SIOUX FALLS, SD -
Fresh off renovations, more construction is in the works for the Sioux Falls Regional Airport. Airport officials say construction crews will begin building an on-site hotel in June.
When you're taking flight, the airport is your destination. But for travelers like McIntyre Arndt, when to arrive at the airport can be a big decision. He drove into Sioux Falls from Milford, Iowa Tuesday night and says a hotel connected to the airport would have been convenient.
"People with an early morning flight, they can just drive up pretty much and hop on an airplane in the morning and not have to worry about driving in the morning when they can just stay overnight in Sioux Falls and then leave," Arndt said.
The plan calls for the hotel to be built on the north end of the existing terminal complex. If all goes well, it will open in early 2015.
"I guess I've lived in enough hotel airports to know it is easy and good and that's what it's all about, convenience, making it easy to come, easy to go and that's why people come," Maryland resident Chip Lewis said.
Lewis has been coming to South Dakota to hunt pheasants for more than a decade. He says the addition of a hotel will be a nice compliment to the other recent upgrades.
"I sure do. I remember the transition through all the years and this is a great, open, easy place to fly in and out of," Lewis said.
The hotel will be four stories tall and feature 74 rooms. Arndt would have booked one before his flight.
"Most likely would have used it if I had that option, other than staying downtown and finding my way to the airport," Arndt said.
And for long-distance hunters, as long as this airport stays modern, they'll keep making this their pheasant destination.
"Every year, 'til death do me part," Lewis said.
The company that runs ClubHouse Suites and Ramkota has a 30 year lease to run the hotel. It will pay eight percent of its revenue to the airport as rent.
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