The surprise rejection of a right-wing billionaire financial tycoon’s project to transform a small Wyoming town into his own personal playground surely came as a surprise, especially to the billionaire.

Joe Ricketts, the founder of the predecessor company to online brokerage firm TD Ameritrade, had already gained approval to build a luxury resort on his ranch in Bondurant, a community of Sublette County with only 100 people. But his latest bid to expand that resort was unexpectedly shot down in a vote of the area’s board of commissioners.

Noah Kirsch of The Daily Beast reported that, “three out of five commissioners have historically voted with Joe Ricketts, but at last week’s meeting, commissioner Sam White unexpectedly joined the minority and rejected the bid to modify property near ‘the riverbank at the head of the Upper Hoback River.’

Ricketts was seeking to build a ‘restaurant, gymnasium, bunkhouse and cabin village,’ the outlet said.”

The decision was met with applause from locals, who had overwhelmingly opposed Ricketts’ initial resort plan. Doug Vickrey, who voted against the proposal, made a bold statement in response to the billionaire’s wealth. “Remember that some things are not for sale,” Vickrey declared. “Folks, I’m going to tell you right now, I am one of those things. I am not for sale. So, I would like Mr. Ricketts to know that with all his wealth there are some things in this world money cannot buy, and by God I’m one of them.”

Ricketts’ interference is not limited to Bondurant. A massive fence around his ranch in the middle of the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana has become a hazard to wildlife, according to a 2022 report in The Guardian.

Commenting on the trend of wealthy interlopers dominating Mountain West communities, local journalist Joy Ufford expressed her worries that Bondurant might be “sacrificed as a stepping stone to Jackson.”

The billionaire’s father, Pete Ricketts, was appointed to the U.S. Senate on his way out the door as Nebraska Governor, following the early resignation of Senator Ben Sasse to take a position as president of the University of Florida.

Joe Ricketts was also caught sending racist emails in 2019 and forced to apologize. Those emails contained anti-Muslim rhetoric as well as ones promoting “truther” conspiracy theories against former President Barack Obama.