Written by Jodi Schwan
When the Hilton Garden Inn opens Tuesday, it will be the latest in a string of successes for the East Bank, an area that many say holds even more promise once railroad tracks are removed and more land is open for redevelopment.
“There’s been no hotel built in Sioux Falls like this,” said Paul Hegg, president and CEO of Hegg Companies, which co-owns the hotel and will manage it. “It’s truly a unique lodging facility that Sioux Falls has never seen.”
The five-story, 136-room hotel is a custom built property that overlooks the river and is designed to complement the greenway development that is luring more people to the riverfront for recreation and entertainment.
“Downtown Sioux Falls is alive … and we’re right on a very unique piece of property that can’t be duplicated, because we’re right on the river,” Hegg said.
The hotel includes a full-service restaurant, Elements on 8th, which will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and include a large outdoor patio along the river. It’s operated by Pinnacle Hospitality, the company that owns Callaways, Foley’s and Tre.
“We’ve created what we believe to be a menu attractive to young and old, traveler and resident, and (to) match the ambiance of the property both inside and out,” operating partner Randy Derheim said.
The property also includes meeting space for up to 400 people and a ballroom for special events.
“That will bring hundreds of people on a daily, nightly, weekly basis to downtown who otherwise wouldn’t be here,” said Darrin Smith, the city’s director of community development. “Anytime you have a hotel, there’s constant activity and it will feed a lot of those little businesses around there.”
First since 1995
The Hilton Garden Inn is the first new downtown hotel since the Country Inn & Suites opened in 1995.
“I think it’ll really help grow our customer and visitor base,” said Jason Dennison, president of Downtown Sioux Falls Inc. “We’re thrilled to have it open and see what kind of impact it will have.”
More than 1,000 people also now work in the area. Raven Industries Inc. is finishing a renovation of its corporate headquarters. Office space at the CNA building and Cherapa Place is full. There’s a waiting list for space at 8th & Railroad Center.