Netflix founder has spent over $20M on secretive 2,100-acre Colorado ranch plans

The proposed facility would host groups of educators from both public and private schools

New York Weekend Edition /
Jun.June 20, 2020 12:00 PM
Netflix founder Reed Hastings (iStock, Getty)

Netflix founder Reed Hastings (iStock, Getty)

Netflix founder Reed Hastings is busy building out a 2,100-acre Colorado ranch in the Rocky Mountains. What for? Not for a vacation.
Hastings has proposed and is building out an education training center for school teachers dubbed the Retreat Land at Lone Rock, according to public records scoured by Recode.

One prospectus authored by an aide to Hastings said the facility “will be run as a nonprofit institute serving the public education community’s development of teachers and leadership.”

Another document said it was planned as three separate “villages” with a total of 270 rooms. The plan is to host overlapping groups of 30 people — teachers, principals, nonprofit heads, and others in the sector — for four-day stays. Besides classes, there will be summer camp-style activities including sports and hiking available to guests.

Hastings has spent more than $20 million on the project, using Amy Dee, a former Netflix real estate executive, to handle most of the work, Recode reported. Residents in Park County have been in the dark as to who’s behind the project, breeding conspiracy theories. “Bailey’s not unlike other small towns,” said Joe Burgett, a local fire official who met with Hastings a few years ago. “Sometimes stories grow legs and maybe start moving without a whole lot of fact-checking.”

The complex will be open to public school educators and charter schools as well. It could open as early as March 2021, according to local officials.

Hastings is worth around $4.9 billion and owns about 1.3 percent of Netflix, according to Forbes. Education and education reform are his primary philanthropic causes — this week he announced he and his wife are donating $120 million toward scholarships at historically black colleges.

Hastings funds and is a board member of the Pahara Institute, which hosts retreats across the country and that is expected to make use of the Colorado facility. [Vox— Dennis Lynch


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