Town Changes

Entrepreneurs are inspiring individuals because they have skin in the game. They have put some of their own money into establishing a business and their success is followed by the success of others. We know about Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman in Pawhuska, Okla., who renovated an old building in town and put in a mercantile, which has had world-wide success. If you can’t travel there, they offer online sales. It’s worlds of fun, if you can. Since I visited there, the Drummonds have gotten a pizza parlor up and running, renovated a hotel, and opened their guest house on the ranch to the public. You can say but she made money from her cookbooks, and they have a big ranch. They have funds to do these things. While those facts are true, it is still fun to watch others who do the same type of thing in the local area.

In Hot Springs, S.D., a woman who had made some money in real estate in Denver, came to town, bought a solid sandstone building, remodeled it into guest rooms and made a lovely garden sitting area which guests can enjoy. After running it for a while, she sold it and went on to other investments. She constructed buildings on a hill overlooking Hot Springs. Yoga retreats and group stays kept that place busy. After it was built up and was an improved property, she sold it. In the meantime, she purchased the remnants of an old bathhouse and adjacent hotel, built in 1886, that were integral parts of Hot Springs for many years. The buildings had been torn down and only a vestige remained. On the site, she constructed a beautiful spa with various temperature pools and space for massages and yoga. There is also an intimate gourmet restaurant that is open to the public for lunch and dinner. Both the spa and restaurant are for individuals 18 and over.

The woman has continued to improve her adopted town. She purchased two more empty buildings and one is now a busy place featuring dine-in as well as grab and go foods, and the house specialty, kombucha, a fermented tea.

The revitalization has continued with two entrepreneurs who have opened buildings with mall spaces where individuals can display and sell their creations, refurbished items, or ready-made clothing. A third business moved from her home-based spot to a store front for her clothing, jewelry, and accessories lines. Various cafes and coffee shops have opened up throughout the town. One grinds their own coffee beans and sells several types of fresh pastries to go along with the coffees. A free tasting station helps customers determine their coffee preferences. Many other small businesses line the streets offering choices and opportunities

All of this is going on while major road and water/sewer infrastructure construction is in progress throughout the length of the town. This shows the vendors are not afraid of adversity as they forge ahead.

It’s not just Hot Springs. Edgemont has a Thai restaurant, steak houses, a tremendous quilt fabric store, and a picture framing shop, amongst its retail offerings.

All of this to say that even small towns that ‘never change,’ in fact, really do. Ask anyone who comes to visit after a few years of being away. They will be astounded at their little town and all of the improvements — thanks to entrepreneurs.

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