Demand for storage jumps as units fill with new boats, RVs & people moving

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — While it’s still summer, many families heading back to school are now starting to pack up their outdoor fun as they put the boat or RV away for the winter. But in the Sioux Falls area, many people are running into a problem with storage.

“The phone rings pretty constant most all day, through the weekend, at night, that kind of stuff,” Black Dog Storage owner Dalton Allen said. 

It’s always been a big business, but since the pandemic, storage has seen even more demand as many families bought a camper or a boat for some socially distanced summer fun.

“I get those kind of frantic calls ‘hey I just bought a boat and we have no where to put it.’ Its really tough for us when we don’t really have anywhere to put it either,” Allen said. 

Black Dog Storage opened in Harrisburg in 2018 and since then, hasn’t stopped adding more storage units.

“We have waiting lists on that kind of stuff virtually before we even start the building,” Allen said. 

“We’re opening outdoor storage and I’ve been getting a lot of people in line for that with their RVs, boats; it’s not open yet but I already have a pretty good-sized wait list for it,” Store Sioux Falls property manager Mason Svennes said.  “It is very limited. The units that do come available, get filled pretty quick, the consensus is, everybody’s pretty full right now.”

Along with a new outdoor storage lot, Store Sioux Falls also plans to add two new buildings.

“We have seen a dramatic increase this year, a lot of people are moving, the housing market is hot,” Svennes said. 

“Planning on moving and need to get some of the clutter out of the existing house before I sell it,” homeowner Lee Lewis said. 

Lewis is one of the many people moving in the Sioux Falls area this fall; he says it took a few tries to find the right storage space.

“I didn’t find any that were totally full, but quite a few that didn’t have the size I was looking for, which was a larger unit,” Lewis said. 

“The smaller units seem to be more temporary units for people moving houses, so there’s more turnover in those,” Allen said. 

While Allen says it is easier for customers to find an open smaller storage unit, once someone finally snags a larger unit for their recreational vehicles, they tend to hold onto it long term.

“We’ve had some people store it over the winter months, then they take it home over the summer, but then when they come back in the fall that spot is not there,” Allen said. 

Allen says the best way to guarantee a long-term spot is to hold onto it all year. If you’re looking to get a new storage space, he says to call and get on a wait list at least a couple of months before you need the storage space.

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