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A wealthy Seattle businessman is selling off 105,000 hectares of deeded and leased ranch land in the Chilcotin Valley, believed to be the largest parcel of land currently on the market in British Columbia.

The Alexis Creek Ranch, which was recently listed for $23.5-million (U.S.), comprises pristine forest, plains, streams, glacier-fed lakes and 24 kilometres of river, located a 30-minute flight from Vancouver.

The owner updated the 120-year-old ranch with two paved air strips and heated hangar for his private jet, and a seven-bedroom house and five-bedroom guesthouse.

There are 101,000 hectares of exclusive access to leased crown grazing land and 4,000 hectares of deeded land, which is a typical arrangement for a rancher with a vast set up, says realtor Irv Ridd.

With only 1,000 head of cattle and 50 purebred Black Angus bulls, the ranch is operating, but not to its maximum capacity. It's a prestige property, the kind that comes with bragging rights.

Owner Bruce Blakey, an electronics entrepreneur in Seattle, has been part of a real estate trend involving wealthy Americans drawn to Canadian ranch land, according to Mr. Ridd, chief executive of Vancouver-based Cascadia Pacific Realty.

Mr. Ridd specializes in selling unique properties and routinely deals with American hobby ranchers.

"They're not ranchers as a rule," says Mr. Ridd. "They might have hidden desires to be a rancher, and now they can afford to buy one and brag to their friends that they own a substantial ranch property - bigger than Lichtenstein," he says, laughing.

He says Mr. Blakey is selling the ranch because he's at retirement age and wants to spend more time with family, but chances are high the new owner will also be a wealthy American.

And that's not a bad thing, he adds.

"They do it because they can, and they are extremely good stewards of property."

Mr. Blakey purchased the land in 1993 from German prince Richard Wittgenstein, whose family had owned the property since 1956.

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