February 28, 2017
The owner of Buck's Muffler is selling his property at 12th and Cliff and if he finds a buyer, he says he'll probably sell his business and Mr. Bendo too.
From dressing up like Elvis to a St. Patrick's day boo-boo, Mr.Bendo has quite a long history in Sioux Falls.
He's been a part of the landscape since 1963. But the iconic statue could be on the move if the owner finds the right buyer.
Selling Mr. Bendo is going to be one tall order.
"I'm guessing a lot of people will be interested in buying Mr. Bendo by himself, but as he sits right now it's kind of a package deal," realtor Michael Martin said.
Whoever buys the muffler business may have to factor in the price of Mr. Bendo, too.
"It's worth as much as you can get for him, who knows, not many of them around," Buck's Muffler owner Jerry Wallenstein said.
Wallenstein says he paid $20,000 for Mr. Bendo when he bought the business, but right now he isn't sure how much the 20-foot statue is worth.
He does know he's got a lot of money tied up in him, though.
"I paid $8,000 to have him repaired when he got hit by that van, just to have him repaired," Wallenstein said.
He's referring to the drunk driver who crashed into Mr. Bendo seven years ago on St. Patrick's Day. Needless to say, it was a big story the night Mr. Bendo suffered a boo-boo.
Keloland News even reported on the process of fixing Mr. Bendo. It took weeks to get him repaired.
His popularity grew to gigantic proportions, when they put a cast on his leg. Hundreds of people stopped by to sign their names.
The realtor says whoever buys Mr. Bendo can get the cast too, which they still have.
"There's a lot of good uses for Mr. Bendo, you can put a lot of stuff in his hand up there, depending on what your business is, I think it would be great outside a restaurant or bar, a good way to attract people," Martin said.
The owner says no one ever talks about Mr. Bendo, until something happens to him. If he gets sold to an out of state buyer, he thinks it'll be a really "big" deal.
"I'd like to see him stay in town somewhere, we'll see what happens I guess," Wallenstein said.
The realtor says he's already taken one call from a fitness center about buying Mr. Bendo.
Courtesy of Don Jorgensen, KELO News