Anibal Ortiz / KPCC
Truck drivers frequent the area around Baker, Calif., Thursday, November 9, 2012. Travelers to and from Las Vegas would use the thermometer to gage the temperature during their trip.
The world’s tallest thermometer may one day be the desert’s biggest digital billboard.
At least those are the aspirations of two national advertising firms who want to buy the 134-foot tall icon in Baker, Calif. Baron Castillo, a broker with Coldwell Banker Commercial in Sherman Oaks who is handling the sale, declined to identify the companies. He said they want to use it to reach drivers on Interstate 15.
“God willing, we’ll close soon,” he said.
The thermometer is part of a 4.3-acre property, which also includes a 1,100 square foot retail store. It's listed for $1.75 million, Castillo said.
The thermometer was erected in 1991 to commemorate the hottest temperature ever recorded in the world—134 degrees in Death Valley in 1913. Over the last three years, it stopped working.
Its owner Matt Pike, could not be reached for comment. He told Nevada Public Radio that it became too expensive to fix during the recession.
Community leaders in Baker have called the broken thermometer an eyesore. KPCC reported in November that Baker’s leaders planned to take the words “World’s Tallest Thermometer” off of its water tower.