SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — While South Dakota’s vulnerable population was ordered to stay home during the height of the pandemic, the state avoided the types of lockdowns implemented in other states.
For the most part, business remained open. Because of this South Dakota saw an influx of people moving here from other states. KELOLAND News caught up with one of those people.
Jimmy Gordon has managed restaurants and nightclubs in Las Vegas and Nashville, Tennessee.
Last fall he was tired of not working. He heard South Dakota had avoided a shutdown for the most part and decided to check it out.
“Never been here before, didn’t know anyone just knew that regardless of anything else I would be allowed to work. The only person who could stop me was myself,” Gordon said.
Out of work for 9 months, in October, Gordon put his belongings into storage in Nashville then…
“Drove out here, got a hotel just printed up my resume and went and found a job,” Gordon said.
Gordon is now managing Wiley’s in downtown Sioux Falls. The club is known for its nightlife.
Teri Schmidt, the Executive Director at the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitor’s Bureau says Sioux Falls is a welcoming place.
“I think people are looking for what they deem as a safe place, and that’s safe Covid, safe crime, etcetera compare to many of the large communities they are moving in from,” Schmidt said.
Gordon isn’t sure how long he will remain in South Dakota, as a former professional Hockey player with the Toronto Maple Leafs, he’s done his share of traveling. He says he sees big things for Sioux Falls
In fact, Sioux Falls reminds him of Nashville 7 or 8 years ago.
“I see a lot of the same metrics here and a lot of growth potential and Sioux Falls is something not a lot of people really consider but when you look at the economic policy when you look at the tax structure for the state for businesses it’s a really enticing opportunity here,” Gordon said.
Schmidt says balancing growth with quality of life is the key to any expanding community. The cost of living, traffic flow and good schools all make Sioux Falls and the rest of South Dakota an attractive place to live.