Mark Rivers is the new CEO at Canyon Ranch. (Courtesy | Canyon Ranch)

The Crescent Fort Worth got its moment in the spotlight Nov. 8 as the new high-end hotel opened its doors and restaurant to the public. But that shiny new toy and its accompanying office building are not the only recent developments for the city. 

Canyon Ranch, a destination wellness center and spa, is also coming to Fort Worth. It’s headed by John Goff, the billionaire businessman who also owns The Crescent. 

“I was once a customer. Now I’m one of the owners,” he said during the hotel’s opening. 

Canyon Ranch will provide spa services at The Crescent Fort Worth, and the company will also be headquartered there. Canyon Ranch has resorts in Tucson, Arizona; Lenox, Massachusetts; and Woodside, California. Canyon Ranch also operates a day spa and fitness center in Las Vegas. 

Now, with the opening of the Fort Worth spa, the company begins an expansion into more urban settings. It plans to open a property in Houston next year. 

The company in July partnered with real estate investment trust VICI Properties to secure up to $200 million in capital to expand the Canyon Ranch brand. 

The two urban properties will be based on Canyon Ranch’s new members-only urban wellness club concept, which has been designed to help its guests lead healthier, happier lives.

This expansion will be led by new CEO Mark Rivers, who had been in charge of resort development for the company. 

“Canyon Ranch has been a segment leader and done well for decades, about 50 years, so there’s a history here that I respect,” he said. “So, there’s a great foundation. The question is, how do we evolve?” 

Rivers said new technologies can help the company maintain its involvement with its members and guests. 

“I think one of the keys for a company that’s been around a long time is to understand your brand, understand your roots, understand your value and your legacy and your strengths and play to those but at the same time be nimble enough to evolve where necessary.” 

Rivers said the Canyon Ranch pillars of well-being, from fitness and sports performance to mental health, personal enrichment and spirituality, will all remain intact as the brand expands. 

“That’s key for us, to continue to have customers who have great experiences,” he said. 

While Rivers said many Canyon Ranch customers are individuals, couples and families, the brand also does corporate sales. 

“We’re a great venue for a corporate team-building event or for corporations that are particularly earnest about the health and well-being of their executives and management teams,” he said. “That’s very much a growth lane for our business.” 

Rivers has over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He was an executive with Solage Hotels and Resorts in Napa Valley and Mirage Resorts in Las Vegas. He is the original master developer of what is now the Driftwood Golf & Ranch Club in Austin. He also is a founding partner of Sweetens Cove Golf Club and Sweetens Cove Spirits Company, two brand businesses.

Casey’s firing up pizza ovens for Texas expansion 

Are Buc-ee’s beaver nuggets and QuikTrip’s Big Q about to see some competition in Texas? 

On Nov. 7, NRC Realty & Capital Advisors LLC announced it served as financial adviser to W. Douglass Distributing, Ltd. in the sale of its 22 Lone Star Food Stores, located in the Sherman area, to Casey’s General Stores Inc., a convenience store operator based in Ankeny, Iowa. Casey’s operates more than 2,500 convienence stores in 16 states and has announced plans for expansion. 

Darren Rebelez, president and CEO of Casey’s, said in a news release that the purchase will serve as a springboard for further expansion in the state. 

Casey’s is publicly traded over the Nasdaq under the symbol CASY. The company is the third-largest convenience store retailer in the country and fifth-largest pizza chain in the U.S. Along with other typical convenience store items and fuel, Casey’s also is known for its pizza and other freshly prepared items. 

Who’s No. 1? 

Even though the Texas Rangers just won the World Series, football still rules Texas.

According to gambling publication, the Dallas Cowboys are the top sports team searched for in the state, followed by the Houston Astros and then the Texas Rangers. said it analyzed Google searches for 153 teams across the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and MLS sports leagues. The Dallas Mavericks and the Houston Texans came in at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, in the state. 

The Dallas Cowboys were crowned as the most popular sports team in America as well. The Cowboys saw more than 9 million searches on average each month across the U.S., of which 3.3 million searches originated from Texas. 

The Dallas Cowboys ranked as the most-searched-for sports team in four states: Texas, New Mexico, Mississippi and Arkansas. The team also appeared among the top five most-searched-for teams in 31 out of 50 states. Dallas was followed in the national rankings by the Philadelphia Phillies, the New York Yankees, the Atlanta Braves and the Miami Heat. 

Firearms auction house opens North Texas location 

Shopping for a gold-plated Colt firearm that once belonged to Pancho Villa?

Rock Island Auction Company may have what you’re looking for. 

The Rock Island, Illinois-based company opened a 90,000-square-foot location in Bedford at 3600 Harwood Road and will hold an auction there beginning Dec. 8, with a full-day preview Dec. 7.  The December Premier Auction will feature more than 2,000 lots of high-conditioned, historic, investment-grade firearms.

Among the offerings: 

  • A gold-plated Colt Single Action Army of legendary Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa
  • A historic Winchester 1873 “One of One Thousand” ordered by Granville Stuart
  • A C Company No. 12 Colt Model 1847 Walker
  • A rare two-digit serial number Colt No. 5 Holster Model “Texas Paterson” revolver
  • A Colt Single Action Army carried by legendary Texas Ranger Frank Hamer
  • The collection of Norman R. Blank – a grouping of high art European arms amassed over 50 years and unseen by the public for several decades. The collection includes a cased pair of presentation pistols by Parisian master gunmaker Louis-Julien Gastinne-Renette, whose clientele included European royalty. 

The 30-year-old Rock Island Auction Company said interest in antique and historical firearms has continued to grow. Its  average annual sales have doubled since 2015, and they topped $100 million for the second year in a row in 2022. Nine of the auction house’s top 20 bestselling firearms have been offered in the last two years. In that same period, more than 120 lots achieved six-figure price tags or higher, with four of those items surpassing $1 million.

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Bob Francis is business editor for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Robert Francis is a Fort Worth native and journalist who has extensive experience covering business and technology locally, nationally and internationally. He is also a former president of the local Society...