Man Spends His Life Savings Transforming a Ghost Town Into An American Hotel

Layla Harris

mystery /
Instagram via @brentunderwood

32-Year old Brent Underwood took a chance purchasing California's old silver mining town, Cerro Gordo, in 2018. Spending a whopping $1.4 million, he used up his entire life savings. The transaction took place on Friday the 13th, but that is far from this story's strangest detail.

Ghost Town American hotel
Instagram via @brentunderwood

Located between Mount Whitney and Death Valley, the tallest and lowest points in the U.S., Cerro Gordo sits on 366 acres of land. According to Brent, the town once had up to $500 million worth of minerals mined from the area, but the mines have since silenced. Due to the area's remoteness- necessities for construction are scarce.

During his exploration of the abandoned area, Underwood had many discoveries, both in this realm and outside of it. The town sits 8,500 ft high and is survived by 22 of its original 500 buildings. Not long ago, he came across a briefcase that held a bit of the town's history. In it, he found documents such as a 1934 mining lease.

Cerro Gordo Ghost Town
Instagram via @brentunderwood

Built in 1971, the American Hotel that once stood unfortunately burnt down in 2020. Underwood has since retained a permit to rebuild it and has feverously planned each stage of construction. With no accessible water or sewers, Brent has hit many roadblocks. However, he is determined to bring the Hotel back to life.

Apparently, the town is also survived by a few of its original residents. "I was not a big believer in ghosts prior to buying Cerro Gordo," Brent told Vice. "One night, I was walking, and I know I saw somebody look out the window of the bunkhouse, and the light was on. They looked out the window, then closed the curtain."

Since sharing these experiences and documenting Cerro Gordon's constriction on his YouTube channel, Underwood has gained over 760,000 subscribers. He has chosen to allow the spirits to roam their town while focusing on discovering old artifacts. The ghost town's redevelopment hugs history close and will soon breathe new life.