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Cold War missile bunker turned into Airbnb

ROSWELL, NM (KRQE) – There’s a piece of Cold War history just east of Roswell, New Mexico, and a businessman wanted to turn it into an attraction.

You won’t be able to easily spot it from the road. It is a missile silo that used to house intercontinental ballistic missiles starting in 1962 within the framework of the Atlas F project.

More horrifying, there were 12 missile silos surrounding Roswell, which used to be Walker Air Force Base. Each silo cost $22 million to build, and 72 structures were built for the project across the United States.

“It houses an intercontinental ballistic missile with a 4-megaton warhead,” said Gary Baker, the current owner of two missile silos at Roswell. “It took only two and a half years to build them and two years to operate them.”

Buying two of the vaults 25 years ago for $55,000 each, Baker has made one of them his home. The other one is still under renovation.

Baker used to play them in the ’70s while attending the New Mexico Military Academy. “Can you imagine playing these and then going a little further?”

In the ’90s, the rockets were salvaged and parts of the silo were used for other programs, essentially destroying any knowledge of the once ambitious project. During Project Atlas F, four silos malfunctioned and were destroyed by the rockets they contained. Fortunately, no crew was injured or killed. Three of those explosions occurred in Roswell.

To do that, it’s only about 100 feet from the center of the silo – where the rocket and its elevators are – to the center of the control room where the crew operates. What lies between crew members and a potentially lethal explosion is a few inches of steel and a few feet of concrete.

Baker never thought about turning it into an Airbnb, but wanted to share with everyone the history of the silo. His original plan was to turn it into a museum but then he decided to sleep and have breakfast instead. Airbnb just opened last year.

Baker loves telling the story of the site to everyone who comes and stays. “It has nothing to do with money. We enjoy what we do,” he said.

Visitors can stay overnight in the silo by booking on Airbnb website. Fees for the evening range from $400 to $500.

https://kfor.com/news/u-s-world/cold-war-era-missile-silo-transformed-into-airbnb/ Cold War missile bunker turned into Airbnb

JACLYN DIAZ

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