There is a shake up for a nine-person group that oversees the marketing and promotion of the Sioux Falls visitor industry. Six members of the Business Improvement District Board were not re-appointed, leaving only three members to carry over.
Chrissy Meyer had been with the BID Board since it started in 2010. Eventually, she rose from member to chair. Knowing her first term was about to end, she re-applied. Instead of an acceptance, Meyer said she received a letter thanking her for her services and notifying her she would not have a second term on the board.
"I wouldn't say it felt like a slap in the face. I would say it was more, it was more kind of, 'ok, well, this is going to be a new direction,'" Meyer said.
The BID Board manages a $1.6 million budget, collected from a $2 per night hotel fee. The money is used to promote Sioux Falls to bring visitors to the city. Meyer said she was hoping for more continuity in membership, rather than such a drastic change in board members.
"There are a lot of rumors and a lot of innuendo that are floating around out there. Ultimately, it's the mayor's decision," Meyer said.
According to Teri Ellis Schmidt, with the Convention and Visitor's Bureau, the Community Indoor Tennis Center, of which Cindy Huether is a board member, previously inquired about the possibility of legally using BID money for a new indoor tennis facility. While on the phone with KELOLAND News, Schmidt said BID money is used to promote the city and not for bricks and mortar projects. She also said the CITC never made a formal request, so the board never voted on anything.
"There's no ill-will or no negative intent," Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether said.
Huether said he saw a lot of people apply for the BID Board. Huether also oversees other boards in the city and says changes in members are not uncommon.
"There are other people who are just as passionate about serving, as well, and I think we should give everyone that opportunity," Huether said.