private ownership remained, including the ownership of Grand View River Ranch, despite much of the land being designated to Grand Teton National Park in 1950.

After trading hands a few times since its original homesteading, in 1944 during a game of cards, a cowboy named Claude Wham allegedly won Grand View River Ranch from John Barnes, according to the property’s website.

Wham operated the property as a hunting camp and sold it to his employers, brothers Roy and Reese Chambers, in 1959. The Chambers brothers transformed the property into a dude ranch.

GVRR Midsummer Sunrise Aerials 12 scaled

Credit: Orijin Media

The ranch’s most recent sellers, Karl and Tina Weber, acquired the property from the Chambers brothers in 1986 and constructed three guest lodges, a barn, the owner’s home and a guest house on the property, as well as a steel bridge over the Gros Ventre River and an arena, during the course of their ownership.

In total, the property features 24 different buildings across its sweeping acreage.

Karl and Tina Weber previously co-owned another vast ranch in the area, Lost Creek Ranch, with real estate mogul Gerald T. Halpin and his wife, Helen. The Halpins took over sole ownership of the property by the 1980s and sold it for an undisclosed amount earlier this year, according to Robb Report. The ranch had been listed for nearly $40 million.

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Email Lillian Dickerson





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