A cold war missile silo transformed into an Airbnb

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

You won’t be able to spot it very easily from the road. It is a missile silo that once housed an intercontinental ballistic missile from 1962 as part of the Atlas F.

More shockingly, there were once 12 such missile silos surrounding Roswell where Walker’s Air Force Base once stood. Each silo cost $ 22 million to build, and 72 were built for the project across the United States.

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

By buying two of the silos 25 years ago for $ 55,000 a piece, Baker made a home out of them. The other is still under renovation.

Baker played there in the 1970s when he attended the New Mexico Military Institute. “Can you imagine playing into these things and going a little deeper? “

In the 1990s, the missiles were recovered and parts of the silo were used for other programs, essentially destroying any knowledge of the once-ambitious project. Throughout the Atlas F project, four silos malfunctioned and were destroyed by the missiles they housed. Fortunately, no crew was injured or killed. Three of these explosions occurred in Roswell.

To put that in perspective, there was only about 100 feet from the center of the silo – where the missile and its elevator were housed – to the center of the control room where the crew operated. What stood between the crew and a possible fatal explosion was a few inches of steel and a few feet of concrete.

Baker never thought of turning it into an Airbnb, but wanted to share the story of the silos with everyone. His original plan was to turn it into a museum, but then he opted for the bed and breakfast instead. The Airbnb has only been open for a year.

Baker enjoys telling the story of the site with all who come and stay. “It has nothing to do with money. We love what we do, ”he said.

Customers can stay overnight in the silo by booking on the Airbnb site. The fees for the evening vary between $ 400 and $ 500.

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