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The Tesla Bull Case in Brief

Disclaimer
I have no financial position in Tesla at this point in time and no interest in initiating one within the next month.

Introduction

There seems to be a strong sentiment among some that Tesla is vastly overvalued, and that the current stock price is completely unrooted in reality. I understand the viewpoint, but don't really share the belief. That's not particularly surprising as I consider myself a Tesla optimist. I decided to present in brief the case for Tesla's valuation as I understand it.

Overvalued?

Tesla's current market capitalisation appears to be grossly overvalued, especially when compared to their peers in the automotive sector as these charts so clearly illustrate.
In fact, the charts actually understate things as Tesla's market cap currently seats at around $464 billion. You could add another Daimler to the US and EU listed companies and they would still have a lower market capitalisation than Tesla.
This really is the case for Tesla being overvalued: it's automotive revenues is many times it's current market capitalisation. Per MarketWatch, Tesla's trailing PE is 978.44, so it's not as if Tesla is especially profitable either.
On a fundamentals basis, Tesla appears to be grossly overvalued.

Growth

The above chart doesn't necessarily indicate that Tesla's current market capitalisation is an extremely speculative bubble that could burst soon, but more that Tesla is not valued based on its current financial situation. Tesla is valued as an extreme growth company, and it's growth over the past five years bears this out.
Revenue
Year Revenue (USD millions) Growth (%)
2008 15 -
2009 112 646.67
2010 117 4.46
2011 204 74.36%
2012 413 102.45
2013 2,013 387.41
2014 3,198 58.87
2015 4,046 26.52
2016 7,000 73.01
2017 11,759 67.99
2018 21,461 82.51
2019 24,578 14.52
Source (Macro Trends)

To contextualise this, here's Tesla's trailing CAGR:
Time span CAGR (%)
5 years 50.36%
7 years 79.27%
10 years 71.45%
Over the last decade, Tesla has demonstrated formidable growth. There's reason to believe that they can continue to show impressive growth (albeit lowered going forward).
The first two quarters of 2020 were battered by a pandemic (Tesla factories faced lockdowns due to the pandemic), and as a result are somewhat of an exception. There were no lockdowns during Q3.
Looking at Tesla's Q3 results, we see that the formidable growth story continues;
Q3 2019 Q3 2020 Growth (%)
Vehicle Deliveries 97,186 139,593 44
Automotive Revenues (USD millions) 5,353 7,611 42
Storage Deployed (MW) 477 759 59
Solar Deployed 43 57 33
Energy Revenue 402 579 44
Total Revenue (USD millions) 6,303 8,771 39
Source (Tesla Investor Relations)

Going Forward
Wall Street seems to expect the growth story to continue. Per Market Insider, here are the consensus analyst estimates for the next five years:
Year Revenue (USD Millions) Growth (%)
2020 30,626 24.61
2021 44,937 46.73
2022 55,963 24.54
2023 79,620 42.27
2024 102,526 28.77
Source (Markets Insider)

I personally think that analyst consensus estimates are significantly underestimating Tesla's growth. In particular their figures for 2020 seem off by $2 billion or more. Analyst estimates for Q3 2020 were off by $495 million, and the estimate of $9,884M for Q4 seems off by around $1,500M (assuming Tesla meets the 180K delivery target) without accounting for the recognition of any deferred revenue. Tesla had $1,258M in deferred revenue at the end of Q3.
This may seem optimistic, but you're welcome to hold me to do this on January 28th 2021.
Despite their (potential) underestimation of Tesla, analysts expect a 5 year CAGR in 2024 of 33%. Tesla is expected to continue to show formidable growth to the end of the decade.

Expansion
Tesla would execute on this formidable growth story through capital expenditure. They will build numerous service centres and gigafactories. The goal is to have giga factories on all 6 economic continents (with some continents having several factories) in order to lower the expenses involved in distributing the cars and to streamline logistics. Currently, Tesla is building two new gigafactories in Berlin and Austin and is currently expanding Giga Shanghai.
An inherent assumption is that the market has the demand to absorb all this extra supply. Many states have committed to phasing out ICE vehicles.
Source (Wikipedia)

Around 13 states have committed to phasing out ICE vehicles on or before 2030. Over the coming decade, the EV total addressable market is projected to grow to 27 million by 2030 (at a CAGR of 21%). This again seems a bit too conservative. EV sales were down in the first half of 2020 (due to the pandemic), but in July sales grew 77% YoY. Some states have also pulled forward their timelines for phasing out fossil fuels since the forecast was initially made.
Tesla would face stiff competition going forward, but the total addressable market would grow fast enough to absorb all of Tesla's growth in supply if they can successfully market their vehicles. The risk here is that Tesla would fail to execute not that the total addressable market isn't large enough.
As an optimist, I'm fine betting on Tesla's ability to execute.

Access to Capital
To fund the massive expansion expected of them, Tesla would need to spend a lot on capital expenditure. Fortunately, access to capital is not a problem for Tesla.
  • Tesla's cash on hand at the end of Q3 2020 was $14.5 billion.
    • Per their 10Q filing this is already sufficient to fund their capex needs up to 2023.
  • Free cash flow for the quarter was $1,395M.
  • Giving their current market capitalisation ($464 billion) and the mandatory demand from index funds on their inclusion ($60 billion), Tesla has an opportunity to raise $10 - $20 billion in a new capital raise.
    • A $20 billion raise would give them enough cash on hand at the end of 2020 to finance their expansion plans for several years going forward.
  • Free cash flow is expected to rise going forward:
    • In Q3 there was a 234% increase QoQ and a 276% increase YoY.
    • Tesla has been seeing increased efficiency of capital expenditures.

