“The Real World,” a popular MTV television show, put seven 17- to 23-year-olds in an 8,100-square-foot Key West mansion, tasking them to launch a Mystic Tan franchise, in 2006. It was the 17th season of the show.
Today, the 2006 MTV house in Key West, Florida draws fans from all over the world to relive the drama for $1,800 a night.
“People still come by and take pictures in front of the house every day. They ask if they can come in, too. I tell them they can come help on cleaning day, but no one has taken me up on it,” joked the owner, Andrew Lippi, who bought the 10-bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom mansion in 2002 for $1.74 million, according to public records.
When MTV came scouting for their 2006 location, executives wanted to see another of Lippi’s properties downtown. But when they arrived at Lippi’s personal home to discuss the deal, they fell in love with the location on a peninsula with a 500-foot oceanfront.
“You can imagine, that wasn’t very popular with my wife at the time,” said Lippi, but they agreed to move out for seven months for the duration of the show—charging a premium rent of $25,000 a month.
Then, MTV came in and “did a beautiful job on the property,” redesigning the house in New York contemporary style with flashing, aggressive colors, said Lippi.
The property has 14 plasma screen TVs, seven kayaks, five paddle boards, 20 bikes, a gym, a tennis court, a pool table, a racket ball court, two boat docks and a basketball court. The house is painted in bold neon colors, a throwback to 2006’s multi-tone brights.
“We keep it exactly the same. It looks the same now as it did in 2006 because that’s what people want. They want to be able to envision themselves on MTV,” said Lippi, saying that about half his guests were fans of the show.
Guests often ask who slept where, or where was the confessional room, or how the cast got there, or what it was like when they left, he said. But while guests enjoy the plentiful outdoor activities, fun design and pop culture history on the property, Lippi said there’s something else about the property that is special.
“It’s a little like old Florida, very peaceful with birds, and fish in the water... I suspect that it is its own little sanctuary here at this end of the peninsula where people can escape... It is a different world when you’re there. It’s very tranquil,” he said.
Sarah Paynter is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @sarahapaynter
More from Sarah: