Vermillion enters contest for HGTV hometown makeover

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VERMILLION, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Vermillion has the chance to get a hometown makeover.

And after a committee of community members came together they decided Vermillion was a perfect candidate.

Vermillion: home of the Coyotes and pride in South Dakota history.
But also needing some extra TLC on the external side of things.

When HGTV announced it's accepting applicants for a hometown makeover, it got one local business owner thinking.

"And that night I knew that we could do this. I sent some texts and e-mails and within a couple of days we had a great committee formed and we just got the ball rolling," says Leslie Gerrish, Co-owner of The Bean Community Coffeehouse in Vermillion.

Looking over the requirements, "A town of 40,000 people or less, the main street that needs a facelift, and historic homes that need some love," Gerrish said they realized Vermillion was a perfect candidate.

But, they only had a few weeks to enter a submission and create a convincing video of why HGTV should pick Vermillion for a hometown makeover.

Vermillion Area Chamber & Development CEO Nate Welch says, "Vermillion is so used to saying 'Hey here's a great idea on how we can move forward together.' and once that idea comes, everybody jumps in and they all start working together. I think that's one of the great testimonies not only of the excitement for this project but also just when it comes to the vibe and the consistency of Vermillion."

Committee members also say Vermillion has a strong identity and shows a lot of community pride, the only thing that stops them is a lack of resources.

"I think if that's the piece that they can play, is to bring in those resources and be part of this amazing energy that we already have going, I think that they would feel lucky to be here personally," says Kelsey Collier-Wise, Vermillion City Council President.

Gerrish says, "I know for certain if a bus pulls in here from HGTV there will be a street full of people welcoming them and that's just so exciting."

Committee members said the application didn't state when they would find anything out but they will definitely let us know when they find out more.