Margins

Another component of the Tesla bull case is that in addition to hyper growth in revenues, Tesla's profit margins would also rise significantly over the next decade. This is readily apparent if we look at Tesla's past four quarters.
Source (Tesla Investor Relations)

Automotive gross margins have steadily risen from 22.8% a year ago to 25.4% last quarter and seem set to continue their upwards trajectory. Total gross margins have risen from 18.9% to 23.5%. There are good reasons to expect the rise to continue and maybe even accelerate going forward:
  • Manufacturing Efficiencies
  • Network Services

Manufacturing Efficiencies
As Tesla continues to ramp up production and innovate, they will be able to drive down the manufacturing cost of their vehicles, benefit even further from economies of scale (both in their production and their supply lines as EV demand heats up globally). Tesla's capital expenditure will become even more efficient; they will be able to squeeze out more manufacturing capacity, from the same amount of capital expenditures.
Tesla's rise in capex efficiency is apparent when you compare their capex expenditure in 2020 (construction of Giga Berlin, Giga Texas, Fremont Model Y ramp, and expansion of Giga Shanghai) to capex expenditure in 2017 (Fremont Model 3 ramp).
Source (Hypercharts)

Despite the lower capex in 2020, Tesla is building a lot more cars.
Source (Statista)

In addition to the aforementioned favourable trends, there are concrete reasons to expect Tesla to perform very well on the capex efficiency front over the next decade. At Tesla's battery day, Tesla laid out a roadmap to drastic increases in efficiency.
Source (Tesla Investor Relations)

Tesla is forecasting a 69%!!! increase in capex efficiency in the coming years.
Furthermore, the cost of batteries is forecast to fall by as much as 56%. Batteries are a significant component of the total cost, and the reduction in the cost of batteries would further improve Tesla's margins.
Aside from batteries, and capex efficiency, Tesla should also be able to drive down the cost of manufacturing other components of their electric cars due to Wright's Law.
While Tesla would pass on some of these cost savings to the consumer, they wouldn't pass on all of them. This is evidenced by Tesla's improved margins in 2020 despite several price cuts.

Network Services
Tesla's network services are included with their automotive revenues, but represent a novel high margin business that isn't part of the traditional automotive playbook. Using Tesla's fleet as the platform, Tesla can sell software products, subscriptions and other services to their customers. The recurring revenue of subscriptions in particular is a cause for optimism (especially given the potential high margins).
Tesla's existing products:
  • Software
    • Full Self Driving: $10,000
    • Enhanced Autopilot: $4,000
      • This isn't currently available was previously an option
    • Acceleration Boosts
      • Model 3: $2,000
      • Model Y: $2,000
  • Subscriptions
    • Premium Connectivity: $10/month
    • Full Self Driving: ???
      • Reportedly coming soon
  • Miscellaneous
    • Supercharging
Tesla has only a few such products now, but they would likely develop more such products in time. Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas referred to this as "the internet of cars".

Beyond Traditional Automotive Revenues

It's a common statement among Tesla bulls that Tesla is not just an automaker. In my experience sceptics tend to be annoyed by this and (rightly) point out that the supermajority of Tesla's revenue comes from traditional automotive endeavours (selling their cars). While this is true now, it's not necessarily the case 10 years from now, and there's reason to believe that traditional automotive activities may no longer constitute a majority of Tesla's revenue, and may represent an even smaller portion of Tesla's profits.
I'll cover some other businesses of Tesla's that are poised to grow over the next 10 years:
  • The aforementioned Network Services
  • Energy
  • Ridesharing
  • Insurance

Energy
Tesla's energy business is poised to benefit substantially from the shift towards renewable power sources. In particular, Tesla's battery storage businesses stands a lot to gain. Per the Financial Times, total energy storage capacity would grow rapidly over the coming decade to over 700 Gwh by 2030.
Source (Financial Times)

The total addressable market is once again large enough to soak up hyper growth from Tesla over the next decade. Musk himself has stated that he expects Tesla's energy business to be as large as their automotive business long term (a reminder that Tesla's targeted end state is 20 million cars per year).
A refresher on Tesla Energy's available products:
  • Solar
    • Tesla solar panels: $1.49/watt (after incentives)
    • Solar Roof
  • Battery Storage
    • Power Wall (residential)
    • Power Pack (commercial)
    • Mega Pack (utility scale)

Ridesharing
If Tesla can sufficiently advance their autonomy technology, they may finally be able to launch their autonomous ridesharing network. While Tesla's autonomy technology is currently not yet up to par for this application, their ongoing beta has been rapidly improving with weekly updates. The beta testers have been reporting significant improvements in capability since it was rolled out a month ago.
The bet is that Tesla would be able to reach superhuman driving capability before 2025. Their location agnostic approach would let them scale up operations much more quickly than geofenced competitors (e.g. Waymo).

Insurance
Tesla collates extensive data regarding vehicle usage and the driving patterns of their customers. Combined with their driver assist software, Tesla should be in a privileged position regarding risk assessments for Tesla customers. Using their abundant available data, Tesla may be able to prepare the most compelling insurance package for a sizable fraction of Tesla drivers.
Tesla insurance may also have a synergistic relationship with Tesla's warranty processing and service centres. Tesla insurance customers may be offered discounts on service that wouldn't be available to customers of other insurance providers.

Expectations

For public accountability purposes, I'll register my Tesla expectations for this year, next year and 2025. I'm not a financial analyst or otherwise particularly financially savvy, so I'll keep it pretty simple. I'll report my 25% - 75% confidence interval on the following metrics:
  • Vehicle deliveries
  • Total revenue

25% 75%
2020 Deliveries 480,000 520,000
2020 Revenue (USD millions) 30,000 36,000
2021 Deliveries 800,000 1,200,000
2021 Revenue (USD millions) 48,000 78,000
2025 Deliveries 3,000,000 5,000,000
2025 Revenue (USD millions) 135,000 350,000

The growing variation in the interquartile range is a representation of my growing uncertainty about the business.
I have neither a price target for $TSLA nor concrete expectations for its stock price (I've said in public before that $TSLA might go to $200 before going to $600).
I simply believe that Tesla will demonstrate hyper growth over the next decade and have a > 10 year investment horizon, so I would be comfortable investing in $TSLA using dollar cost averaging.

Closing Remarks

Many are dubious regarding Tesla's ability to deliver on the formidable vision outlined above. There are certainly numerous risks that may challenge Tesla's ability to deliver on hyper growth. However, as mentioned above, the main challenge to the hypergrowth narrative is execution risks. Fundamentally, it's a question of if Tesla can execute on the vision presented above. Giving their formidable track record so far (and the comparatively less than impressive records of the sceptics), I'm willing to bet that they can.

Additional Disclosure
While I have no financial position in $TSLA, I'm sort of an anomalous case. I only became interested in investing a couple of months ago, and I decided to defer any investments I would make until January 2021 to mitigate exposure to political risks. If I did have a portfolio, I'd expect $TSLA would feature in it (probably at around a 10% initial weighting).
submitted by DragonGod2718 to stocks

6

[Table] Iama guy who has been living alone in an abandoned ‘ghost town’ for over 6 months. I bought the town just over two years ago. AMA! (pt 3/3 FINAL)

Source | Previous table
Questions Answers
I subscribe to your YouTube channel! Are you still seeing that one ghost? Have you gone back into that building? I completely redid that building because it creeped me out too much. It had dark carpet, dark walls, lace curtains. I ripped out the carpet, left it wood floors, painted the walls white, took out the curtains. Feels better in there, but I still don't really like being in there.
You mentioned opening it up for short time stays, would you market by leaning into the supernatural elements? Staying in a ghost town sounds perfect in my opinion. If you are a believer, then the history will make it exciting. If you are not a believer, then the absolute stillness sounds pleasantly perfect. I don't think we'll lean into it, but not lean away from it either. I won't have 'ghost tours' or anything like that, but if people want to come and look for ghosts, that's their issue. Cerro Gordo's history is what it is. It's very public. Some are 100% convinced there is paranormal history here, some think that's bogus. I don't want to push one way or the other. People can do what they want once here...
the below is a reply to the above
I understand that. Not trying to tell you anything to do with your work but I really would think about marketing to some. At least think about a Halloween/October takeover that leans into it for a few weeks. If your ROI increases from some small adjustments to the town, it couldn't hurt. But you also may have zero interest in actually turning a profit, which is equally acceptable as it is your town. Prior marketing manager here so hard to turn off the ideas. Great work with the town so far! totally! Around certain holidays it would definitely be fun. I just don't want to use it as a crutch, you know? Some towns lean on that so much. I think Cerro Gordo is much bigger than just that one element, so don't want to be known for JUST that...
Hey! I was watching your 6 month update last night. Heck of a coincidence. I love your work. The trickle supply for the water out of the mine probably needs a tank somewhere, are you storing it further up the mountain? Or is it just trickle straight into the town? Thanks for checking it out! I have a few tanks. Two 2,500 gallon tanks a bit above town. That is where water is flowing right now. Then there is two 500 gallon tanks that sort of backup those two 2,500 gallon tanks. The water comes around 400 gallons per day. Although it stopped yesterday weirdly. So we're going back down this coming week to see why.
the below is a reply to the above
Is it possible to rig up a cistern to catch rainwatesnow? Maybe some way to melt the snow, to supplement your water supply from underground and give you a backup in case of emergencies? My grandparents lived on Grand Cayman for a few years and they used a cistern for laundry and the like. I've been going over different options along these lines. There are some weird regulations about capturing water around here, but I think we may be able to do some variation of that long term.
the below is a reply to the above
Good luck!! I look forward to seeing what you do with Cerro Gordo and how you solve these problems :) Thank you!
I just watched the 6 month update video on YT, and I think the only time I got nervous for you was when you were sitting on that cart and it started to shift! How are you preparing for this winter after spending the end of last years in the town? A lot of ways. That first winter was all new to me. I grew up in Florida and lived in Texas. My truck was 2WD with street tires.
I have already stocked up on wood, slowly stocking up on food, and have a 4WD Tacoma with chains ready.
I'm sure I'll learn a lot this winter too, but I'm in a much better place than last year...
I think I may be too late to the party. But I’m a unique age that allowed me to remember your first ama on here, and then also happened to follow the sam and Colby videos when they came to visit. I was like no way I know this place! I was so sorry to hear about the hotel. How was it working with Sam and Colby? Did their videos help raise some funds towards rebuilding the hotel? Was it interesting to host the group there when you’re usually more of a lone wolf? Sam & Colby are great. Really nice guys. We've stayed in touch. Their fans are amazing and really helped towards rebuilding the hotel. I hope S&C come back for the opening party!
As the owner of the town, can you just change the name? Or is there some kind of process that needs approval? I probably could, but I like the name, also the history of the town is why it's interesting to me, so I'd like to keep it the same...
Do you get many people drop by out of the blue? When it's good weather, yeah. It's a weird situation because the town is technically 'closed' because of the pandemic and I'm trying to do work on the town.
So if I'm in a remote part of the town and someone shows up to main area, it's weird to come back and find people basically waiting/looking around your house.
My email is public and there is a sign with a phone number at bottom of hill. I just wish people would arrange visits ahead of time...
the below is a reply to the above
I guess Cerro Gordo Rd that runs through town is still a public easement, and you can't put up a gate? Technically a 'utility road' because DWP/ATT/FAA use it to access stuff.
the below is a reply to the above
Ouch. No chance of getting it vacated then. Although it's probably less likely you'll get trapped for long by a rockslide or something. Congrats on living the dream, dude. I used to travel a ton around NM and southern CO when I lived in Texas, and always fantasized about buying something way abandoned, way out in the desert. Thanks for helping preserve a critical part of our history that many people overlook. Appreciate that!
Weren't you like trapped there last winter? Lol anyway are you gonna get that place up and running soon? I sure was. Not this winter! I'm much more prepared this time around.
I hope to have people coming to stay overnight by this time next year (pandemic allowing)...
the below is a reply to the above
I for sure wanna go when you have it running! I remember that you got sick while trapped right? I'm so happy to hear you made it out and back in ok!!! I can't wait for you to open up. I'm not too far away (a couple states over). Better now! I had a few rounds of appendicitis. A few rounds because first time they treated it just with antibiotics because of pandemic. Then it came back again and I had to have surgery to get it removed. Not a lot of fun, but better now!
Have you thought about busting out a metal detector? I did a few weeks ago and found these badass Chinese coins. I need to use it more but there is so much scrap metal/nails around it is hard to find just the good stuff...
[deleted] Damn, that is one good username...
Hi Brent - just started following you and the Cerro Gordo account on IG! You’ve said that the approach increases 6,000 feet in elevation in 7 miles. What’s it like driving up? I imagine it’s 7 miles of razor sharp switchbacks? What speed do you take it? You’re 32 - do you see yourself dating in the future? Last question: have you watched Schitt’s Creek? The road can be intimidating at first (and especially at night) but I'm used to it now. I've done it a bunch that now I just get to enjoy the view. At first I was so focused on road I couldn't see anything else haha. I used to go around 10MPH all the way up. Now I hover around 20 if I'm in my truck and maybe up to 30MPH if I'm in my Polaris side-by-side...
Need a brewery? Always. I thought the 'hoist house' could be a cool brewery one day.
Can I come visit? Let's let the pandemic die down a bit, then sure! why not
How do you cope with the isolation so well? Do you meditate or anything like that? Long walks. Introvert.
Reddit.
