Event Center Could Boost Rapid City's Economy
Newsroom - 07/11/2012
By Cassie Bartlett
Sioux Falls is set to begin construction on its new events center soon. But another South Dakota city is also considering building a new one to keep up with the rest of the region. Rapid City officials must still approve a plan to expand the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center by building a 15 thousand seat center. As SDPB’s Cassie Bartlett reports, officials hope the new building will keep Rapid City in the running to host state events.
There’s been talk of moving all future state high school double-A basketball tournaments to Sioux Falls. Brian Maliske is the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center general manager. He says the proposed new events center in Rapid City would strengthen the city’s case to keep the tournament rotating between the state’s two largest cities. If the tournament were moved to Sioux Falls permanently, Maliske says it would have a negative impact on Rapid City’s economy.
“When you look at what Sioux Falls has for industry, they have some manufacturing, they have some other industries. When you look at Rapid City, we have essentially one industry, and that is a visitor industry. We have Mount Rushmore, we have Crazy Horse, we have Custer State Park. That is our industry, is a visitor industry, is a tourism industry, is the gift industry. So for us to stay competitive in that industry is imperative because that is our only large industry,” Maliske says.
Unlike the Sioux Falls events center that some say could have parking problems, the Rapid City proposal includes two parking garages. Maliske says construction on the garages will start first, hopefully sometime next year. For South Dakota Public Broadcasting, I’m Cassie Bartlett.
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