There is a mordant piece in Bloomberg news today about the current penchant among some monied sorts for diverting themselves by buying up large pieces of Montana. Chief among them, two partners from venture firm Sequoia:
Regulars who gather [in Whitefish Montana] include Mark Kvamme, whose Menlo Park, California-based Sequoia Capital financed Google Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. Kvamme, who owns a lakefront second home in Whitefish, is building a 1,275-acre (516-hectare) luxury residential development called the Homestead with Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Chief Executive Officer Richard Fuld.
Executives and investors enriched by the dot-com boom are buying land around the northwest Montana city of Whitefish, population 6,151, boosting property values, straining county services, and putting the former railroad outpost near Glacier National Park on the road to becoming a wealthy enclave like Aspen, Colorado, or Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
“In 1999 I bought real estate because I didn’t want all my money to be in Nasdaq,” says Kvamme, 44. The Nasdaq Stock Market composite index has declined 26 percent in the past six years. By contrast, his development, valued at $5,490 an acre two years ago, is for sale today for an average $50,000 an acre.
[via BusinessWeek’s Deal Flow]