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Rediff.com  » Business » Buy a US town for about $400,000!

Buy a US town for about $400,000!

July 02, 2014 12:36 IST

Image: Lance Benson, owner of Swett
Photographs: Courtesy, Benny's Swett Tavern and Consessions

In an enticing offer, an entire US town complete with a bar, workshop, three trailers, single house and 6.16 acres of prime prairie real estate, is up for sale for about $400,000.

Lance Benson, the sole owner of Swett, an unincorporated hamlet in Bennett County, South Dakota, about two hours southeast of Rapid City, is putting the whole town up for grabs.

Please click here for the Complete Coverage of Budget 2014 -15

Buy a US town for about $400,000!

Image: Benny's Swett Tavern bar
Photographs: Courtesy, Benny's Swett Tavern and Consessions

Benson, the owner of a travelling concession business, said that while he would love to keep the town, he wanted to focus on his core business.

The town comes with a bar, workshop, three trailers, single house, and 6.16 acres of prime prairie real estate, the Rapid City Journal reported.

The town is up for sale for a price of $399,000, the paper said.

Please click here for the Complete Coverage of Budget 2014 -15

Buy a US town for about $400,000!

Image: Benny's Swett Tavern bar
Photographs: Courtesy, Benny's Swett Tavern and Consessions

"Like I say, I hate to get rid of it," said Benson, who listed his town for sale with an estate agent last week.

"If I don't sell it, if I don't sell it this first year, I would probably keep it," Benson was quoted as saying.

Like many rural towns in America, Swett has shrunk dramatically over the past century as its inhabitants migrated to urban centers. 

Please click here for the Complete Coverage of Budget 2014 -15

Buy a US town for about $400,000!

Image: Lance Benson
Photographs: Courtesy, Benny's Swett Tavern and Consessions

Once a town of about 40 people in the 1940s — with a post office, a few houses, and a grocery store — the town now stands as little more than a few ramshackle buildings along US Highway 18.

Ownership of property in the town concentrated during that decline, eventually falling to a single person. The town changed hands a few times before Benson bought it in 1998.

Please click here for the Complete Coverage of Budget 2014 -15

Buy a US town for about $400,000!


Photographs: Courtesy, Benny's Swett Tavern and Consessions

He signed it over to his ex-wife in a divorce, but reclaimed the town around 2012.

Today, with Benson and his new wife living in a house beside the Swett Tavern, the town's population officially stands at two. 

 

Please click here for the Complete Coverage of Budget 2014 -15

Buy a US town for about $400,000!

Image: Halloween at Benny's Swett Tavern
Photographs: Courtesy, Benny's Swett Tavern and Consessions

But although the town's fortunes have waned, its tavern has remained its beating heart.

As the only watering hole in a 2-mile radius, the Swett Tavern is still the defacto gathering place for a small army of local cowboys and wheatgrowers. 

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