Man scoops up US town for Rs 4.6 crore

Apr 07, 2012, 12:06 IST | Agencies

The town of Buford, Wyoming � population one � was sold for $900,000 (Rs 4.6 crore) to an unidentified buyer from Vietnam on Thursday after an 11-minute Internet auction that attracted worldwide interest.

The tiny Western town garnered online viewers and bidders from 46 countries for the sale of 10-plus acres with a convenience store, gas station and modular home located in southeastern Wyoming. The owner will also get a house, a garage, cabin, barn, a cellphone tower and a parking lot that a trucking company uses to switch trailers at night.

Getting your own zip code: The Vietnamese man said owning the town was always his dream

The buyer, who wished to remain anonymous, flew to Wyoming from Vietnam for a purchase he likened to ‘the American dream,’ according to a statement released by Williams & Williams, the Oklahoma auction house handling the sale.

“Owning a piece of property in the US has been my dream,” the buyer said in the statement. Don Sammons, the town’s sole resident, moved with his wife, Terry, from Los Angeles to the Buford area in 1980. In 1992, six years after his wife died, Sammons purchased the town.

Sammons decided to auction off the Interstate 80 hamlet to move to Colorado to be near his adult son. “My family is gone. Our purpose for moving here has kind of been completed, and now I want to find out what other adventures I have in store,” said 61-year-old Sammons.

Speaking before the sale, which was broadcast online, an executive with Williams & Williams said the firm had never seen the level of buzz that attended the Buford auction.

“Auctions always bring a lot of attention, but even we were amazed at the amount of attention to Buford worldwide,” said Amy Bates, chief marketing officer for Williams & Williams. “It’s the Wild West in the US. It’s owning your town and getting away from it all.”

Buford’s population dwindled when the fort moved to Laramie and the county seat was shifted from Buford to Cheyenne. For some decades, Buford remained a central point for outlying ranches.

The settlement is one of two tiny Western towns recently put up for sale by owners whose spouses have died and whose grown children live elsewhere.
Pray, Montana, population eight has also been placed on the market by owner Barbara Walker.

The town had been in the family of her late husband since 1953. The five-acre town sits in the Paradise Valley near Yellowstone National Park, a scenic, mountainous area home to celebrities like Jeff Bridges.

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