This Is The Amazing Reason Why This Millennial Spent Millions Buying & Developing a Californian Ghost Town
Some people were probably left scratching their heads when hostel owner Brent Underwood purchased Cerro Gordo, an Old West California ghost town last year. But it looks like the 31-year-old millennial businessman has some grand plans for the property that people from his generation would enjoy.
Falling In Love With A Ghost Town
According to sources, Underwood fell in love with the place because of the stories that came with it. Aside from the 22 buildings that came with the 300-acre property, Cerro Gordo also came with three ghosts as local legends go.
The third ghoulish resident remains unidentified but the other two are supposedly the deceased former brothel owner and the ghost of a person who died during a card game gone wrong. Underwood purchased the property for a reported $1.4 million along with the help of 37-year-old Jack Taylor PR owner Jon Bier.
The ghost town wasn’t always desolate though. Back in the 1860s, the place was site to a silver mine. The town, which name translates to ‘fat hill’ in Spanish, declined as the industry also declined during the years that followed. It did saw some revival though as the 20th century began as technological advances led to the discovery of zinc carbonates in the place.
A Grand Vision
Now, Underwood is looking to transform the ghost town into a luxury travel destination. He and his partner are planning to spend another $1 million for repairs and construction to upgrade the ghost town into something people would pay to stay at.
Their investors include some executives from the online streaming platforms Hulu and Netflix as well as a UFC fighter. At the moment, the pair has already spent about $400,000 and is now spending some $10,000 to run the place. These monthly dues include payroll, satellite Wi-Fi, utilities, and loan payments.
However, Underwood and Bier are reportedly slowly realizing just why the ones who came before them have failed in transforming Cerro Gordo into a sustainable business. For one, only three of the 22 structures standing on the property actually have running water.
And that water itself proved to be difficult and costly to source as they had to transport it from another town an hour away. Another problem is that it would cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars to deal with Cerro Gordo’s broken water pump.
Rising to the Occasion
But despite the numerous challenges they’re facing at the moment, the partners seem to be determined to push through. They are currently working with Airbnb Adventures to attract guests to stay at Cerro Gordo and experience the Wild West for themselves over a weekend.
Underwood and Bier may be onto something by going this route as it has been found that 74% of Americans say they put more value on experiences over material things. The pair still has a long way to go.
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