Imus’ New Mexico ranch headed to auction block

May 6, 2017 GMT

Imus Ranch is headed to the auction block. The Northeastern New Mexico cattle ranch where radio personality Don Imus and his wife, Dierdre, once ran a summer camp for cancer-stricken children has failed to find a buyer since it went on the market in 2014.

Imus, 76, hosts the talk show Imus in the Morning, broadcast throughout the U.S. by Cumulus Media Networks. In the late 1990s, he co-founded Imus Ranch to give kids with cancer and other serious illnesses “the experience of the great American cowboy,” according to documents from the nonprofit.

The 2,400-acre property in San Miguel County near Ribera originally went up for sale with a $35 million asking price, which was reduced repeatedly to just under $20 million when it didn’t sell.

Asked why the property hasn’t had any takers, Santa Fe-based real estate broker Craig Huitfeldt pointed out that the ranch caters to a very specific kind of buyer.

A 14,000-square-foot grand hacienda features dozens of rooms, a swimming pool and commercial-grade kitchen, according to the online listing. More than a dozen structures on the property include bunk houses, multiple horse barns, rodeo grounds and a greenhouse.

“It’s a very unique property,” Huitfeldt said. “It’s set up as a hotel facility more than anything. It takes a very specific user that is very charitable in order to run the ranch.”

Until 2014, the working ranch in summer hosted hundreds of kids, offering them a chance to work with horses and cattle, stay in the massive hacienda, and explore a mock Old West main street built on the property.

“Our objectives were to provide an environment where children who have lost their self-esteem, their dignity and their confidence could experience a sense of achievement by demonstrating to themselves that they could do anything that any other kid could do,” Imus says in a YouTube video about the property.

Imus told The Albuquerque Journal in 2014 that reasons for the decision to sell the ranch included his health and the multimillion-dollar annual expense of running the property.

According to the Imus in the Morning website, once the Imus Ranch is sold, the proceeds will be contributed to The Imus Ranch Foundation, which was formed to transfer all donations previously devoted to the nonprofit to various other charities.

The property will be auctioned online through Thomas Industries, beginning June 15. The starting bid is $5 million. Interested parties should contact Huitfeldt. Each bidder must submit a $100,000 refundable deposit.

Contact reporter Sami Edge at 505-986-3055 or sedge@sfnewmexican.com.

On the web

• For more information, visit imusranchforsale.com