Tunnel People

Did you know Las Vegas actually beat out Detroit as most abandoned city?

1. Las Vegas.
2. Detroit
3. Atlanta.

It makes sense. The car industry took a nosedive which hurt a pocket of workers in one major city, but all the Americans are retreating from gambling their money away and the excesses associated with what I considered to be the single most decadent town. Others who live there locally are more apt, in desperate times, to turn to gambling as the only fast method out of their issues. Overall, it is an economic bomb waiting to go off.

Now, let's check out why it's abandoned. It’s a chain reaction, really. Places like the Boardwalk in NJ could handle the recession much better if you think of it logistically. Las Vegas is smack dab in the middle of nowhere USA. You have to book a flight and a lot of other expenses incurred to stay there including the shows which are astronomical to attend. NJ has it easier, everyone has a one to two-hour drive and they’re there. With the huge real estate boom in Vegas, lots of mortgages fell through. People couldn’t afford the town any longer and many were losing jobs due to less tourism. It all snowballed until the town was emptying out faster than a kegger party when the beer ran out.

In fact, things are so bad there, many have taken to living in the flood control tunnels that run for 200-plus miles! With an El Nino season, that’s pretty horrifying. There are easily hundreds of people pocketed in little parts of the tunnels where they’ve squirreled away furnishings and all sorts of decorations to make a home. Living in the desert, I honestly would rather bury my house underground. I’m thinking temperatures are probably pretty moderate, but cleanliness and rain flooding—big issues. They’re on their own down there with their own cobbled weapons. The cops won’t come unless they’re called, so there’s no patrolling. Many of the occupants have chronic issues with substance abuse and mental illness which can make it even harder for families forced to live there and a lot of families have had to seek shelter there when losing homes. Imagine sleeping in your car when it’s 110 outside?

Now, Let's look at New York which has hundreds of miles of tunnels beneath it, many of them long abandoned, or are they? 

It seems safer to not be out in the open while you're sleeping and to be protected from the elements, but without facilities for waste and water and with no one policing these tunnels, the homeless are vulnerable. It's a temporary solution, but one with horrifying implications.

How about horror movies about the underground?


  1. That's Detroit for ya - can't even be number one in being abandoned. (LOL)

    Actually, Detroit has been enjoying a 'hipness' renaissance in the past few years, especially among twenty-somethings looking for a 'happening place' to live.

    (The fact that housing costs there are the lowest they've been in decades certainly helps when it comes to that cash-strapped demographic)

    Also, there has been lots of DE-construction going on in Detroit recently. Old, abandoned buildings are being leveled and cleared away by the dozens, leaving behind more valuable 'clean-slate' properties ready for development.

    Las Vegas can keep the title. Detroit certainly doesn't need it because they're trying to turn a corner.


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