Rapid City Regional Airport's $20.5 million renovation project is completed, and airport officials invite the public to see all of the changes during a grand opening and open house on Friday, Sept. 28, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The open house will begin with a 10:30 a.m. news conference, ribbon-cutting ceremony and a dedication of the new public art. Among the speakers will be Rapid City Mayor Sam Kooiker and Airport Board President Lisa Modrick.
Hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be served during the open house, and interpretive displays will highlight the changes and the new features of the terminal. In addition, the airport is offering free parking during the open house.
"For the past year, folks passing through the airport have seen plywood walls and construction barriers. We really appreciate everyone's patience. Now we'd like to show them the end result, which is extraordinary," said Airport Executive Director Cameron Humphres.
People who haven't been to the airport recently will quickly notice striking changes in the facility. The large, open restaurant features a rooftop garden with outdoor seating. The passenger screening area is larger and more streamlined. Ticket counters and the car rental area have been extensively remodeled. And the baggage claim area is backed by a breathtaking series of paintings by James Van Nuys. His artwork is one of five public art pieces by local artists that have been installed at the airport.
"We're calling this a ‘grand opening,' rather than a ‘grand reopening,' because it really is a brand new airport," said Toni Broom, Deputy Airport Director for Finance & Administration.