Last year, Val Kilmer announced he was putting his beloved ranch in New Mexico on the market for $33 million.
The actor bought the place about 14 years ago with the intent to create a natural retreat — complete with a future eco-village featuring homes "constructed with indigenous materials" and required to have their own "government-certified organic gardens" and renewable energy systems.
Kilmer built a beautiful treehouse on the property as a place to chill and "figure out" life. Granted, with more than 6,000 acres of classic desert scenery featuring beautiful rivers, gullies, and mountains, I'm sure those spots are numerous.
Kilmer has since pulled the place off the market — presumably because nobody took a stab at the multimillion dollar price tag in a crappy worldwide economy. That, or he had a massive change of heart.
According to the Pecos River Ranch website, Kilmer's retreat is available to paying guests with rates (in 2008 numbers) of $200/night. However, efforts by the 50-year-old to rent out new lodges on the property have hit a snag, despite receiving approval from the area zoning board.
Apparently, the county commissioner's office is still mighty upset with some incendiary comments he allegedly made about fellow New Mexicans in a 2003 Rolling Stone interview. They've tabled his request for additional lodging until he explains himself — something Kilmer will do in person later this month.
The article, titled "Mr. Difficult," quoted the actor as saying he lived in the "homicide capital of the Southwest," where 80 percent "of the people in my county are drunk."
Almost immediately after it was published, Kilmer claimed that he was misquoted and asked for an apology (which he never received) saying, "You can ask anyone who knows me, I've never said a racist or prejudiced thing in my life."
The move by the county has gotten the ACLU involved. The civil liberties group sided with Kilmer on the basis that the blocking measures infringe on the actor's First Amendment rights.
Kilmer's appearance before the county is scheduled for June 23 — but whatever happens, it appears that the eco-ranch will stay in his possession for some time. If you're interested in hitting it up for a holiday, check out the official site here.
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