Don Sammons is hanging up his hat as mayor, store clerk and mechanic of Buford, Wyoming – the entire town is up for sale. NBC's Kristen Dahlgren reports.
By Kristen Dahlgren, NBC News correspondent
BUFORD -- Ever dreamed of being famous? Seeing your face on billboards? Owning the town? No, I mean literally owning the town! You can do it. The entire town of Buford, Wyo., -- lock, stock and convenience store -- is for sale.
There's just one catch: it's a town of one, populated by lone resident Don Sammons, 61.
He's become quite a celebrity for being the only resident in the tiny town along I-80 between Cheyenne and Laramie.
Over the years Sammons has been the mayor, the postmaster, the shopkeeper -- and yes, if you had car trouble Sammons would tow you out.
Buford has its own zip code and is known far and wide for being the nation's smallest town, but it wasn't always this miniscule. During the mid-1800s about 2,000 people lived in Buford, but when the railroad stopped making stops there during the middle of the 20th century, all the residents left. Almost.
Three decades ago Sammons and his wife moved to Buford because they wanted more space. But after she passed away and his son grew up and moved out, the town's population shrank to one. For years, Sammons made a living off of that.
"I'm alone but never lonely," he told NBC News as he recounted how people would come from all over to see the one-man town.
And after the TODAY show came calling last July, Sammons said interest skyrocketed.
Now, eight months later, things have changed in Buford. Sammons sports a diamond stud, a black suit, and more hair. And he’s decided to put Buford behind him.
He won't say exactly what's next (although he did mention a possible book deal and some palm trees) but, now, for the right price, Buford and all that goes with it could be yours.
On Thursday, April 5th, Williams and Williams auction house is putting Buford on the block. With a starting bid of $100,000, the winner could soon own Sammons’ house, the convenience store and only gas station for miles, the post office boxes, the old schoolhouse (which is now an office), and even the lease to a cell tower in the 10-acre town. Imagine the whole thing, zip code 82052, all to yourself.
Dwight Small, a potential buyer in his thirties from nearby Laramie, Wyo., joked at a recent open house that he would bring his wife and increase the population by 100 percent. When asked if he would put his face up on the billboards he chuckled and said, "We're not looking to be celebrities, just make a living."
It's hard to ignore the curiosity factor. Auction reps say they've gotten interest from people in 72 countries and have sent out literature to 300 interested buyers.
So what's a town of one worth?
"Whatever someone's willing to pay for it," seems to be the answer. As for Sammons, it’s been worth a lot. His eyes nearly grow misty as he talks about locking up for the last time.
But as he gets in his shiny new 2012 Jaguar and drives off with a wave, you can't help but think this is one man who isn't too worried about life beyond his one-man town.