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Friday, July 29, 2011

Entire South Dakota Town of Scenic For Sale For $799,000

For less than the price of a one bedroom apartment in much of Manhattan, you can buy a whole town in South Dakota. The catch: it's right on the edge of the remote Badlands, 50 miles from the nearest town of any size. The population is 9.

One-time rodeo star Twila Merrill, owner of 12-acre Scenic, South Dakota is selling up due to an illness. According to Coldwell Banker agent Dave Olsen, everything in Scenic ("so-called because it's beautiful," he said), is included in the sale: an old-fashioned Western saloon, two shops, and a dancehall, among other buildings. They mostly date back to the town's 1906 founding, and Olsen hopes the new owner will preserve them as relics of the Old West.

Scenic has been on the market for two months, but there wasn't much interest beyond local business people until the Rapid City Journal filed a story on the listing on Monday. In the last 24 hours, CNN and ABC got in on the act, and a shocked Olsen told Forbes that the international press is descending on tiny Scenic.

"The Wall Street Journal are thinking about coming out, and CNBC should be landing in two hours," he said this morning. Suffice to say, he's now seeing some interest from buyers outside South Dakota. Prospective owners from England and Australia have called in recent hours. Last night Olsen was a guest on a radio show out of Perth, Australia -- 10,000 miles away from Scenic. (more)