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For sale: Small South Dakota town, bar included

Own your own South Dakota town, complete with a  bar, for just $399,000!  Set in the beautiful prairie on Highway 18 is the town of Swett and it?s up for sale. <span class=meta>(Photo/Realtor Stacie Montgomery)</span>
A businessman looking to invest more time in his traveling concession business is seeking a buyer for his rural, southwestern South Dakota town - for the price of $400,000.

Lance Benson is the sole owner of Swett, an unincorporated hamlet in Bennett County about two hours southeast of Rapid City. Benson - who bought the town in 1998, gave it to his ex-wife in their divorce and reclaimed it in 2012 - put the town on the market last week, according he told the Rapid City Journal.

In the 1940s, the town had a population of 40 people, along with a post office, some houses and a grocery store. Over the years, ownership of the town concentrated to a single person until it wound up in Benson's hands about 16 years ago. Now, what remains is a bar, workshop, three trailers and a house, where Benson and his current wife live. His listing through Coldwell Banker calls the setting a "beautiful prairie" and a "popular place for pheasant hunting."

Although the town is a shell of its former self, its bar still serves a hearty purpose. As the only watering hole in a 10-mile radius, the Swett Tavern is still the de facto gathering place for local cowboys and wheat growers.

"This place is pretty much where the highway ends and the Wild West begins," local patron Gerry Runnels told the newspaper.

According to the listing, the buyer will get a few other goodies as well.

    "Included in this purchase: 6.16 acres, a bar, large 40 x 80 garage that has been used as a tire shop, house, and three trailer houses, on and off sale liquor license. The Swett Tavern has had many updates, including a new horseshoe shaped bar, coolers, grill, insulation, camera system. Very clean, open, and updated, the bar also has an extra party room, plus a stage area. The home is a 3 bedroom, one bath, with plenty of space, and an additional garage. Plenty of inventory and personal property stays with the purchase, including a 1990 Volvo semi that is currently used to haul trailers."


Benson said if it doesn't sell in a year, he'll probably hold onto his small empire.

"I hate to get rid of it," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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