SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Before the Levitt at the Falls venue opened in Downtown Sioux Falls, there were some pretty big claims about how much this new space would impact local businesses.
In May, we talked with the Executive Director of the Levitt, Nancy Halverson, who said the new stage could bring $5 million of economic impact to the community, every year.
The sounds of summer have taken on a whole new meaning for downtown shops, since the opening of Levitt at the Falls. Not only do the shopkeepers at the Jones 421 building hear music… they also see dollar signs!
“We’ve noticed that there’s maybe a 25 percent increase in just the foot traffic from the shows. And when the weather is nice, you’re looking at 30 to 40 percent increase in foot traffic just in the local area,” Quinton Manning, OG Green Co-owner said.
“It’s just a super exciting time to be down here. The sense of community is so much more than we’ve seen ever before. A lot of foot traffic. A lot of people discovering this area, which is kind of fun to see through their eyes,” Leigh McCoy, Owner of Bella Rosa said.
“It brings in a crowd that’s just different than anybody else. We have families, we have grandparents, we have single people. Aunts and uncles that come in and shop with us. We have a lot of people that will come by and just see something and pick it up on their way,” Heather Ness, Owner of Corduroy and Pixie Dust said.
Each shop owner we talked with says the Levitt shows have been amazing for business.
Not only do they bring in customers that night, they also spread awareness when they leave.
“It’s always fun to hear, we didn’t know you were down here! Now we’re going to come back! So it’s really fun to see new faces,” McCoy said.
“They’ll show up a little bit, maybe an hour or hour and a half before the concert. They’ll start wandering around for foot traffic. They’ll kind of make their way through the building and start to see some of the new shops that are here available. So we’ve definitely benefited from it,” Manning said.
This sort of exposure is huge for brand new businesses, like OG Green; serving up fast, casual, health foods.
The weekly shows are actually one of the reasons they chose this location.
“It definitely helped. We were originally looking at a location on 41st and primarily our focus is on lunch. And we also realized if you have a 30 minute lunch, you don’t want to spend 15 minutes in traffic on 41st to get your lunch. So we kind of stumbled upon this place and we’ve never looked back,” said Manning.
Around the corner at the children’s boutique, Corduroy and Pixie Dust, it’s been a learning experience about what products to stock up on!
“We actually learned right away, the first weekend, that we needed a lot of quick take toys. We needed items such as, we call them Splat Balls. Something to keep the kids occupied. We have water wows that we do here as well, we give out free water to the kids in a water bottle so they can take it with over to the Levitt,” Ness said.
Even shops who have been around a little longer, like Bella Rosa, are adapting to help encourage more people to come inside before the shows.
“For the days that we do have Levitt concerts we do have extended hours. And it’s not necessarily just shoppers coming in and buying a bunch, because they are going to a concert but we do get a lot of repeat people back. So it’s nice to see the people coming back to this area even when there isn’t a concert,” McCoy said.
It’s that sort of community support that has these business owners beaming about their new, noisy neighbors across the street.
McCoy says the shops are also working on a coupon card that will be handed out during Levitt shows for deals inside the Jones 421 building.