Real estate mogul and founder of Montana's Yellowstone Club Tim Blixseth announces autobiography titled 'You Couldn't Make This Up'
October 24, 2011
– In a new article, developer and Yellowstone Club Founder Tim Blixseth explains that he will never stop fighting for justice in the lawsuits brought about by the Yellowstone Club bankruptcy. "Unfortunately, injustice can sometimes be bought," Blixseth tells the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. "Fortunately, justice cannot."
Blixseth details his life story in the article, titled "A Billionaire in Big Sky," from his humble roots growing up on welfare in Roseburg, Oregon, to the heady days starting the exclusive Yellowstone Club resort in Montana.
In the article, Blixseth explains that he has written 250 pages of his autobiography, titled: "You Couldn't Make This Up." "It'll be a journey about my life and some of the interesting things, the hardships, the joys, just life," Blixseth said. "Neither you nor I know the ending yet."
Blixseth explains in the article that, before coming to Montana, he grew up in a poor family in Oregon. His father was a hard-working Norwegian immigrant. "My father's American dream never came to fruition, I don't think, but mine sure has," Blixseth tells the Chronicle. "I'm thankful I was born in America."
After learning young that he had a knack for making deals, Blixseth would eventually make millions from the timber industry. He told CNN Money in 2008 that when he was about 13, he bought three donkeys for $25 each after seeing a classified ad for them, the article states. Then, he turned around and sold them for $75 after rebranding them as pack mules.
"So he gives me the $225, and a light bulb went on and I went, 'Huh, okay,'" he said in the CNN Money article. Blixseth went on to make a series of timber deals that made him millions, and he retired in North Tahoe Lake, Nev., at the age of 40. But he got bored and wasn't out of the development world for long. After a land swap with the U.S. government that required two acts of Congress, Blixseth became the proud owner of nearly 15,000 acres south of Big Sky, Montana, an area that would become the Yellowstone Club.
The early years
The Yellowstone Club thrived from the beginning, the article explains, with a fancy lodge, a golf course designed by Tom Weiskopf and a first-class private ski mountain for families. Patrons included Bill Gates and Dan Quayle.
But when Blixseth and this then-wife, Edra, divorced, she bought out her husband's portion of the club and became its owner. Within months, the article explains, the Yellowstone Club went bankrupt. In May 2009, it was sold at a "fire-sale price of $115 million" to Sam Byrne, a principal at CrossHarbor Capital and a club member. Previously he had tried to buy it from Blixseth for $450 million, but he reneged on the deal, the article explains.
The article chronicles the lawsuits surrounding the Yellowstone Club bankruptcy, including one in which Tim Blixseth alleges the club's bankruptcy filing was an elaborate scheme concocted by Edra Blixseth and Sam Byrne. "Essentially, Byrne was paying Edra to file the bankruptcy so he could get the club for a cheaper price, Blixseth alleges now," according to the article.
"Unfortunately, injustice can sometimes be bought," Blixseth said. "Fortunately, justice cannot."
Blixseth tells the Chronicle he's happier than ever today, married to his wife, Jessica, and confident he will prevail in the end. "I'm having a better time today than ever in my life," he said. "Every day I wake up have a smile on my face."