On a bright June day, the wide-open meadows in Angel Fire Resort’s Valley of the Utes development are the first thing one sees after climbing a couple of miles up Ute Valley Lane to the spectacular high-mountain vistas that mark this development. Each step of the way a discerning motorist can see auction signs leading to the home, which upon descending into the driveway, could be a luxury B & B, a movie set, or an Architectural Digest cover.
The 7,036-square-foot home on a little over six acres is the combined vision of its owners, Dr. Avery and Dana Rush of Amarillo, architect Danny Frey, builder B.J. Lindsey and artist Candy Trujillo.
Dr. Rush, a prominent ophthalmologist, and Mrs. Rush, a passionate breeder of quarter horses, built their mountain retreat in 2011.”We love everything about the home,” she says. Ultimately, their love for travel adventures globally has led the duo to the very hard decision to sell.
Initially, this spectacular property was listed for $3.95 million with Edd Geoffroy of Angel Fire Homes, LLC and Michael Brown of Avalar Texas Realty. Now, the real estate brokers are partnering with the luxury property company Concierge Auctions to sell the completely furnished estate in a June Portfolio Sale specifically targeting Chinese buyers. Bidding will be open from July 17–20 (register by July 15 to bid) and hosted via the firm’s online marketplace allowing prospective buyers to participate in real-time from anywhere in the world.
“The home needs love,” Mrs. Rush says. “I would love to see somebody in there that’s involved in the community, or someone who could bring in couples for retreats, church groups, youth groups, etc. The bunk room alone sleeps nine and we’ve slept 20 people in the house comfortably. B.J. did an amazing job. It’s a solid house.”
Unique to this property, in addition to the stunning architecture and landscaping, is the creative interior design — a collaboration between Mrs. Rush and Trujillo.
“Candy and I laid everything out for that house,” Mrs. Rush says. “We did it all.”
The auction includes all furnishings because, as Mrs. Rush says, “Everything I did is made for that home. That’s why we didn’t move all the furniture, because once it’s got that personality, why erase the face?”
The resulting design is a unique mix of mountain charm with a modern aesthetic, from sculptures that evoke Alberto Giacometti’s Walking Man to whimsical taxidermy critters like a ground squirrel paddling a canoe.
The home sports 220-degree views of Wheeler Peak, Monte Verde Lake and Eagle Nest Lake. The official description from the auction company states, “The four-bedroom home has a custom chef’s kitchen with large seating peninsula, custom walnut frameless cabinetry, Miele espresso bar, and custom-made aluminum dining table; a master sanctuary with cozy sitting room and two fireplaces, a wall of windows, spa bath, his and her shower, Jacuzzi, and private deck; a game room with a wet bar and wine fridge; exercise room; professional-grade home theater; home office with private deck; and a private guest apartment featuring a kitchen equipped with high-end appliances, a full bathroom with a full slab of Blue Louise granite in the shower, fireplace, and balcony. Interior features include glass walls, soaring Aspen ceilings, reclaimed seamless oak floors, walnut staircases, and wrought-iron chandeliers.
“Outdoors, the property features a grand entry portico, a stacked coral stone wall, 35-foot cupola, a solid walnut front door, multiple-level redwood entertaining decks, four outdoor heaters, a garden, outdoor kitchen with east-facing grill, and two attached garages for five cars. Bonus amenities include access to an 18-hole golf course that is located five minutes away; a country club membership that accompanies Platinum membership of the home; and a tennis center with summer professionals.”
Potential bidders will find it worthwhile to take the drive up to the Angel Fire home for a personalized tour with Kristyn Lefebvre, business development manager for Concierge Auctions. She will be at the home each afternoon from 1-4 pm until the house is sold on the 29th. She is delighted to point out its unique design features that include hand-blown glass fixtures or the custom-made game room furniture like the shuffle-board and billiards tables.
Upon its completion in 2011, the home quickly became a sought-after property by visitors to Angel Fire Resort, as when the most recent Lone Ranger movie starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer was being filmed here.
According to Mrs. Rush, at the same time their daughter, Canion, then 12, had landed a part as an extra for the film, Depp’s assistant was looking for a home-away-from-home for the movie star. “Edd was giving him a tour of Angel Fire homes so we met him up there. We walked around and he’s taking pictures and the guy says, ‘This is for my boss J.D., in case he would like to use your home. I didn’t know who he meant. When he said Johnny Depp I said, ‘Oh my gosh! Are you kidding me?’”
When she met the star, she found him very likable and down-to-earth. Plus, “He smelled good, he looked good.”
Angel Fire Resort also approached the couple on behalf of major league baseball player AJ Ramos. “His family is out of Lubbock, Texas, and they were coming up Thanksgiving weekend. They left my house better than it was before they came. They were the nicest people I’ve ever met. He was just the most respectful kid.”
The house is full of fond memories for Mrs. Rush, who notes, “I am really sad that it’s not being utilized. I guess I can get a little sentimental. If you truly love nature, you’ll find the beauty everywhere up there. The wildlife up there is just amazing. Beautiful places don’t ask for attention, you just give it your attention.”
Geoffroy notes in addition to the fabulous features within the home, “I don’t think there’s any place else in the Southwest that has all the amenities Angel Fire offers. It is such a well-kept secret. Concierge is going to bring global exposure by marketing this property. People come here to be one with nature, for the lifestyle. Avery Rush said it best, ‘There’s beauty, and then there’s beauty.’ How much more beautiful can you get than in Angel Fire?”
With three platinum memberships, Geoffroy says the home’s new owners could offer family members, guests or corporate partners unlimited golfing, unlimited skiing and all the other amenities. According to the resort’s website, these include Alpine skiing and snow-boarding, cross country skiing and snowshoeing, golf with preferred tee times, an indoor pool at the country club, the Olympic Park playground, tennis courts and programs, fishing and boating on Monte Verde Lake, hiking trails and greenbelt trails, horse stables, fitness training and classes, the Zip-line Adventure Tour, mountain biking, and more.
“We’ll still come up to Angel Fire because it is our favorite place,” Mrs. Rush says. “We love the golf course, we love everything about Angel Fire. It’s a beautiful place.”