In 2001, Richard Kessler, a hotelier, developer, and co-founder of Days Inn, observed himself facing his toughest business deal yet. It wasnt for a commercial-grade acquisition instead, Kessler was trying and, for a period, failing to buy a 10,000 -acre plot of land in western Colorado. His antagonist? A big-hearted bull of a fella whod been a cowboy rancher all their own lives, recalled Kessler. He turned out to be the best negotiator Ive ever negotiated against, but he was smiling the whole period. It was, Kessler articulated, a kind of cowboy discussion, which resulted in them writing up the sales contract on a yellow legal pad. He wouldnt sign anything else, articulated Kessler. The acquire cost was less than $10 million, he articulated, and, after buying another adjacent 4,000 acres, Kessler had the foundations for his ranch.