The tiny, unincorporated town of Swett in southwest South Dakota captured the media spotlight when it hit the real-estate market. But there are some big sales plans in Aladdin, Wyo., too.
A big chunk of the tiny town -- population 15 -- on Wyoming Highway 24 between Belle Fourche, S.D., and Devils Tower National Monument is for sale
Along with the 1890s vintage Aladdin General store, owners Rick and Judy Brengle hope to sell the adjoining post office, an old feed store, trailer park and 30 acres on both sides of highway. For the Brenglesr, who own a nearby ranch and another store near Buffalo, S.D., the time seems right.
"Well, as you can tell I'm getting a little long in the tooth and I'd just about as soon slow down a little," Rick says.
That won't happen soon. Because the real summer rush is coming -- on the wheels of thousands of motorcycles. While business is steady most of the year, it rises in the summer and soars during the Sturgis rally each August.
Bikers will ride over from South Dakota for breathtaking views of the Bear Lodge Mountains and nearby Devil's Tower. And many will stop at Aladdin to sit on the shady porch, get a free drink with a full-priced t-shirt and wander through an eclectic selection of goods in the two-story mercantile built in the 1890s.
"Well, it's wall to wall bikes," Rick Brengle says. "At most anytime, there's from 2,000 to 4,000 bikes parked out here, and on Wyoming Wednesday it's uncountable. You don't have time to count."
Brengle, who has listed his property in Aladdin for $1.5 million, says the town's population was more than 200 in the early 1900s. Back then the area was busy with coal mining. But when lower-sulphur coal was found near Gillette, the miners moved on and Aladdin began to shrink.
But it's still a good draw for locals and travelers, especially during the rally.
That raises the question: In the middle of the coming swarm, could there be a biker interested in owning a big chunk of a little town way out in northeast Wyoming?
Well, if it works in Swett, S.D., which made a media splash when it hit the real estate market, it might just work in Aladdin, too.
At least, that's what Brengle is hoping.