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Barter’s Role for Entrepreneur Who Built Country Club For The Rich

Timothy Blixseth, 54, the founder of Yellowstone Club in Big Sky (MT), is the only private resort community in the U.S. with its own ski mountain and world-class golf course. Mostly wilderness, it’s a haven for the super rich who pay an initiation fee of $250,000, and are required to purchase property of $1 million to $10 million plus pay annual dues of $16,000.

The Yellowstone Club has 200 members, and exists because of two barter deals that Blixseth executed in the 1990s, when he and his timber business partner made a trade with federal officials. They provided 164,000 acres adjacent to Yellowstone National Park in exchange receiving 100,000 acres in the Bozeman/Big Sky area.

Of the 100,000 acres the partner took the timberland, leaving Blixseth and his wife with a stretch of undeveloped land they originally intended to turn into a family compound. After the newly built cabins and chalets became wildly popular with their friends, they decided to create a country club for millionaires looking for an alternative to pricey, pretentious and over-crowded destinations such as Aspen.

Thus, the development of Yellowstone Club occupying 22 square miles. With an eye toward natural beauty, only 20% of its acreage is slated for development...with the rest remaining untouched.

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