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Buy a US town for about $400,000!

July 02, 2014 12:36 IST
Lance Benson, owner of Swett

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.

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Buy a US town for about $400,000!

July 02, 2014 12:36 IST
Benny's Swett Tavern bar

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.

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Buy a US town for about $400,000!

July 02, 2014 12:36 IST
Benny's Swett Tavern bar

"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. 

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Buy a US town for about $400,000!

July 02, 2014 12:36 IST
Lance Benson

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.

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Buy a US town for about $400,000!

July 02, 2014 12:36 IST

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. 

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Buy a US town for about $400,000!

July 02, 2014 12:36 IST
Halloween at Benny's Swett Tavern

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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