Sioux Falls, SD
You cannot check in yet, but the first phase of a new downtown hotel in Sioux Falls is almost complete.
There is no snow, but plenty of dirt is falling from backhoes at the site of Hilton Garden Inn.
"[The mild weather has] allowed us to probably get some things done we didn't think we'd get done," Craig Lloyd, co-developer, said.
A bird's eye view will show you multiple construction workers digging into the soft December ground to make the layout for an underground parking lot. Lloyd said it should be almost finished in mid-December.
"And then we start to go up with the sticks and steal and that sort of thing," Lloyd said.
But the $25 million project has not been without a few challenges. Lloyd said the crews have had to dig down about 30 feet just to find good bedrock for the foundation.
"The different contaminants that have been settled down there over the years. I mean you're going back over 200 years of bad environmental policies. Thank gosh your generation and my generation are taking it a little more serious," Lloyd said.
According to Lloyd, the five story boutique-style 136 room hotel will add a lot to the downtown environment.
"Everything is based on the river and the great thing the city has been doing and our forefathers have been doing for years. Improving our river greenway," Lloyd said.
While some people might be dreaming of a White Christmas, Lloyd hopes the weather stays mild just a little while longer.
"That's a big hole to shovel out," Lloyd said, laughing.
Since the hotel is still on schedule, it is expected to open by September.