The American Landowner: Patrick Broe
Denver-based investor Pat Broe founded his namesake company in 1972. The Broe Group is now a diversified private equity firm that controls nearly 200 companies in transportation, energy, and real estate. Broe, who ranked 25th on the 2011 Land Report 100, is known for seizing opportunities and creating value, which describes his land investments in Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico, where his Great Western Ranch spans 292,000 acres. The Great Western is a compilation of the Hubbell and Green Ranches, located in Catron and Cibola counties.
“When Pat bought this, it was one of those fixer-upper ranches,” says Broe Group Controller Mark Richter. “He’s tried to protect the old buildings and has converted the old cowboy bunkhouse into a hunting lodge. It’s characteristic of him to go in and find things that are troubled or mismanaged and transform them. That was certainly the case in the New Mexico Ranch.” Broe’s Notch Peak Ranch comprises about 25,000 acres in Wyoming and is home to one of the largest herds of bighorn sheep in the region. “It’s closer to Denver, so he uses it as kind of his getaway, his escape,” says Richter.
Broe took on one of the largest restoration projects in the US by planting 540,000 new trees and removing more than 1 million trees destroyed by fire at Notch Peak. The effort exemplifies Broe’s devotion to maximizing natural resources. Broe also hosts brainstorming retreats at Notch Peak. “Pat loves to explore new ideas; he has a passion for it,” Richter says. “We’ve had visitors from as far away as Kuwait, bankers from New York, and a tugboat operator from California. Everyone puts on Western gear, and they brand, ride, shoot skeet, or just listen to a cowboy poet. It puts them in an environment where people just start sharing ideas.”
Intent on improving his cattle, Broe has hired the ranch manager who helped develop the distinctive cattle on New Mexico’s Bell Ranch. Says Richter, “Pat is trying to tailor the breed to that part of the country, and has done what he could to restore the pastures, keeping them from being overgrazed, incorporating some farming, and making sure it’s run as a well-managed cattle ranch.” Elk populate the property as well, though only selective hunting is allowed. Richter notes, “We try to balance the overall ecology.”
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