With an ever-growing convention center and sports complex and an enhanced public park, there’s more room than ever for meetings and conventions in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. But it’s still a small, friendly community at heart, says Teri Schmidt, executive director of the Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The 100,000-sf Sioux Falls Convention Center is now connected to a 243-room Sheraton Hotel and the 8,000-seat Sioux Falls Arena. It will be joined in fall 2014 by the new Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, a multi-purpose facillity that will bring another 30,000 sf of flat floor space and 12,000 seats for major corporate conventions and public events. The complex is adjacent to the Sioux Falls Baseball Stadium and Howard Wood Field, and is less than a mile from the state’s largest airport, Joe Foss Field.
Groups can gather on the River Greenway Project, a popular spot for small receptions; it has a new amphitheater, improved walking trails and two new pedestrian bridges. The river is the Big Sioux River, which flows past an assortment of downtown shops, restaurants and hotels. A trolley takes riders around downtown and to stops such as 123-acre Falls Park, where the Big Sioux drops in a dramatic 100-foot cascade (7,400 gallons per second).
Meetings are on the small side, about 300 people, but the convention center complex draws larger conventions for the medical and financial industries and religious, corporate and association markets. Schmidt believes groups are drawn to Sioux Falls because “we have less traffic and more open spaces, with a very vibrant, very progressive downtown.”
For a look at another South Dakota destination, see our take on Rapid City.