Beth Simonson is the 2020 president of the Highmore Civic and Commerce.
When I first moved to town, I didn’t think, I could feel as connected as I now do. It wasn’t a quick process, and it actually took me by surprise. Back in 2006, I met my husband, John, and fell in love. Well, at the time, I was living in Huron, and he was a farmer. Which one of us do you suppose was more able to relocate? Obviously, it was me. I was able to transfer
my job with Wal-mart to the Pierre store, and I began commuting to work.
Driving 100 miles a day doesn’t leave a whole lot of time to do much else in my life other than basic housework. There was no time to really socialize with anyone in the community. After all, my friends were all in Pierre. That was fine for about 5 years, then, I needed a change.
Then, I was able to work from home and do some direct sales with the company, Celebrating Home. It helped me met more people from town. One of my most memorable parties, was 2 miles from town at 2 o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon. There were 20 people at that party! They had so much fun, and I became acquainted with some special women.
As things go, the direct sales did a shift. It became harder and harder to book a show. If I did, it was further and further away. Then one day, as I was driving around town, and a crazy idea hit me. We could buy the Luze house and have a bed and breakfast in it. It was like a light bulb came on. I’m sure that John thought I had lost my mind. But, he was so on board with the notion.
We opened the Hydeout Bed and Breakfast in October of 2014. The first couple years were okay. We put our information out there where ever we could. A bed and breakfast was a new concept and it took a while for everyone to understand what we were. You have to build up your business over time.
In 2016, I decided to be more active in Highmore and join Civic and Commerce. That is itself, was hard for me. I would rather hide in my basement and not leave my house. However, I knew that it was important to our business, so I did it. It took me a while to feel comfortable at meetings. I would prefer to be seen and not heard from.
Then in the spring of 2017, Hyde County 4-H was thinking about combining achievement days with Hand County. Civic and Commerce didn’t want to see that happen. They were having meeting to come up with a plan to keep them in town. After all, we didn’t want one more thing to leave. We decided to try reviving a Hyde County fair concept. I’ve been part of the planning committee for the last 3 years. It has been a slow process, but each year it has grown some.
For us as business owners, that involvement has helped us. Some of those 4-H families have sent guests our way. And those guests have told their friends about us. Doing things in the community, does help everyone. We appreciate it, but more importantly, I enjoy the happiness it brings to everyone. The biggest bonus are the people I get to work with. Highmore is a great town to live and work in.