Hostel Roadtrip Podcast talk to the new owners of Cerro Gordo, California, Brent and Aaron. They share their stories about the familiar woes of opening a new hostel: the nonsense of bureaucracy, city official ignorance, and the exhausting chore of finding staff.
Cerro Gordo is an abandoned 1865 mining town east of LA. The entire “town” has recently been purchased by these guys who are set on renovating it, keeping it true to its heritage but at least dusting it off. They say there were looking for interesting locations outside of, but near enough to, major cities, and looking for experiences that were not so cookie cutter. Not so “Starbucks”.
At the moment, it is not open yet as a hostel and still in the revamping stages. But with a saloon, a mansion, and many outter buildings, there is a lot of good vintage stuff on hand they can use to create the cuveted “unique experience”. The plan is to open Cerro Gordo by Halloween, 2019 because what better way to celebrate reopening a ghost town!
There is what Aaron calls glorified camping, with no running water yet, but amazing views of the stars at night.
Brent is also the owner of the HK hostel in Austin, TX. While relaying his funny story about how, as a new owner, he practically never left the building, he makes an interesting point in the cast, “People don’t run businesses. Systems run businesses. People run systems.” And says he started taking better notes of how he runs his business. Then created a system to set a foundation and develop a good manager, so he could get out of the hostel once in a while.
These guys clearly have some passion for life and enjoy what they do, which always make for good storytelling.
Brent also shares a recent ghost story in the podcast. Happy listening!