Rushmore Plaza Civic Center plans for reopen

Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 4:14 PM CDT
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Much like other businesses, the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center is working to find a way to reopen its doors.

"I think every arena, convention center, and stadium in the country is trying to figure that out right now," said Craig Baltzer, civic center executive director.

With concerts postponed and sporting events in limbo, convention centers are looking for ways to open their doors while following current guidelines.

"I would think that we would be on the earlier game of getting open but what does open mean? Right? So right now, we don't know have any statewide guidelines, restrictions, what we do have is recommendations," said Baltzer.

Baltzer said the civic center has plans for sanitizing and using spaces differently than in the past. They're also looking to places like the Sioux Falls convention center for ideas.

"Sioux Falls looks like they're going forward with an idea and we'd like to see how that turns out, is working in pods, right. So you sell groups of 6 or 8 people. If you buy a ticket, you have to buy the whole pod but then you bring your own people," said Baltzer. "Now you're self responsible for your pod or your own area."

Although big name concerts and touring plays seem like the bulk of the civic center's business, they actually rely more on meetings, wrestling tournaments and even weddings.

"Some of those big, high profile, ticketed items that are marketed heavily, that becomes our image down here. I mean, the wall is lined with stuff like that right now, but to be really honest with you, for our budgets and things like that, that's only a small portion of what we do here," said Baltzer.

Baltzer hopes to be completely back in business by September but says some July and August events are in the works, as well.