Having a business right next door to one of the biggest sporting events in Sioux Falls tends to pay dividends, and Castaway's Bar and Grill came prepared.
"We expected heavier traffic than normal this time of year, and it hasn't disappointed. Friday night was great. Even before the game started, we saw an increase in business, and last night was just fantastic, we're up over last year, as well," Brad Palmer said.
Palmer and his staff planned for this event a full year in advance, just like other businesses near the Sioux Falls Arena.
"Summer's good for us, too. We get a lot of business travel and with softball tournaments and things like that, we generally pick up, but by far the Summit League and the basketball tournaments across the street are our busiest time of the year," Palmer said.
Hotels close by also see a major spike in business, but that's not the case city-wide. For newer locations like the Hilton Garden Inn downtown, business doesn't compare to the other options. While hotel staff wouldn't comment on camera, they do say that with a full year of planning, the Hilton Garden Inn will be ready to welcome in Summit League fans next year, especially with how many more people will be able to enjoy the festivities in the new Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.
That's something Palmer is looking forward to seeing as well.
"Oh, we are definitely planning ahead on how we can do things differently, how we can increase seating. Whether we set up a banquet room just to handle the overflow, but that's an excellent problem to have," Palmer said.
Palmer says business picks up even more when local teams like USD and SDSU are playing in the tournaments, which is why he is looking forward to what the rest of the tournament will hold in store.