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Business Has Grown Near Swiftel Center

October 6, 2010, 5:59 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Business Has Grown Near Swiftel Center
BROOKINGS, SD - Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether has revealed his plan to build a new events center next to the existing Sioux Falls Arena.

But that hasn't stopped the debate about putting the new facility downtown. Supporters of a downtown location say it would help with the continued development of the city's core; the mayor says the Arena site would spur growth in that part of town.

The Swiftel Center opened its doors in Brookings ten years ago right next to Interstate 29. Brookings built it there because it was one of the only areas in town to put a large facility. Since it opened, development on the east-side of Brookings has followed.

"It was an ideal location to expand motel developments around the center, and there have been a number of motels that have been constructed out here on the interstate corner since the Swiftel Center went in," Brookings Economic Development Corporation Director Al Heuton said.

Several hotels and restaurants have opened up in the area, and Heuton expects even more growth in the future.

"This is our probably our highest prized interstate development corner in the community, and we expect to have a lot more development out here in the future in terms of retail, shopping and dining facilities eventually," Heuton said.

The interstate location has provided easy access for out-of-town guests to get in and out of events at the Swiftel Center. But while Brookings has benefited from the interstate site, Heuton says he sees how a downtown events center would have benefits too.

"For an individual who has to attend conferences in a number of places, it's nice to have the night-life that a downtown provides ready and at hand when you have down time at a convention," Heuton said.

But for Brookings the location has worked out well giving the city big time events and an economic boost.

And the Swiftel Center has been successful.  Right now, it's booked nearly every weekend with events, concerts and rodeos through the middle of December.

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