How do you know the silver there is really played out? That's what I've been told and fancy companies determined, but I hold out hope. You could be a few inches away from the vein and not know it. One day, maybe...
Hey I've seen your YouTube videos before! Any more ghost stories? I remember you telling one about seeing a little kid in a bunk house I believe. None as concerning to me as the bunkhouse story. I still don't like going in that building.
The other one recently involved my wallet. I came back from town one day and put it inside on top of some laundry I had just done. I came back in, and the wallet wasn't there. It wasn't ANYWHERE. To the point where I had to order new cards such. Then, months later, I brought in laundry, and my wallet was back on top of this new stack. So some mischief for sure being played...
This might be a dumb question but since you put 1.4m into it, how are you still making money to buy food and stuff while running ghost town? I have a 'day job' that luckily I can do from my computer.
How do you go on about getting basic necessities like toilet paper, food, etc.. I guess, what I'm asking is, how close is the nearest Walmart? Nearest walmart is maybe 2 hours away? 2.5 maybe? I usually get supplies every 2 weeks or so in a town called "Lone Pine" which is just over an hour from the town. The store is small and variety is limited, but gets the job done
the below is a reply to the above
Can you get things delivered? I can’t see a UPS truck or a USPS mail cart making it anywhere near the town. And how is that handled if you decided to move there permanently? Do you have a registered address? How would you handle any 911 type situations? I can't. My PO Box is in Lone Pine. About an hour or so drive each way. I think that's my only option. I have to go there when I get groceries and pick up whatever is there...
911 is tough. A 7 mile steep dirt road isn't easy. Maybe helicopter if situation is bad enough?
the below is a reply to the above
Obviously there’s heaps liability having this awesome destination with potential hazards (old mines, etc.).. on one hand I’d think the state and/or federal government would have to extend basic emergency services to the town, but since you own the whole town they may not have to actually offer any support. Do you know what the situation will be? Have you started any conversations about this with any government offices about what will be available once you’re commercially operating and open to the public? With the BLM and the FAA having interests close to your town, it seems feasible that the govt at least has the capacity to get to where you are regularly. This just signs interesting as hell, I can’t wait to go watch all of your videos! FAA will theoretically clear the road in the winter if I call in the favor. It isn't a set rule, but I'm supposed to look after their stuff a bit when they're not here, and they help when they can. That type of relationship for now. But I do know people at both BLM and FAA and probably should have convos around when we're fully open...
the below is a reply to the above
As a fellow Texan I’d never been too keen on going back to Cali.. but your town has changed that. I’d love to road trip over with my husband and check your town out once you’re up and running. I’ll be following this over the next year or so and look forward to having the opportunity to eventually make it happen! Thanks for checking it out! Come on out
the below is a reply to the original answer
I love lone pine and would love to come say hi one day Lone Pine is the best! Is that where you live?
Is this your website? https://store.cerrogordomines.com/ Correct
At what point will you start dressing up as the Miner Forty-Niner and scaring teenagers who drive through the town? Who's to say I don't already...
Oh wow I discovered your channel not too long ago, what was your main driving motive for all of this? Seems like an impossible project personally Gotta also ask, how are the kittens doing? Kittens are good! Eating soft food now, which makes my life easier haha.
The drive has changed over time. When I started, I think I was looking for a cool hospitality project. Now being here so much and learning all the history, there is this overwhelming sense of responsibility. Of duty. That I HAVE to get this town to a place where more people can experience it, and leave it for generations to come. Probably going a bit nuts
Do you live there by yourself? If not, what do others do? I'm here by myself. Some people visit occasionally to help work on town, but nobody else lives here full time.
I remember when you first posted about this. So glad you've kept it up. What has been the biggest surprise you've learned about yourself during the time you've spent in your town during quarantine? Hmmm. I think I've learned to slow down. I used to rush rush rush. Mainly to avoid doing important things or sitting with certain ideas. Now I'm comfortable just sitting in a chair looking at the mountain for an hour. And not being anxious that I need to be doing something else...
[deleted] I think it's slowed me down a lot. I used to run around doing all sorts of tasks that seemed so important. But they were just distracting from things I didn't want to sit with or think about or act on. I don't get those distractions here. It clarifies things for me...
What kind of camping is available in the area? There is surrounding BLM land in the area that is available for camping. I hope one day on the back of our property to offer camping options, but for now it would be too much to manage
I follow you on tiktok! One question that bugs me sorry if you've already answered is what can you do about all that unstable dynamite, is there not a way to get a bomb disposal or similar? I just leave it there. Not worth the hassle to try to remove and I'm the only one going in most these mines, so I keep a metal record of where it is...
Hey! Love the YouTube channel! found it a few weeks ago. Curious, have you slept in the mine lounge yet? I am sure you've answered this already. Thanks for sharing with us! Hope to visit some day. Take care mate! I haven't slept in the lounge, but I did sleep in the mine the other night. That's actually what my next video is about.
I took the hoist down into the main Union Mine and had them take up the hoist so I had to be down there from around 6pm-8am. It was QUITE the experience...
I’ve seen a few comments mentioning internet access, and your mention of the ATT hot spot that does the trick for you. Do you intend to maintain the atmosphere of a relatively internet free setting, or do you intend to bring in WiFi for visitors? You stated you want people to come see the town and experience the history, and I feel some of our modern comforts would greatly detract from that, especially WiFi. It also brings me to Edward Abbey -esque thoughts on paving the dirt roads that lead to special places in the desert (don’t do it) I'd never pave our dirt road. It's difficult, but it needs to be difficult. It takes a long time, but during that time you build anticipation. And RIGHT when you want to say 'fuck it' and turn around, the town reveals itself to you, and it takes your breath away. Then you feel like you've 'earned' the stay in a weird way. And you don't want to leave.
In terms of WIFI, I don't want super fast wifi. Something so people can communicate with world if they need to, but we're not a co-working space.
Have you met any famous people? Jeff Goldblum came to film something here. That was pretty cool. He's really nice. I guess that counts?
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Oh wow, that counts, what did he film? An episode of his show "World According to Jeff Goldblum" - it was about denim.
Hi! Just watched a couple of your videos - so cool. I love that you're filming all this! I gotta ask if you've got names for all the goats and kittens yet? I know you mentioned a couple names but not 11 names! :) OK! Here it goes. Goats - Tofu, Beretta, Bubba, Elon, Senorita Juanita.
