Scenic, South Dakota
|Scenic, South Dakota|
|• Total||134.2 sq mi (347.6 km2)|
|• Land||133.9 sq mi (346.9 km2)|
|• Water||0.3 sq mi (0.7 km2)|
|Elevation||2,900 ft (884 m)|
|• Density||0.6/sq mi (0.3/km2)|
|Time zone||Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)|
|• Summer (DST)||MDT (UTC-6)|
|GNIS feature ID||1268730|
Scenic is an unincorporated community in Pennington County, South Dakota, United States. It is located within Scenic Township, which had a 2010 census population of 58 inhabitants. The community is located adjacent to the Badlands National Park, about 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Rapid City, or about one hour by car, along Highway 44.
As an economic decline hit the town, Twila Merril acquired more and more of the town property until she owned most of it.
In July 2011, the 12-acre (4.9 ha) town and surrounding area—about 46 acres (19 ha) total—was listed for sale at $799,000. The sale includes the post office (ZIP code 57780), Longhorn Saloon, a dance hall, bunkhouse, museum, and two stores. It also includes a train depot that is on an abandoned line that was part of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad and is the subject of a 104-mile (167 km) rails-to-trail project between Rapid City and Kadoka.
In August 2011, a controversial Philippine church called Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) bought the property for nearly $800,000, Pennington County records show. The church never disclosed why it acquired the property. In 2014 Daniel Simmons-Ritchie of the Rapid City Journal wrote that Iglesia ni Cristo "has done little with the town since its purchase." Following his expulsion during the 2015 Iglesia Ni Cristo expulsions, Gino Maningas, a INC district officer in Concord, California, said of the purchase "There is a hidden agenda, midwest (sic) just like Texas, is rich in oil and natural resources. It's being rented out for oil exploration." 
In April 2015, a Iglesia ni Cristo minister moved to the area and soon afterwards began holding services in Scenic for 10-15 congregants who live nearby.
- Swett, South Dakota (town put up for sale)
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Got $799,000? You could buy a town in South Dakota, a July 27, 2011 CNN article
- Simmons-Ritchie, Daniel. "Got a spare $400,000? Buy your own town: Swett, South Dakota." Rapid City Journal. Circa June 28/29, 2014. Retrieved on June 30, 2014. "In 2011, the town of Scenic, about an hour southeast of Rapid City, was put on the selling block for $799,000. The town was largely owned by Twila Merril, a woman who slowly acquired the town's property as it fell on hard times.[...]called Iglesia Ni Cristo, which has done little with the town since its purchase. The church has never publicly commented on why it bought the town."
- Small South Dakota Town on Sale for $799,000 from ABC News
- "Township". BuyScenicSD.com. Retrieved 2011-07-28.
Overview of Longhorn Enterprises, LLC various properties included in the sale: 46-Acres (approximately 12 acres in town-lots & 34 acres surrounding) U.S Post Office Land Lease…..Longhorn Fuel & Food Convenience Store, World Famous Longhorn Saloon, Very Large Dance Hall with basketball court, Large Museum with knotty pine interiors, Bunkhouse sleeps 8-10, 2 freestanding Retail Stores, Historic Train Depot, One Working Jail, One Abandoned Historic Jail, Many Out-Buildings, Residence Home, Residence Modular Home.
- About The Trail from The West River Trails Coalition
- O'Connor, Clare (August 19, 2011). "Sold! $799,000 South Dakota Town Finds A Buyer". Forbes.
- Henson, Paul (July 24, 2015). "Ex-INC officer in California speaks out about his expulsion". ABS-CBNnews.com.
- O'Connell, Max B. (July 12, 2015). "Church begins services in Scenic". Rapid City Journal. Retrieved 27 October 2015.