DATIL, N.M. (KRQE) – Three hours southwest of Albuquerque, lies the old western town, Gabriella. It was built from the ground up by a Datil man a few years ago just because he loves the Old West. Now, that site is up for sale.
“I’m in the wrong era,” jokes Larry Iams. “I try to hang on to stuff for as long as I can because to me it’s peaceful.” Iams believes he’s more of a cowboy than a carpenter, but his handy-skills are highlighted at a site he built from scratch known as the Town of Gabriella.
“I’ve always had a passion for keeping American history, western history alive,” said Iams. Just steps away from his home in the Datil area, which is roughly three hours southwest of Albuquerque, Iams can travel back to frontier times by checking into the local hotel, stopping by the saloon, or even reliving an Old West shootout.
“I wanted it just for us to play in, you know, but then Channel 13 back then they opened the door more or less on the whole thing,” said Iams. Iams said after KRQE News 13 featured the Town of Gabriella a few years ago, it brought in a thousand tourists that year and movie productions. It was the attention he wasn’t expecting.
Building the Town of Gabriella has been a dream come true for Iams, but now he’s looking to sell it in hopes of keeping the Old West history alive. Iams was hoping to turn the Town into a source of revenue, but it’s been tough getting people to come out all this way and he says he could use a break from all its upkeep.
“I need a vacation,” jokes Iams. So he’s hoping the next owner will have the same enthusiasm he does for the Old West. “I just love it to pieces,” said Iams. “This to me is like the other world doesn’t exist. I’m in my own world. I do what I want to do.”
The Town is listed online for $1.6 million. It’s getting a lot of interest from potential buyers across the world, including film productions.
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