Kittens - Gordo. The rest are still unnamed. Any suggestions?
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Reading through your other comments, Levi has to be one of their names for sure.. Excellent call!! I like that.
[deleted] The town has a very rich history. Biggest producer of silver in California, more gunfights that could be recorded, 'ghosts', hidden treasure, everything.
I never get bored here...
Do you experience any form of corporeal inequality or tension between you and the remaining ghost populace? I imagine living in a ghost town would give you a comprehensive insight into ghost culture and society, are they actively trying to involve you in the community or are they giving you the silent treatment? I know where they like to hang out. They know where I hang out. We respect each other's space
Have you thought of getting amateur astronomers up there to take some pics of the sky? It would be an awesome place to go for a weekend to get the stars. Stars are amazing. This winter that became my obsession - long exposure photos. I'd never taken any in my life but this place is prime for them. I've really enjoyed it.
I've watched hours of your youtube channel man you are so good at it! Fascinating story. I do think you are fuckin mental wondering around by yourself up there. On that note when you are exploring mines are you careful about gas build up? I've watched other exploration videos and sometimes they have a little device that alerts to harmful gases, which you might not be able to smell. Wow, thanks for checking them out! I'm glad you like them. I bring a 4-gas monitor with me into the mines
What a coincidence! I've been getting your vids in my recommeded for weeks and decided to give in yesterday, and now you show up on the front page of reddit. Nice. I absolutely love this kind of project. Maybe because I basically grew up in one myself, my parents bought a 19th-century french textile factory and we've been renovating it for the past 20 years to receive guests in it. Do your long-term plans include rebuilding some of the old buildings that weren't there? Some of the missing 478? Also, with tourism likely to increase, how are you planning on keeping it authentic? Definitely want to rebuild some buildings lost. I have a photo from 1890s that shows a TON of buildings that aren't here anymore. However, given the buildings that are here, I can piece together where they should be...
Hey Brent, I've been following your journey for a few weeks now, just want to let you know how much I enjoy your videos! It's obvious you put a lot of time and care into the content that you edit and release. I know you just got the kittens - have you considered getting a dog as well? Thank you for watching! It definitely takes a long time for each video. That isn't my background. I'd never made a video before April, so it's all new and I'm slow. But I enjoy it
How much of the original hotel that burned are you able to salvage? was anything found in the ashes that could be incorporated to the rebuild? How are you planning on getting water for the resort? Do you wear an oxygen mask when you go down into the mines? When do you expect people will be able to come and stay at Cerro Gordo as a resort? Thanks for the AMA! I don't think resort is the route we'll take anymore. It doesn't fit the place. It also isn't the type of place I like to stay. I think it will be more like a lodge or a bed/breakfast. I think it fits the vibe here much better.
We'll have to truck up water for now, unless we find a different solution.
Not much of the hotel was left, but some original floorboards will be incorporated into the new floor
Might be too late and have missed you, but i love the YT channel, thanks for sharing such great videos. My question: how's the feeling of freedom there? Do you ever just divert from what you were planning on doing, and...decide to walk/drive in a different direction and see what you see? I feel like that would be an amazing feeling. Totally. Almost everyday. I almost plan on getting 'lost' in the late afternoon.
I'll set out with a plan. See something interesting along the way. Hike there. See something else interesting. Hike there. See something interesting. Repeat that for a long time and get 'lost'
It is an amazing feeling for sure.
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I just watched a bunch of the videos. Two questions: 1. When you were exploring the mine where 30 people had died, where you a bit worried (or perhaps anticipating) to find them? They died in a collapse. Meaning dirt and rock fell on them in such amounts that others couldn't rescue them. So I don't think it's likely we'd stumble upon them. They'd still be under the collapse
Here is an article that mentions the collapse: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2006-oct-08-me-then8-story.html
"Cerro Gordo’s deadliest mine disaster struck in the early 1870s when a cave-in killed at least eight and as many as 35 Chinese miners. They were mining in limestone below the 200-foot level and failed to shore up the tunnel with timber, former Cerro Gordo mining foreman Fred Fisher told a Times reporter in 1950. Their bodies were never recovered."
2. Also, why are the mines full of jeans? Would people just run around butt naked when their jeans got teared? I've heard a few theories. First, they sh*t their pants and left them back there. Next, they had a pair of work pants and a pair of everyday pants and changed once they got there. Next, the pants were expensive and belonged to the mine not the miner so they stayed at the mine. Next, they ripped and they threw them in trash heaps back in the mine
Have you elected yourself mayor yet? Just for the heck of it. And do you allow tourists? Just now. Mayor Brent! Elected. Unanimously from all parties present :)
What’s the coolest thing you’ve dug up? I found some Chinese coins that are apparently 300 years old or so. I found some pocket-watches, old pants, dynamite boxes. All sorts of crazy stuff. Here is photos of some
Most of the tunnels (you use another term, I forget it now) look like walking while standing up straight might be an issue. How high is the ceiling in the easier to get to places? and how wide? I was watching the 'Most Dangerous' video so not thinking about that so much, but the places people might normally explore. It can be annoying. I'm 6'2" tall, so I have to hunch over in a lot of the mines. Hours of hunching over doesn't feel so good the next day! But I think it's worth it (obviously)...
What is your water access like there? You must have wells. No water! It's an ongoing issue, but I'm working on it...
What kind of temperature variation do you see at that altitude right next to Death Valley? And how are the night skies? I don't imagine you have much light pollution. So the other day it was 130 in Death Valley. A World Record I think. The Weather Channel somehow called me to ask how it was living in such inhospitable conditions. But when they called it was maybe 85 or 90 here. So I had to tell them I wasn't really in any danger.
The fact the town is at 8,500 ft really helps. It's crazy the difference, especially considering how close we are to Death Valley. The property is only 7 miles from the park's border...
Can you see Mt Whitney across the valley from Cerro Gordo Peak area or is it obscured? Yup! You can see Mt Whitney from almost all the buildings. Well, the wildfire smoke is impacting it right now, but usually. Also if you hike to the other side of the property, you have full views of Death Valley. An interesting high/low experience.
I know how to brew beer. Your town seems to be missing a brewery. Trade you brewing lessons for a stay? I'm listening...
