The Hive in Bloomfield has made many lists over the years, including the top five things to do in Knox County list. This year, The Hive and The LemonDrop Boutique have made it onto the 10th edition of the Nebraska Passport.
This passport includes 70 locations in Nebraska, and The Hive and LemonDrop Boutique have put Bloomfield on the map, making it a destination many have and will continue to visit.
The 2019 Nebraska Passport booklet can be picked up at any of the 70 locations. It includes a map, a list of the stops, information about each stop and a prize entry form.
According to the booklet, the passport adventure is a treasure map to Nebraska’s hidden gems. It also warns people that “passporting” is addicting and that there is nothing quite like the excitement you feel while embarking on a new adventure or the sense of accomplishment when you receive a stamp from a location.
The idea is to get as many people - local and tourists - to venture around the state and fall in love with Nebraska.
Filling the passport book is most of the fun. To receive a stamp, participants simply visit the destination and let the staff know they are there for a stamp. If the location is closed, there are other options as well.
“We aren’t open Sunday or Monday,” Sonny Nagengast, owner of The Hive said. “Our backup location is Broadway Billies or participants can download the app and once they are close enough to our location, they get a stamp digitally.”
Nagengast started seeing visitors in May and has welcomed many more thanks to the Nebraska Passport. According to Nagengast there have been around 200 visitors in the month of June.
“Seldom people will just get a stamp and leave, but a lot of them stick around the store and in town,” she said. “It is such a great way to show off our little town.”
Any business can apply to be in the passport program. There are different categories including: Not-at-all what you thought, quirky Nebraska, rural gems, bite of Nebraska, beautiful Nebraska, family fun, Nebraska stories, history alive, happy hour and shop Nebraska. The Hive has been selected for the rural gems category.
People can participate in the passport in many ways. They can visit all the stops in a single category, they can visit the stops in a certain vicinity or they can try to get as many stops as possible. The prize for 10 stamps is a Passport 10th anniversary keepsake, 25 stamps is a visit Nebraska calendar, 50 stamps is Baker’s Candies gift box, 70 stamps is a Passport Champion t-shirt and $100 in Nebraska Lottery vouchers.
“I had a retired couple visit me at the end of May,” Nagengast said. “They had almost been to all the stops already!”
The couple’s goal is to beat the summer rush to all the locations and spend the rest of the summer re-visiting their favorite locations.
“It’s such a neat idea,” Nagengast said.
Although representing Bloomfield on the passport map has been largely beneficial for The Hive, Nagengast said she is only allowed to be on the passport once every four years. She said she hopes other businesses in the area will apply in the future.
“I think a lot of businesses around Knox County could benefit from applying to be a part of the passport,” she said. “And it is so easy!”
After sending in an application to be listed as a stop on the passport, businesses are then notified which category they will be in and given a stamp.
Nebraska Passport booklets are available online and new participants are welcome to start their voyage at any time. Prize drawings will be drawn and notified in October.