Naming rights battle erupts over T. Boone Pickens’ Mesa Vista Ranch

Buyers of the late T. Boone Pickens’ sprawling Texas Panhandle ranch are battling over naming rights, the Dallas Morning News reported. 

The dispute comes more than a year after the 64,000-acre Mesa Vista Ranch, northeast of Amarillo in Roberts County, sold in two pieces for an estimated $170 million. 

West Texas oil-and-gas investor Bill Kent, spearheading BRS Mesa Vista Partners LLC, acquired the western swath of the ranch, spanning 37,000 acres, which includes a 25,000-square-foot lodge, where Pickens frequently entertained guests. 

Texas businessman Bailey Peyton and Atlanta-based investor J. Bradford Smith, forming Mesa Vista Ranch LLC, later purchased an adjacent 12,000 acres.

The dispute centers on the Mesa Vista Ranch moniker. Kent’s group has sued Mesa Vista Ranch LLC, alleging that it doesn’t have rights to the ranch name. The legal battle will play out in federal district court in Amarillo.

“Defendant has initiated a marketing campaign to sell all or parts of its parcel, using the Mesa Vista Ranch name and trademark and calling their parcel the Mesa Vista Ranch, in violation of plaintiff’s rights to that name and in an effort to confuse consumers as to the nature of their parcel,” Kent’s lawsuit says. “Though their property was once part of the Mesa Vista Ranch, it is no longer part of the Mesa Vista Ranch operation, and its owners are not entitled to call it the Mesa Vista Ranch.”

Geoff Weisbart, an attorney for BRS Mesa Vista Partners, asserts the intrinsic value of the Mesa Vista brand and the earnest endeavor to safeguard its legacy. The legal wrangling delves into the realm of intellectual property, with Kent’s faction contending that their acquisition encompasses all of Mesa Vista Ranch’s intellectual assets.

Kent’s group’s vision for the property calls for a transformation into a resort and hunting sanctuary, mirroring Pickens’ bygone pursuits, the outlet said. 

Pickens, a Dallas business magnate who died in 2019, began assembling Mesa Vista Ranch in 1971. It’s loaded with amenities, including a small golf course, tennis court, shooting range and a runway suited for jet service. 

The lodge features a large dining room with a massive fireplace, a library with a spiral staircase, a conference room, a 30-seat theater, a wine cellar, an office and a kitchen. The property, originally listed for $250 million, was one of the largest ranches in the Panhandle at the time of the sale.

—Quinn Donoghue 

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