In September 2017, the one-man hamlet of Buford, Wyoming announced a redesign: the nation’s smallest town had been rebranded as “PhinDeli Town Buford.” It was a strange transition for the remote town famous for its “POP: 1” sign, and its single resident with his own zip code (80252). In the spring of 2012, Don Sammons, the sole resident and proprietor of Buford, decided it was time to sell the 147-year-old town. It went up for auction on the website Williams & Williams and was snapped up by an anonymous Vietnamese bidder for $900,000. “It’s an American dream!” he wrote in a statement explaining his purchase.
Sammons purchased the town of Buford in 1980 and moved there with his wife and son. He labeled himself owner and mayor, while successfully marketing Buford as “the nation’s smallest town” to attract travelers passing through on their way to Yellowstone National Park. After his wife’s death and son’s departure, Sammons decided to auction off the town. “I brought Buford into the twenty-first century,” he told the New Yorker. “I took it as far as I could.”
Enter Pham Dinh Nguyen. The 38-year-old entrepreneur acquired the offering—10 acres and five buildings, including a convenience store gas station called the Buford Trading Post and a moduler home—which had attracted competing bidders from 46 countries. (Technically, the town can't be sold because it's considered an unincorporated community by the state, but Nguyen bought the entirety of its amenities.)