Brent Underwood is a 32-year-old entrepreneur who, in 2018, bought a former mining town in California named Cerro Gordo. As a 34-year-old whose savings account is filled with tumbleweeds and cricket chirps, I cannot express how painful that sentence was to type. His purchase of the land was covered by CNBC, as the network is primarily known for two things: exhaustive coverage of the financial sector and breaking news about Old West ghost towns.
The town came with a caretaker who left, to check in on his wife in Arizona, as the magnitude of the current pandemic started to settle in. Brent was supposed to fill in for the guy for only a week, but statewide shelter-in-place orders hit. Then Cerro Gordo got slammed by a storm that buried the town in five feet of snow. Brent suddenly found himself in a b-horror movie logline: A young entrepreneur was trapped in a haunted mining town during a viral outbreak.