Imagine purchasing a run-down town in the middle of nowhere and transforming it into a luxury destination that shoots up in value overnight.
Sounds like an exciting, but an impossible feat, doesn’t it? Well, one man made it happen when he purchased a ghost town called Cerro Gordo, tucked away in California.
The abandoned town had only 22 run-down buildings, spanning over an area of 300 acres. While the town didn’t have any human inhabitants, rumor has it that it is haunted by ghosts.
Ghost Town Adventures
But despite the spooky legend, one man named Brent Underwood decided to make friends with the town’s ghoulish guests when he purchased the property in 2018. Not heeding to the warnings from previous visitors and their hair-raising accounts of paranormal experiences, Underwood was adamant to turn around Cerro Gordo’s luck.
As legend has it, the town is inhabited by ghosts of three men who died on site. One of them was the owner of the town’s once-brothel, whereas the death of the other two continues to be a mystery to this day.
But none of the ghost stories were too scary for Underwood, who loved to take on a challenge. The 31-year-old had prior experience with buying and renovating properties, having owned a hostel in California for years. The man also had an obsession with ghost towns and always wanted to buy one for himself.
A Big Investment
When he first heard the fascinating legend of Cerro Gordo, he instantly had the idea of commercializing the town and using it as a unique tourist destination for people around the world who wanted to learn about the town’s history and experience the thrill of spending a night in a haunted place.
The town, situated 200 miles north of Los Angeles, is a good eight-mile stretch that can take over 45 minutes to navigate. For someone who loves ghost towns, you would expect Underwood to preserve Cerro Gordo’s unique landscape, but the man had other plans in mind.
The architect’s vision was to transform the town into a one-of-a-kind destination for luxury tourism. To set his plan in motion, he assembled a group of deep-pocketed investors, including UFC champions, Hulu and even Netflix, to help him purchase Cerro Gordo, which, at the time, cost him $1.4 million.
A Unique Travel Destination
After making the big purchase, he and his business partner, Jon Bier, have now set out on a mission to renovate the property into a picturesque town perfect for tourism. The repairs and constructions could end up costing them an additional $1 million.
But that isn’t all. The pair quickly realized how high the cost of running a town can get, which probably explains why not many people have tried to take on such a monumental challenge before. Adding up all the utilities, Wi-Fi, staff salaries and loan payments, the monthly running cost for the newly-renovated town is as high as $10,000.
Underwood is even planning on listing his property on Airbnb Adventures for travelers who’re seeking a different tourist experience. This renovation also comes at a great time as more and more millennials are reporting that they value experiences over material things.