Hello! What do you hate the most about living in the ghost town? Hmmm. I really think the positives outweigh the negatives, but lack of access to fresh vegetables and fruit is something that comes to mind. I miss my blackberries and spinach...
That video where the bar burnt down was super brutal. Were you able to salvage anything? Some things, but not that much.
The only 'silver lining' (outside the fact nobody was hurt), is that the icehouse next to the hotel was the original dump location for the hotel. So nobody has been under there in nearly 140 years. There are a lot of artifacts I hope to put in the new hotel that would have never been recovered otherwise...
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Do you think any of the metal items may be intact enough to be restored (eg. the stove, range etc)? I'm hoping the wood burning stove from the common area, as well as the cast iron stove from the kitchen. Both took a good beating, but I'm certainly going to try. Would really tie the place back together...
Have you met the people from Ghost Adventures? Yeah! Zack and crew came out and filmed here. I didn't interact with them much, but I was here when they were filming...
After reading resortdude's excellent advice and industry insight, it occurred to me that there is a flaw in his thinking: He is thinking like a resort operator. A resort operator is in the business of supplying luxury, convenience, and serving the whims of picky patrons. However, your enterprise doesn't have follow that path: In fact, it probably shouldn't. I believe you are targetting a very different, almost opposite market: What you have to offer is an authentic frontier-style experience. And that experience is far from luxurious! It's closer to camping. I wonder if a camping operator has to adhere to the same requirements as a luxury resort operator? I imagine you'd be leaning away from modern sewage systems, and toward long-drop toilets. Surely those are still legal? And rather than feeding your guests chef-made three-course-meals, you'd be feeding them baked beans, cowboy style. And who needs propane when you're cooking everything over an open fire! Or, if you want relative luxury, you could serve modern, military-style MREs. The one thing you can't escape though is the need for a large water supply. Also, I believe fire-suppression systems are not required in single-storey buildings below a certain size, provided they have multiple exits. Anyway, just some ideas. I may be way off-base, but I still think you should check out the regulations for outdoor camping operators, and see if they differ from those of luxury resort operators. Good luck! I hope to come and visit if ever I'm in the USA ; ) I think you're right. For a while we were considering a more 'resort' type thing. But it seems crazy now after being here. It will be closer to a lodge type atmosphere..
I followed you on Youtube recently and I'm a huge fan! Are you ever scared of finding a human skull in the mines? How high is the probability of finding one? Thanks for watching! I don't think it's too high of probability. If someone died back there, they probably died being collapsed by rock/dirt, so I wouldn't find their remains. If they didn't die in a collapsed, there probably was somebody with them to take them out. I can only see someone getting into some bad gas and passing out and nobody knowing where they were as an option to find someone...
Can I come up on the weekend and you can put me and my son to work? We’d bring our own tent and food etc. It would be a good trade. We get a weekend in the mountains and you get some extra hands. Shoot me an email! [email protected]
Youtube suggested me your videos and I liked them. Have you ever been in a situation of danger while exploring a mine ? Btw I have been very sad when your hotel burned down :( It was such a beautiful building. Good luck tho The closest to real danger I've had in the mines (that I'm aware of) was 2 times: 1) Early on, I wasn't paying enough attention and stepped on a board that cracked over a bit pit. Luckily not all my weight was on it and I corrected before falling. It taught me a big lesson about boards and pits. 2) recently I explored a collapsed level of the mine (the 200 level if you saw the video) getting in and out of that was really sketchy because the roof keep collapsing big rocks when trying to get out...
How's the local McDonalds? haha, far away! There is one in the town of Lone Pine. But that's about an hour away if you factor in the dirt road
I’ve been watching your videos on YouTube for a couple months now. I’ve always wondered, when you go down into the mines, (especially the recent video of the 200 level) how do you keep track of what passages you’ve gone into? Have you ever gotten lost? Thanks for watching! I haven't gotten really lost yet. I usually use a marker. For instance I'll follow the cart track if there is still track and if I leave the track, I'll leave something where I left the track. That way, I just find my way back to the track. Not a perfect system, but works for me
I follow you on tiktok! Have you found any denim yet? And also has any old dynamite gone off down there? Lastly, what is the weirdest thing you have found down there? I've found some denim, but not THE denim. As in, not Levi's jeans yet. No dynamite has gone off yet, or I wouldn't be typing this...
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The denim is in the cribbing! My friend and his mining partner discovered the oldest blouse known to exist and sold it to the Levi’s company. He had to free climb up the cribbing (stacked waist rock wall) about 80-100 feet. He saw a glimpse of blue from his light and reached his hand between the rocks. Pulled out the blouse but one of the sleeves ripped off. They sold it for a lot of money. Best of luck! Damn, getting this type of tip at this time of night. I feel like I need to abandoned this and get into the mines ASAP
Wait didn’t you show up on Sam & Colby? Indeed. They came out and explored. I like those guys
I was watching your video where you and a friend (I assume?) were exploring a certain floor of a mine that had collapsed where 4 miners died I believe you said. The entrance had collapsed but you found another way in? Where are those dead miners? Were they on the floor you managed to enter? Wouldn’t it be interesting to see if you could find them? I remember you said you will make sure nobody ever goes there again after you visited it The 200 level of the mine. It was probably closer to 30 miners. They died in a collapse, meaning under a bunch of rock and dirt. So I don't think we'd see the bodies. When the accident happened a lot of people tried to rescue them but couldn't, so I don't really want to go digging around to disturb them.
Here is an article that mentions it:
https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2006-oct-08-me-then8-story.html
"Cerro Gordo’s deadliest mine disaster struck in the early 1870s when a cave-in killed at least eight and as many as 35 Chinese miners. They were mining in limestone below the 200-foot level and failed to shore up the tunnel with timber, former Cerro Gordo mining foreman Fred Fisher told a Times reporter in 1950. Their bodies were never recovered."
How are the goats doing? Love your videos! Goats are good! They're getting bigger and expanding their territory around the town. I'd like to train them to free roam and come back to a bell or something. But haven't nailed that yet...
Doubt he's still here but perhaps someone else can answer this: What is the legality regarding appointing yourself mayor, writing your own town constitution that allows you to hold the offices of mayor, secretary, etc etc, at the same time, and then create city wide ordinances that are favorable to your life style? You know? I'm still here! Where am I going? Not too much else going on Sunday in a ghost town haha. I think the county still has some jurisdiction over a lot of that, but I could try. I've also watched a documentary on 'sovereign nations' where they basically declare themselves their own nation within a different country. But you raise a good point and one I should look into more.
