SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Skateboards took over downtown Sioux Falls over the weekend as the city hosted the international Innoskate Festival. While the event was all about sharing more about the sport, it also made a major economic impact for businesses in the city.
“Huge crowds; I’ve never seen downtown Sioux Falls like that,” The Source Barista Sydney Hayes said.
Thursday through Saturday, Phillips Avenue near the Levitt was covered with crowds of people in town for the Innoskate Festival.
“We had such a phenomenal weekend, we had about 15,000 people downtown over the weekend,” Levitt at the Falls executive director Nancy Halverson said.
While many festival goers were from Sioux Falls, Innoskate also brought in a crowd of visitors.
“Lots of people from out of town, I talked to a family who flew in from New York for the event, so people were here from all over,” Halverson said.
“I had a couple people actually form the UK come in that were here for the skating event,” Hayes said.
From Olympians to national speakers and attendees, the Innoskate Festival made hotel rooms a hot commodity.
“This weekend we were absolutely swamped, in the best way possible,” Downtown Sioux Falls Holiday Inn Corporate Sales Manager Nichelle Lund said. “We were completely booked with a whole bunch of different things going on… a lot of our guests were from all over the country”
Businesses in the Jones building were especially busy with the festival shutting down traffic and setting set up right outside their building.
“They were overwhelmed by all of the foot traffic coming in,” Halverson said.
“It was the busiest I’ve ever seen it,” Hayes said.
From coffee in the morning to drinks in the evening, the festival had people buzzing through downtown Sioux Falls and supporting local businesses all weekend long.
“I came downtown first for the farmers market and it was already starting to be just a bubbling anticipation of what’s going on,” Lund said.
An event that brought a lot of excitement and an economic boost for the entire Sioux Falls community.
“I think the economic impact was huge,” Halverson said.
“People want to spend their money at these small businesses, which is nice, because that means expansion for Sioux Falls, ” Hayes said. “I’m from here and I love to see the growth of Sioux Falls.”
Downtown Sioux Falls and the Levitt organization are still tallying up exactly how much of an economic impact hosting the international festival had for the community; we should know the official numbers later this month.