Philip Anschutz’s outsized reach in the West

 

For the first time since 1981, Montana's Glacier National Park is seeking bids to operate its lodges, restaurants and shops, set amid the dramatic Northern Rockies. Among those reportedly considering the opportunity is Xanterra Parks & Resorts, the nation's largest national park concessionaire, which belongs to Philip Anschutz's Anschutz Corporation. Meanwhile, the same billionaire's Anschutz Exploration Corp. is seeking oil and gas on 400,000 acres of the Blackfeet Reservation, along the park's eastern boundary. "It just doesn't seem to go together at all," reservation resident Donna Caruso-Hirst told the Missoulian.

Then again, the resource barons of old exploited grasslands, minerals and scenery without discrimination. Why should today's entrepreneurs be any different? Anschutz, a Denver-based septuagenarian, built his $7.6 billion fortune on wildcatting, railroads, communications and entertainment, and now has stakes in everything from petroleum to renewable energy and Justin Bieber.