After high bidder couldn’t secure financing, Aladdin sells again

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By Patrick Filbin Gillette News-Record Via Wyoming News Exchange

ALADDIN — Six months after hundreds of people gathered on the lawns of the small town of Aladdin for the auction of the year, the town has sold again.
Rob DeMaranville, a businessman from Arizona who was born in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, and spent his summers in the area, bought the town earlier this month after the initial sale fell through.
The winning bidders at the auction in June were father and son Maynard and Lee Rude of Piedmont, South Dakota.
They bought the Aladdin General Store, more than 27 acres of land, a house, the bar, a liquor license, two functioning gas pumps, a trailer park and the post office.
But the Rude family couldn’t come up with financing, and after the sale fell through, DeMaranville inquired about the town and was able to strike a deal with Judy and Rick Brengle, the former longtime owners of the town.
DeMaranville used to work on the Kling Ranch when he was young from ages 8 to 22. It was pretty much his summer home.
It’s where he learned to do all of the things a young man does when coming of age.
“I still feel like that area is my hometown,” he said. “Even as an adult I kept coming back. I had an unbelievable childhood working on the ranch, playing cowboy, working hard and having fun on the weekends.”
DeMaranville had Aladdin on his radar when it first when up for sale in 2014. The asking price then was $1.5 million.
That was a little high for him, so he waited.
Earlier this year he attended the annual Kling Fishy Fry and heard that the sale in the summer fell through. He left the Brengles his card and a few months later, the money was put together and the sale was final.
DeMaranville won’t be alone in running the joint, either. Laramie Noyce, one of the Brengles’ granddaughters, will be taking over the day-to-day operations of the store while DeMaranville will manage from afar.
He plans on visiting at least once a month during the slower season and for months at a time when tourists are more likely to be driving through.
Although he wants to keep it mostly the same, DeMaranville said he plans on fixing Aladdin up a bit by installing a septic tank and bathrooms at the store, extending the porch for more visitors to sit, turn the old rodeo grounds into an RV and campground park, and he’s even working on an Aladdin food and music festival for June.
“I love the charm of Aladdin and I want to help the community embrace it even more,” he said. “I want it to be a place where people can stop and spend two, three hours at a time.”
During the process of buying it, DeMaranville made sure to stick to his three goals:

The first was to keep Aladdin a special place and preserve the magic it holds; The second was to finally come back to the area he calls home and invest back into his community; And third was to give his two kids, ages 9 and 6, a place where they can stay during the summers so they can have a similar childhood to what he had.

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