By the time Merv Griffin passed away in 2007 at the age of 82 from prostate cancer, the entertainer and talk-show host had amassed a fortune estimated at around $1 billion. A lot of that came from his real estate investments, including famous hotels and casinos.

Now, the 39-acre, Palm Springs-area estate that Griffin used as his desert base is available at a significant price cut. The Moroccan-themed property, which is also a horse farm where Griffin bred Arabians, at 81345 Avenue 54 in La Quinta, CA has been re-listed for $9.5 million.

The property was one of Griffin’s most creative enterprises, as he talked about it in this interview in Palm Springs Life two years before his death. The property includes 14 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms spread among 20,000 square feet of living space. There is a lavish, 5,000-square-foot main house and four, one-bedroom poolside casitas. The property remains a testament to the old-style Hollywood way of livin’ large.

What puts it over the top are the 16-stall horse barns and the only regulation-size racetrack in the Coachella Valley, the spread is truly unique. In fact, with so much of the property’s allure geared toward the horse barns and track, its greatest appeal would be to someone in the horse business — or someone with enough cash to transform the grounds.

The property first hit the market in March 2012, when it was listed at $14.5 million. In December 2011, the home was available as a rental for $30,000 through the Palm Springs Rental Agency, which hosted the Merv Griffin Vacation Home website.

Welcome to estate-level privacy and celebrity-style luxury  … Rental of the main house includes 4 circular poolside casitas each with an en-suite bath, wetbar and plenty of privacy. Enjoy dining al fresco at the 24 seat lakeside table or take a ride in Merv Griffin’s swan paddle boat. The multi-level pool patio has plenty of seating for outdoor events, a large built-in gas grill and beautiful teak lounge furniture.

It appears the Palm Desert-area home may have been rented out during the Coachella music and arts festival this past April, when listing notes informed potential buyers that showings would not be available until after the festivities were done.



About the Author

Laura Vecsey is a former sports columnist, news reporter and politics writer and has worked for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Baltimore Sun, Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union and Harrisburg Patriot-News. She was also a regional editor with She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College.

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