Fight to save Rex Ranch near Tubac - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Fight to save Rex Ranch near Tubac

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TUBAC, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A nonprofit is fighting to save a historic landmark in Southern Arizona. The 50-acre property is known as Rex Ranch and located off I-19 near Tubac.

The bank owns the property. It's been sitting vacant for a year and a half. The group "Save Rex Ranch" is hoping to purchase the land to keep history alive and transform it into a place where people can come and learn. In order to do that, they need to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars and it's a race against the clock.

The sounds of bells are the only sign of existence at Rex Ranch. The once thriving dude ranch now sits empty. It's tucked away in the desert off I-19 and Arivaca, about 30 miles south of Tucson. Now, a nonprofit called "Save Rex Ranch" is hoping to revamp the 50 acre property and turn it into a cultural arts center.

"What we'd like to do is take about half the property and turn it into work spaces for artists and scientists and designers to work," Joseph Beyer from Save Rex Ranch said.

The ranch has 32 rooms, studios and work spaces. Beyer heads the organization. He wants to allow artists and scientists to stay here for a period of time and then open it to the public for educational purposes. But, they're struggling to come up with enough money to buy it.

The nonprofit needs to raise more than $700,000 to purchase the property. So far, they only have about $7,000 and they have little time to do it.

Save Rex Ranch has created a website to collect donations which are needed by Dec. 16. So far, it has gotten a lot of support from the community.

"I think that something good can come of this. Rather than just to see it stay here and decay,"  Tubac resident Gail Drummond said.

If there isn't enough money raised, they will let the donors decide where their money goes. They could get reimbursed or it could be used to help with another project in Santa Cruz County or elsewhere.

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