How much would you pay to visit a ghost town?

There’s a grocery store in Arizona that’s furnished with renovations. The owner is asking $1.1 million. A marijuana company tried to sell the California desert town of Neptune for $5 million, but ended up getting only $2.5 million from the adult circus that now owns it.

To shame those meager millions, a mysterious company nicknamed the humble Eco Hill Holdings just bought a ghost town in California for $22.5 million, SF Gate report.

The only public information about the buying entity is its name; its address in Cerritos, CA; and the ghost town of Eagle Mountain, CA that it bought.

The seller, according to media reports, is Eagle Mountain Acquisition LLC, apparently an affiliate of Kaiser Steel, the historic steel company that founded the town in 1948. Kaiser Steel is one of many companies owned and led by Henry J. Kaiser, a 20th century industrialist with shipbuilding, healthcare, automotive, aluminum, real estate and media businesses. His most notable legacy is healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente.

According to the media report, Caesars Eagle Mountain, a three-hour drive inland from Los Angeles and far less than its neighbor Joshua Tree National Park, has become a thriving steel town in just a few decades. The mine’s workforce ballooned to fewer than 1,000 people on an early-model Kaiser prepaid health-care plan.

The town opened a post office, a 350-seat recreation center and a 100-student high school during its boom years. But Kaiser Steel closed its doors in 1983, as did the Eagle Mountain mine. The prosperity of blowing iron ore from the hillsides has died down.

After the mining industry ended, a private prison called the Eagle Mountain Community Correctional Institution briefly operated in town.

While some ghost towns like Neptune have been rebranded as tourist attractions, like most things about the company, Ecology Mountain Holdings’ ambitions for this redevelopment remain largely unknown.
–– Kate Hinsher

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