Sioux Falls, S.D., is upping the ante on its meetings and conventions offerings, gearing up to open a new sports and entertainment district and bringing in meeting planners to sample its product.

“We’re on the horizon of a lot of new and exciting infrastructure with our sports center,” says Mattie Burnham, assistant director of sales and marketing for the Sioux Falls CVB, describing the project northwest of downtown that will add a sports and entertainment District, including the 12,000-seat, multipurpose Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, scheduled to open in fall 2014.

The facility will be located just west of Sioux Falls Regional Airport in the newly named Sanford Place, which also includes the Sioux Falls Convention Center and Sioux Falls Arena.

The Small Market Meetings conference, held Oct. 6-8, with 100 planners and 100 suppliers, will offer ample FAM opportunities.

Burnham says attendees will congregate at the Washington Pavilion’s Mary W. Sommervold Hall for the opening night ceremony and dinner. The Washington Pavilion also houses the three-story Kirby Science Center, Wells Fargo CineDome and six art galleries in its Visual Arts Center. The second night will feature a reception at the Falls Overlook Cafe, a revitalized former hydroelectric plant with views of the city’s namesake triple-tier waterfall.

“We have a lot of homegrown restaurants and fun boutiques and shopping downtown, so we’re going to turn them loose, with shuttle buses and old school trollies that run through the downtown area for free,” Burnham says.

CVB Contact

Sioux Falls CVB
Other event and reception facilities include the downtown Sculpture Walk; two free museums in the historic downtown area, the Pettigrew Home & Museum and the Old Courthouse Museum; the Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History; and the Sertoma Butterfly House & Marine Cove, which surrounds visitors with some 800 free-flying butterflies.

According to Burnham, meeting planners with a qualified RFP can access for further information about a free site visit as part of the CVB’s “Be Our VIP” program.