A 19th century mining town 200 miles north of L.A. that just sold for $1.4 million.

The Old West ghost town, whose name translates to “fat hill,” spans 300 dusty acres east of Lone Pine on the western slope of the Inyo Mountains. Twenty-two structures fill out the rocky landscape, including a hotel, saloon, museum, chapel, a few single-family homes and an eight-bed bunkhouse.

Hundreds of inquiries and a dozen offers flooded in when the town hit the market for $925,000 in June, according to listing agent Jake Rasmuson of Bishop Real Estate. Offers ranged up to $2 million.

Ultimately, the owners chose to sell for less to an investment group led by hospitality entrepreneur Brent Underwood and PR firm founder Jon Bier.

Real estate agent agent Jake Rasmuson noted that the sale was concluded on Friday, June 13 “in true, ghost town fashion”. The key to the successful bid was a promise to keep the property open to the public and conserve the history associated with the area.

…The buyers are Brent Underwood, who founded the youth hostel HK Austin and Jon Bier, who runs a public relations firm catering to athletes. The two teamed up with other investors to make the purchase; they include Ryan Holiday, former director of marketing at American Apparel; Tero Isokauppila, CEO/founder of superfood company Four Sigmatic; Brendan
Gahan, CEO/founder of Epic Signal; George Rutolo, owner of The Whisky Bars; and Kelley Mooney, an en executive at Hulu.

“We want to maintain the historic nature of the property while introducing amenities that will allow more people to enjoy this piece of American history,” Underwood says. “We have spent a lot of time with the current owners and caretaker to learn the history of the place. I’ve read all the books I can find on the town. I can’t express our excitement to be able to continue the care of this beautiful location.”

He adds that they also hope to eventually add overnight accommodations and events such as writing retreats, concerts, photo shoots, theater and more.

My family visited the ghost town about 10 years ago, and enjoyed seeing something of California’s true past and not the Hollywood version of it. There is some good hiking and other natural attractions, such as Mt. Whitney, relative close. Additionally, the area is one of the few “red” regions in the state, so finding motivated employees and talented contractors should be easy.

I predict that the Ghost Town will soon be worth more than San Francisco.