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A sexy Vegas circus paid $2.5 million in cash to buy a California town in the Mojave Desert and build a ‘permanent Burning Man’

The lights at the Nipton Trading Post glow thanks to the 80 kilowatts of power generated by the small solar plant in Nipton, CaliforniaThe Nipton Trading Post

Mark Boster/Getty Images

  • Spiegelworld bought the town of Nipton, California in 2021 for $2.5 million in cash. 
  • The town has a population of 25 people and sits on the eastern edge of the Mojave Desert. 
  • The new owners have removed about 250 tons of debris to create a “global headquarters” for the circus.
Spiegelworld, a Vegas circus known for its raunchy routines, purchased the town of Nipton, California in 2021 for $2.5 million, the Wall Street Journal reported.The entrance to Nipton, California, a tony unincorporated town near the Nevada border and on the edge of the Mojave National Preserve. The sign for the California State Lottery is atop the welcome signThe entrance to Nipton, California, a tony unincorporated town near the Nevada border and on the edge of the Mojave National Preserve.

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The town is about an hour southwest of Las Vegas and includes approximately 80 acres of land on the edge the Mojave Desert.

Nipton was previously owned by Jerry Freeman and Roxanne Lang, a California couple who purchased the town for about $200,000 in the 1980s.Items are seen for sale at the Nipton Trading PostCannabis items for sale at the Nipton Trading Post.

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The sales history for the town is a bit murky.

In 2017, American Green, a cannabis company, acquired the town, along a working solar farm, for nearly $5 million with hopes of turning it into a destination for marijuana enthusiasts and influencers.

The following year, American Green abandoned its ambitious plans for the town and sold the property to a Scottsdale-based energy company for $7.1 million, the Los Angeles Times reported. Other groups like a religious cult, a cryptocurrency enthusiasts, and investors who wanted to build a train line to Las Vegas have also tried to buy the property, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

However, the Wall Street Journal also reported that Freeman and Lang were the ones who sold Nipton to Spiegelworld.

Ross Mollison, Spiegelworld’s Australian founder, has purchased the town in hopes of turning it into the circus’ global headquarters.ABSINTHE" cast member The Gazillionaire (L) looks on as producer Ross Mollison speaks during the show's fourth anniversary party at Caesars PalaceRoss Mollison (center) with cast members of Spiegelworld’s “Absinthe” production.

Bryan Steffy/Getty Images

He told The Journal that Nipton’s remoteness reminds him of being in Australia.

However, he did caution that there may be a limited scope to their plans.

“I don’t want to build a resort,” Mollison told the Wall Street Journal. “This is a very high-end circus. At the same time it’s filled with character and personality.”

Spiegelworld’s latest show is called “Absinthe” and transports viewers into an old-timey yet futuristic world inside Caesars Palace, complete with the scantily-clad performers that Las Vegas is known for.The Green Fairy character and chair stack artist Maxim Popazov perform during the "Absinthe" show at Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas StripThe Green Fairy character (Left) and chair stack artist Maxim Popazov perform during the “Absinthe” show at Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Admission for the self-described “rowdy” and “raunchy” show ranges between $129 to $169 per ticket.

Purchasing the town hasn’t come without its challenges.Piles of debris at the town landfill dump in Mojave Desert with mountains in backgroundPiles of debris at the town landfill dump in the Mojave Desert.

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Mollison told The Journal that he brought in two prop builders who lived nearby, Alex and Frank Strebel, to take care of the town.

The Strebels, who operate their Elite Creations, LLC businsess out of Las Vegas, said they have removed an estimated 250 tons of debris from the town, including a rusted rail car water tank and several disintegrating mattresses.

Mollison told The Journal that he and his team have several ideas for transforming the town.Walkway to the Man from Burning Man 2014Walkway to the Burning Man.

Andrew Wyatt/Burning Man

One idea is to create a “permanent Burning Man,” referring to the annual music and art festival held in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, which is about 600 miles north of Nipton. Other ideas include creating a skydiving park and making accommodations in Nipton’s underground mining bunkers.

Despite the challenges ahead for Mollison, he told The Journal that his team “will not fail” in their efforts to revive Nipton because they are “relentless” and they “love this place.”Spiegelworld performers walking to NiptonSpiegelworld performers walking to Nipton

Courtesy of Spiegelworld

 Mollison will also get the help of Jim Eslinger, a local who has been the longtime unofficial “mayor” of the town. “They’re awesome people and what I hear is they have some really good shows,” Eslinger told The Journal. 

Read the original article on Business Insider