2013 recalled as a so-so year
Published: Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
The year 2013 will go down as an average year for business in the Black Hills. The summer started slowly and the season came to a crushing halt with the infamous Oct. 4-5 snowstorm. Normally, we can expect pleasant fall weather. In fact, for many the fall season is their favorite in the Black Hills.
The tourism season was called average by most business people. It wasn’t bad and it wasn’t great. It could have started earlier and it could have been longer. Our friends in the ag sector are those who lost the most in the fall snowstorm. Tens of thousands of cattle still in their summer pastures were buried in an all-day snowstorm that started as rain and ended as blowing snow.
Lucky for us that the partial government shutdown came after the prime tourism season and not during it. National parks and monuments like Wind Cave, Jewel Cave and Mount Rushmore were closed for two weeks to the dismay of the traveling public. Things got testy in Washington, D.C., when national park personnel erected barricades around memorials like the one dedicated to World War II veterans. That didn’t go over well.
Locally, we had two long vacant commercial buildings downtown that finally changed hands. The former Songbird building was purchased by Paul Niemann and the Main Street Market Place, formerly the True Value store, was bought by Brian and Janet Boyer and their son, Johnathan Stahl. We can look forward to good things happening at those locations as the buildings will finally be occupied once again.
Also, the former gift store building just west of the Black Hills Power office was purchased by Claude and Christie Smith who will be opening a new business in that location this summer. The Smiths’ family operation, Black Hills Burger and Bun Co., has been a hit with locals and visitors alike, so we look forward to good things happening in their new business.
We are fortunate to have a business community that truly pulls together and a chamber of commerce that encourages and keeps everyone together on the same path of progress. By community we include the entire Custer County area that helps make up the membership of the Custer Area Chamber of Commerce. Our local chamber is recognized year in and year out as one of the best, if not the best, in the entire state.
We feel blessed to be living and working in such a beautiful part of the country which is rapidly becoming a national and international tourism destination. Thank you all for your support of our Southern Hills Publishing, Inc. publications. Let’s all hope for a bigger and brighter 2014. Happy New Year!
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