A local businessman wants to buy land from the Town of Shoshoni so he can open a bar and grill west of town.
Duane Raymond delivered his proposal during this week’s Shoshoni Town Council meeting, and it was well-received.
“I’ve known Duane for well over 20-some years,” Shoshoni Mayor Joel Highsmith said. “He’s always been a hardworking man (and) a very good businessman. … He’s got a vision for that property out there to turn it into (a) real asset to the town.”
Raymond said his restaurant would be a “fun” and “family oriented” local attraction that would serve the community while also helping to enhance local tourism by giving travelers a reason to stop in Shoshoni and see the “hidden gem” along the “Yellowstone highway.”
The bar and grill would feature a “simplified” menu and an “electric atmosphere,” he said, with activities including putt-putt golf and cornhole available in the courtyard.
He anticipates hiring 10-20 people to work at the business, which would be built on six to seven acres of property west of Herbst Lane and north of U.S. Highway 26.
Raymond offered to purchase the land for $1,750 per acre – a price that he said is “reasonable for economic development.”
“I believe my offer is justified, as I am taking a chance on building my bar and grill here rather than somewhere else,” Raymond said.
He noted that the acreage would allow him to develop additional business fronts in the area in the future.
Shoshoni is allowed to sell land for less than its appraised value if the parcel is going to be used for economic development, Highsmith said, but the city has to have the property appraised, advertise the sale, and host a public hearing before approving the transaction.
The council voted unanimously to move forward with that process, thanking Raymond for his interest in the town.
“I think it’s going to be a great deal,” Raymond said. “There’s a lot of opportunity over here. (It’s a) diamond in the rough.”