Do you ever hope to make money out of this town? i.e. maybe the bare minimum you'll need to survive? Or are you looking to live completely without money at some point (from the land etc.)? I hope eventually the town covers it's own expenses (and mine). But I didn't get into this to make tons of money.
Was your town ever on the show ghost adventures? If so do you think it’s haunted? It was! I actually sleep in the room they think is haunted by two children ghosts.
I don't think it's 'haunted'. Is there spirits or paranormal activity? Maybe. But if so, I think they're more curious than anything...
This is great! Good for you! I remember seeing this for sale at one point. Questions ( sorry if they have already been asked)... 1. Does Amazon deliver there/do you get mail? 2. What kind of wildlife is out there ( lizards? Snakes?) 3. Are you finding lots of photos to guide your restoration? Again...I’m so glad someone bought it who is interested in restoring it. I’m going to check out your videos. 1. No! I have a PO box in Lone Pine, which is a little over an hour away. 2. Bobcats, rabbits, birds. Not too many snakes because of elevation. 3. Yes, luckily there are quite a few photos of the town at its peak
How do the stars look at night? Insane. You can see the Milky Way, almsot every star.
This doesn't do it justice, but is a photo I took this winter...https://www.instagram.com/p/B-YQ7Tag39a/
Brent, huge fan and I’ve watched all the YouTube videos and can’t wait to see Cerro Gordo with my own eyes one day! What are your plans for exploring the mine? I saw you explored the 200 level but are there any other spots in the mine that people have not seen since the mine was active? Awesome, thank you for watching! There are a few areas that have been closed off for a long time. The one that is most interesting to me is called the "Omega Tunnel." It may actually connect to the 200 level from the outside. But the portal into it is collapsed big time. I've tried digging it out, and Robert even used 10 sticks of dynamite to try to open portal, but it's really collapsed. But it holds my imagination and I hope I can get into it one day...
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I can’t wait to see the day you get in there! If you’ve ever heard of or been familiar with FPV systems, that may be a way to send an RC truck through a small hole to explore ahead for you. (Finding the right radio frequency to propagate through the mine also helps) I’m out in Los Angeles and when I make my way up to Cerro Gordo one day I’ll bring some FPV camera stuff for you to check out. Keep chipping away at that portal though! (Pun intended) Will do! Thank you. I'll look into those more too.
What makes an abandoned town "an important part of history"? Cerro Gordo is the reason Los Angeles is what Los Angeles is today. It shaped California. It was the largest producer of silver for the state and an important part of mining history. It's just been overlooked for a long time.
Do people often come over from the back way into town? From the racecourse or teakettle junction in Death Valley? A decent amount. If weather is good, and the weekend, maybe 4 people a day?
The issue is when people come up the main road in a vehicle that barely made it up and think they're going to take the back road to Death Valley, or even worse, that they're going to take the Salt Tram road. Have you every taken that road? It's not a joke.
After getting a YouTube recommendation, I binge watched all your videos on Sunday and thought to myself "this guy should do an AMA". Synchronicity! Were you able to connect with the man who left a comment saying he was a previous caretaker in the 80s? It would be fun to hear what stories he has to offer! Oh wow, I've never seen that comment until now! Thank you for calling that out.
Are you looking to start a business like the Old west town in New Zealand had/has https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/old-west-replica-town-sale-scli-intl/index.html Is that your end game? how you raised the capital? or just for shits and giggles? EDIT: I just followed links in the CNN story I linked, and they link to YOU!! haha haha. Awesome
Will you have buzzfeed unsolved stay overnight there? I’d like to see more footage of what’s been caught on tape They had me do a little video earlier this year. I'd love to invite them up if they'd come...
Wow thats in the middle of no where. Any incentives to get people to move there? I suppose the silver is all gone if the town was ghosted? Silver vein apparently is lost. I don't necessarily want people to move here. Just visit for the weekend or so. I think the middle of nowhere nature will attract people to unwind for a bit and experience the history and natural beauty here...
Ever plan on trying to pull more gold out of any of the mines? You said in another comment you're always exploring them. *silver! Maybe, who knows. They apparently lost the vein and there isn't enough left to make it financially viable. But you never know
Have you thought about mining silver? Just for fun? I'd like to refine small batches of the ore still here to make jewelry or something for the town...
Are there tailings piles around the mines? Have you found any interesting mineral specimens in the mines or otherwise? Yeah! Huge tailing piles. I just went through them Friday for a while looking for rocks. Found a bunch of galena (which is what they were mining here), smithsonite, turquoise, and some other stuff...
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Awesome! Would love to see some over on rockhounds! Would you ever consider allowing access to the piles? I greatly appreciate the people who are generous to allow collecting on their property. (Though I can certainly understand why a lot of people do not, some folks just don't know how to behave) I live in NC and have not yet been west but I hope to some day soon! I let people come. There is a Gem & Mineral Society in Lone Pine and they did their 20th annual dig up here this past weekend. I have an appreciation for rocks that is growing now that I have the town...
Been loving the videos. Any sketchy things happen on the 200 level we didn’t see? My condolences to the american hotel. How big of a challenge will the delivery of rebuild materials be? The 200 was really weird. I filmed all that on my iPhone where usually I'd use my GoPro or Sony. Both of those were dead (I had just filmed a different video), so I used the iPhone. So whenever I saw something, I had to consciously think to take out phone and record. I didn't always do that because I was so in the moment taking everything in. There was a lot more dynamite in the area where I talk about dynamite. But just didn't think it was interesting to show 5 minutes of just dynamite.
Getting supplies up here is tough. That is the logistical challenge I'm thinking about right now. We need to get a loader and/or backhoe up here, but you can trailer it up. So we have to walk it up the mountain, which will take a whole day and who knows how much fuel...
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How’s the water situation? Pump back running? Really great for the towns people to help get that going for ya. I’d freak out in the elevator. And in the mine in general knowing there’s 32 souls down there. Every noise would have me on edge. Can’t wait to visit. Pump was running, but it stopped yesterday again. So we're going to go back down this week to see why that is happening. Hopefully it's something easy to fix...
The cage definitely is freaky. Even after being down it a few times...
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