Exploring old west ghost towns has been a popular trend in recent years and one of the most famous is Goldfield, Nevada. The Nevada State designation is necessary when mentioning Goldfield, because there is also a famous ghost town next to the Superstition Mountains in Arizona that bears the same name. Goldfield, Nevada once was one of the richest gold strikes in the west and like so many others it did not take long for the town to be abandoned after the pay dirt ran out. Goldfield now lies in a state of waiting for an occasional tourist to pass through, while a steadfast group of residents have been trying to get this famous old town back on the map. This old west destination is a prime example of a ghost town that is being reborn a tourist attraction!
Goldfield, Nevada is located about 180 miles north of Las Vegas on Highway 95 between Beatty and Tonopah. Going north on Highway 95 to Goldfield From Las Vegas takes a little more than two hours, so this destination can be a good choice for a day trip. Highway 95 is the only road that goes northwest to Carson City and Reno, so Goldfield Ghost Town is a good option for taking a break from the road when doing this long trip.
Goldfield definitely is a living ghost town and it is starting to become a thriving one at that. The old buildings from the gold mining days are still intact and they are well preserved. There are many folks in this community who are descendants of mine workers that chose to remain in this town after the gold mining was no longer feasible. There are also quite a few newcomers that have called Goldfield home in recent years, because this town offers some good old fashioned peace and quiet for artists and craftsmen. For some the attraction of the ghost town lifestyle offers a simpler way of life that creates an opportunity for taking a hands on approach when setting up a business.
Old historic Goldfield constantly changes for the better and because this town sat idle for such a long time the changes are easy to notice. There is a lot going on in Goldfield, so for those who are into doing more than a picture taking visit, it is best to start the tour at the local chamber of commerce. This is the best way to get information about all that there is to do in Goldfield and the golden business opportunities will present themselves. On the downside, this is a ghost town, so getting rich will certainly not happen overnight.
The Hidden Treasure Trading Company is a good place to find Goldfield tourism brochures and of course, this antique shop is one of the community hubs. The owner is an active Chamber Of Commerce member and a spokesman of the town, so quite a bit of insight can be gained in this place. While browsing in the trading post and admiring the wide variety of old west merchandise, we really struck up some good conversations about everything from antiques to the tourism industry and the infrastructural needs of Goldfield, which were interesting to hear.
The conversation that I had with the operator of trading post had to do with the local tourist trade demographics, local infrastructure, business forecasts and feasibility outlooks. Nothing was exaggerated and all that needed done in Goldfield required dedication and hard work. At this time Goldfield does stand poised to become a prime destination in the wild west tourism circuit, but because of the remote location, the infrastructure first needs to be boosted. This ghost town needs a gas station, a grocery store and a motel. Goldfield also needs a high capacity restaurant that can handle multiple busloads of tourists and the number of public access restrooms also is in the formula. This combination is the basic formula for a remote tourism destination and it sounds simple to accomplish, but the only holdup is funding. Banks will not issue loans for restaurants or ghost towns, because the return on investment is risky to say the least.
Promoting the historic downtown area as being a main street style attraction seems to be the key to success in Goldfield Ghost Town. The downtown Goldfield Main Street area does have a few curios shops, antique shops and art galleries. Fine arts and antiques shops seem to be the direction of the community business plan, which certainly captures the interest of weekend warriors who are looking for a day trip destination. The Dinky Diner is a tiny little restaurant that opened more than five years ago and this dining spot has become a favorite of commuters and antique hunters. During a recent visit I noticed that a saloon opened in Goldfield too.
The main attraction of Goldfield happens to be the old abandoned brick buildings that are in pristine condition. The old Goldfield Hotel was shuttered long after the gold mining days came to a sudden end, so this old building still looks new. The desert does have a way of keeping old structures intact because rainfall is minimal, so downtown Goldfield is kind of like touring an abandoned museum of the past.
Paranormal tourism has become a money making industry in recent years and there is one old brick building in Goldfield that is scary enough to make a ghost hunter run for cover! The old red brick Goldfield Schoolhouse is a prime time paranormal tourism destination that has a morbid past. Apparently there was a sadistic schoolmaster back in the early days that did unspeakable things to children and a few of the kids perished by means of torture. With this in mind, it does not take much effort to see ghostly apparitions in this haunted place. The creepy old Goldfield Schoolhouse definitely is one of the top paranormal tourism destinations in the State Of Nevada!
Tours of the historic Goldfield gold mines have been proposed in the past and during my first visit the mine tour plans were first being set into motion. I have not heard anything since, so those who are interested should do some research to make sure that a Goldfield mine tour exists before hitting the road. More than likely, reservation will have to be made ahead of time, especially for large groups.
Goldfield Ghost Town has struggled for many years to regain its prime time spot and there is light at the end of the tunnel, although it is still a little distance away. It is interesting to see an old historic ghost town slowly come back to life and this is part of the charm when touring this forgotten place. When considering that there is only a few hundred people living in this old abandoned gold rush town, there sure is plenty going on. For the time being, Goldfield is an old west antique hunter’s dream come true and it certainly is fun place to step back into the past!
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