When Thomas E. “Teddy” Gottwald heard that a sprawling Wyoming guest ranch long owned by the late real estate mogul Gerald (Jerry) T. Halpin and his wife Helen had just hit the market for the first time in over five decades, it tugged at his heartstrings. After all, he and three generations of his close-knit family began vacationing at Lost Creek Ranch in the mid-1990s, and it has since become one of their favorite spots.
The president, CEO and chairman of Virginia-based NewMarket Corp.—a global developer and manufacturer of fuel and oil additives—and a group of his family members went on to acquire the spread, which was originally listed for $39.95 million last summer. Their plans? To honor the property’s legacy by using it as a family retreat for blocks of time each year, while also continuing to welcome visitors.
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“We have enormous respect for the Halpins, their stewardship of the land and commitment to the Greater Jackson Hole area, and their creation of the premier western guest ranch that is Lost Creek,” states a letter introducing the family on the ranch website. “We plan to build on this and look forward to continuing this nearly 100-year-old tradition at Lost Creek, introducing others to the West, and giving more guests the same experience that helped shape who we are.”
The Gottwald family’s purchase gains them a 50-acre expanse of land resting amid the foothills of the Gros Ventre Mountains, about 30 minutes from downtown Jackson, that contains more than 25 structures paired with a large roster of recreational pursuits—all if it surrounded by protected federal land offering sweeping views of the Teton Range in Grand Teton National Park to the west and Bridger-Teton National Forest to the east.
Originally bought from San Francisco financier Albert Schwabacher by the Halpins and their partners Karl and Tina Weber back in the late 1960s, the Halpins became sole owners of the tract in the late ’80s. Through the years, the couple donated 50 of the site’s original 120 acres to the aforementioned park and placed another 20 acres under a conservation easement that prevents development, with the remaining 50 acres holding a main lodge and multiple rustic log cabins.
Other highlights include a spa with fitness facilities, as well as a swimming pool, boat and well houses, a barn, large corral and access to outdoor activities ranging from horseback riding to scenic rafting trips down the Snake River.
Best known as the first real estate developer to build in Virginia’s Tysons Corner community, just outside of Washington, D.C., Jerry Halpin died in August 2017 at age 94. Helen, his wife of 67 years, passed away almost a year later in 2018. They are both buried on the ranch. As for Teddy Gottwald—whose family ranks as one of the richest in the nation, with a $3.1 billion net worth—he and his wife Ann Parker Gottwald maintain a boutique inn called The Georges in the Virginia city of Lexington. They’ve also owned a ranch in Montana for almost 20 years.
Click here for more photos of the Gottwald’s Wyoming ranch.
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