Rapid City business owners propose festival venue change, cite l - KOTA Territory News

Rapid City business owners propose festival venue change, cite loss of revenue


Downtown Rapid City business owners want to see some changes to Summer Nights.

The Thursday evening entertainment venue was meant to draw crowds to the downtown area, encouraging them to shop, eat, and drink. But some business owners say the festival is achieving the opposite.

At Wednesday's Legal and Finance Committee meeting, business owners proposed that Memorial Park become the new venue because of the promenade, which would create a walkway from Memorial Park and the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center to downtown.

Summer Nights president, Sandy Schwan acknowledged the idea but is worried about moving the festival before completion of the promenade.

"So, they will park at the high school or the Civic Center, come into Memorial Park and that's where they will stay. We will essentially end up with a captive audience. They won't wonder downtown to have dinner. They may not wonder by shops to see what's for sale. Our concern is that it would be counterproductive to what we're trying to accomplish," Schwan said. 

"Nobody's against fun but, it's not a viable economic stimulus for businesses downtown simply due to the fact that it effectively takes away 20 percent of our gross revenue, takes away our Thursday revenue," said Dennis Halterman, The Factory Salon. 

The Legal and Finance Committee voted to approve the summer dates for Summer Nights 2013 but made it clear that their open to more dialogue.

Summer Nights: June 6, June 13, June 20, June 27, July 4, July 11, July 18, July 25, August 1, August 8, August 22, August 29.

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Rapid City, SD 57701

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