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Billionaire Koch Builds His Own Frontier Town Near Aspen

Energy billionaire William Koch is developing a private Wild West town, with a saloon, jail and train station, high in the Rocky Mountains in a region pockmarked with ghost towns that died when the mines that supported them played out.

Koch, 72, who made his fortune partly by developing underground coal deposits in Somerset, Colorado, is building the frontier community -- part reproduction, part transplanted 19th-century structures -- at his Bear Ranch, a working cattle operation southwest of Aspen. The 50-building compound will also include a 21,762-square-foot mansion with an elevator, a wine room and his-and-hers mud rooms. A third of the house will be underground.