The news of the event center vote is welcomed in Rapid City; at the same time, it’s viewed as a threat.
While there’s no real competition concert wise, Michelle Lintz, Executive Director of the Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau said the 12,000 seat facility will force Rapid City to compete with Sioux Falls in terms of conventions.
The new event center will have bigger space to conduct meetings, but Lintz said the unique landscape of the Black Hills — combined with the Civic Center’s Ice Arena, Theatre and Barnett Arena– will continue to draw entertainment.
“Hopefully it will make us work a little bit harder,” said Lintz. “We’re not necessarily afraid of it because we know we have a great facility, we have a beautiful area.”
Jayne Kraemer, Assistant General Manager of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center said there are plans to upgrade the 35–year–old Barnett Arena. But she said upgrades won’t take shape anytime soon. That’s because it’s a waiting game until the Sioux Falls Events Center unveils its technology.