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Don Imus puts his NM ranch up for sale

SANTA FE, N.M. — The northern New Mexico ranch belonging to radio personality Don Imus is on the market for $32 million.

The 2,400-acre ranch near the small community of Ribera and about 45 miles east of Santa Fe has been used as a retreat to provide children afflicted by cancer with a Western ranch experience.

Realtor Craig Huitfeldt told the Journal on Tuesday the property had been listed for sale for less than a week, although Imus had told his radio audience about a month ago that the ranch would go on the market.

Huitfeldt said there already have been “quite a few” expressions of interest from potential buyers. In addition to the ranch, owned by an Imus nonprofit, Huitfeldt said another 1,000 acres of contiguous Imus personal property is also up for sale, for $3 million.

The 74-year-old Imus told the Santa Fe New Mexican he is selling the property to support charitable foundations with the proceeds. He says he hopes to sell the ranch to a group interested in continuing the goal of benefiting kids.

Don Imus. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Don Imus. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Huitfeldt said selling to someone who will continue the ranch’s charitable goals would be desirable, but that “whoever wants to buy it can buy it.”

Imus and his wife founded the ranch in 1998. It has hosted children for nine-day visits during summer months.

An Internet sales site says the property “plays host to a western town, stables, riding arenas (indoor and outdoor) as well as a 14,000 square foot Grand Hacienda.”

Having the ranch in New Mexico sometimes has put the colorful Imus in the middle of the state political scene.

In 2007, Imus went on an on-air rant against then-Gov. Bill Richardson, calling him a “fat sissy,” over Richardson’s lack of help with a project to renovate a Ribera schoolhouse into a community center for which Imus and his wife had donated $25,000. But Richardson got back into Imus’ good graces with a $600,000 state appropriation for the school.

Years later, a legislative agency reported that the building didn’t receive a new roof as originally planned and there were no change orders for more than $200,000 in cost overruns. The report also questioned whether the Richardson administration acted lawfully in hiring a contractor without competitive bids.