New business adds to ‘vibrancy’ of downtown Rapid City

Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 9:06 AM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Rapid City has seen growth over the years, which can be seen in the expansion of Rushmore Crossing, an increase in population, and the booming building permit numbers.

But that expansion isn’t limited to the outskirts of town.

Downtown Rapid City is no stranger to the growth, with a number of new businesses opening up shop on Main and St. Joseph streets but with all the open signs, there are still a number of for sale signs as well.

“The word that we’re using to describe where we’re trying to get is vibrant,” said Domico Rodriguez, President & CEO of Main Street Square. “And that gets used a lot but what that is is people walking around downtown from 6 in the morning to go to work to 2 in the morning when the lounges and bars closed and restaurants. Vibrancy, foot traffic, those are the things that we’re looking for.”

Like anywhere else, downtown Rapid City has seen business turnover and spaces go empty over the years, Rodriguez says timing plays a part, “Some of the issues here in downtown Rapid City is seasonality. A lot of our businesses make their hay in the summertime and then come winter time, it’s difficult because we don’t have the millions of people coming into downtown Rapid City.”

One way to turn this around is by focusing not just on tourists but the community as well, something Rodriguez says businesses are already trying, “Not only is it for the visitors, it’s for the locals. We’ve seen that over the last couple of years with businesses like Pour 54, they’re different than your average lounge, they’ve been able to bring in new product to Rapid City and see some success and the Hydration Station is another business like that. Vita Sana Olive Oil company, these are all unique things.”

Hydration Station opened in June.

The owner, Stacy Kenitzer, is new to the area and was surprised an IV lounge wasn’t already downtown.

“It will draw more people down here,” said Kenitzer. “I know it’s a big tourist town and I have seen tourists coming in here, they do this in whatever state they live in so there are people familiar with is from out of town and I would hope that it would draw some more attention. If more people come in here, they’re going to walk around downtown, which I would hope would help the other businesses around.”

Hydration Station offers a quick and easy way to hydrate your body while quickly and efficiently getting vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and other nutrients.

And just up the street, a new wine bar also opened this summer.

“Two years from now, you won’t recognize downtown Rapid City and that’s exciting.”

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