Peter Askew published an article on his DeepSouthVentures that explains why he went about bidding on DudeRanch.com, how much he paid and what his plan for the name was before he even won the domain name.
Askew writes a very long and detailed piece with a lot of pictures of his journey with DudeRanch.com.
A couple key pieces from the article:
In November of 2009, the opportunity presented itself. You, DudeRanch.com, had expired. Adrift without an anchor.
I was ready for you.
35 minutes of palm sweat bidding & countless f*bombs hurled at fox22, sitevestor, & piety. I kept swinging for you. Until the bidding stopped at $17,949. It was a euphoricly uncomfortable feeling. But you were mine.
My original idea is what you became, a marketplace of dude ranch vacations. The model wound up working. After a few years in the industry, as you know, we partnered with our friendly competitor – GuestRanches.com – operated by David McCollough. We both remained independent, but worked together from an advertising sales standpoint. Effectively, one bill for ranchers to advertise on 2 sites.
Tip of the cap to TheButler