This edition of the Custer County Chronicle marks the 18th consecutive year of our annual Progress Editions, and, if we must say so, it is one of the very best, thanks to the many great new and existing businesses we have in the area. Without their great owners and managers, there would be little to report. We hope you will take the time to read each and every exciting page of this newspaper.
The vibrant economy of the Southern Black Hills never ceases to amaze us, but this year we have some really big projects to report on that will affect us all. Number one, of course, is the magnificent new $21.7 million hospital and clinic complex scheduled to be open later this month. The start of several moving days is to be April 25.
We participated in the media tour of the sprawling facilities last week and were really impressed with the spacious, bright facility, from the log accents in the lobby to the eight hospital rooms, five private, with 11 beds. Clinic patients will be pleasantly surprised with the roomy waiting area and individual consultation rooms.
The two new emergency trauma rooms will be separated by large sliding glass doors, which will make them much more private than the old two beds that were separated by a thin curtain. The ER waiting area is separated from the patient area and offers a much more private area as well. Every room in the building seems to be at least three times the size as those in the old hospital.
The Regional Health complex of hospital and clinic, assisted living and nursing home continue to be the city and county’s largest employer with 220. We have four physicians now in Custer, with another on the way here in August. Ongoing recruiting efforts are being made to secure another. We also have two advanced practice providers (APPs) which means we will have six doctors and two APPs when the facility is fully staffed.
Another huge project we are continuing to watch is the development of the former Flintstones property on the west side of town by Custer Hospitality. Besides a new camp store and cabins, another large motel and convention complex for 300 people is planned. There is a great need for a facility that can handle a 300-person event. Right now, the limit in Custer is about 200.
Then there is the beginning of development on the former STAR Academy grounds south of Custer. The property was purchased by a group of investors for the minimum state bid of $2.34 million in early January this year. The innovation center will be a place for new businesses to start up and existing businesses to expand into. It will also eventually be the site of additional family housing, which is badly needed in Custer County.
There are messages from a bevy of area businesses that are proud of what they do and the progress they have been making over the years. We sincerely thank you for your continued support of not only this special edition, but for your great support throughout the year. It is our business friends and readers who make it possible for us to be here.
We couldn’t do it without you!