Kanye West is at it again, though what “it” is, we’re not completely sure.
Earlier this year, the rapper purchased Monster Lake Ranch, a 4,500-acre property just outside Cody, WY.
Apparently, that wasn’t big enough, since, according to TMZ, he’s gone back for seconds, purchasing another Wyoming property near Greybull, called Bighorn Mountain Ranch.
The price tag for this 6,714-acre plot? According to the listing: $14,495,000.
So why is West so smitten with Wyoming that he’s purchased not just one, but two ranches here? While no one can fully fathom West’s motives, we can wager a few educated guesses.
Why Kanye West is buying up Wyoming ranches
All things considered, West’s decision to buy a secluded ranch for himself, his wife, Kim Kardashian West, and the rest of the family doesn’t sound like the worst idea if their goal is to get away from the limelight and relax.
“He might just want a very secluded space away from distraction and paparazzi,” says California real estate developer Tyler Drew.
Still, that doesn’t explain why he’s purchased two properties. Isn’t one enough?
After all, most people would agree that if you’re shelling out millions to buy a vacation property, you should go for variety. Already got a beautiful ranch in Wyoming? Next, you might go for a luxury apartment in New York or a homey cottage in the south of France.
So what’s up here? Is West leaving music for cattle-raising, or is he simply trying to slowly buy up all of Wyoming?
Experts say that there could be a few reasons for the purchase, one of which suggests that this is a smart financial decision.
“Wyoming is the most tax-friendly state in the nation when it comes to land ownership,” Drew adds. “He may be trying to save some money here.”
What’s so special about West’s second ranch?
Still, the question stands: Why buy this particular ranch? What does this one have that the other didn’t?
From the listings, it looks as though there are some differences between the properties.
The newly purchased Bighorn Mountain Ranch is about 2,000 acres larger than the 4,500 acres West now owns in Monster Lake Ranch. Plus, while Monster Lake Ranch is known for its “monster” trout fishing, Bighorn Mountain Ranch has a more varied history.
“We run cattle and do a farming operation in the Shell Valley, raising a variety of crops including alfalfa, hay, bean, corn, malt barley, and so on,” David Flitner, the seller of Bighorn Ranch, explained in the listing. “We’ve got a 1,000-head feed lot and a quarter-horse training operation.”
Plus, in terms of shelter, the listing says there are a number of cabins and “a lodge for a guest operation,” all perched on “upper grass-covered mountains, steep creek-filled drainages and majestic views across Wyoming.”
Worth noting: These two ranches are very close to each other, only about 50 miles apart. Some experts surmise that maybe West is aiming to buy up land in the vicinity of Bighorn Mountain Ranch.
“Kanye has been open about building an amphitheater on his first ranch,” says Beatrice de Jong, consumer trends expert at Opendoor, “so perhaps his second property will provide lodging or housing for permanent residents.”
Indeed, West is already beginning work on a 70,684-square-foot open-air amphitheater, which he calls his “West Meditation Space Large Impact Structure.”
Construction may not be as extensive as it could be, since in his building application, West states that he has no plans to bring electricity or plumbing to the amphitheater (which sounds like a terrible decision, but hey, it’s his property).
While county building codes do not require electrical or plumbing, they do require West to build parking to go along with the arena.
Could this second property make up the parking lot (and amenities) for guests and staff? Stay tuned.
What do Kanye West’s purchases mean for Wyoming?
But what will West’s plans to build a theater mean for northern Wyoming? Will it be the start of a popular concert area in the style of Coachella, complete with the trappings of newly earned hipness?
In all likelihood, the press about West moving to the country will mean that other people cotton to the same idea. We might even see others flocking to the Wyoming countryside.
“Since both Kanye and Kim are known for being tastemakers,” De Jong says, “it makes sense they would choose such a beautiful location—and will surely impact the demand in real estate markets of the surrounding areas.”
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