Rushmore Plaza Civic Center to furlough 41 employees

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) – The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, following a special board meeting on Thursday, announced it will furlough approximately 41 employees as a result of the impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The furloughs impact all benefited positions at the facility including those that are part-time hourly, full-time hourly and salaried employees.

Rushmore Plaza Civic Center is furloughing 41 employees. (KOTA TV)

“Extended facility closures combined with expected lost revenues from event cancellations and postponements led to the difficult decision,” said Executive Director Craig Baltzer. “These are valued colleagues that are an integral part of our facility. Their hard work allows the Civic Center to provide programming that not only enriches our community, but also has a large economic impact on the City. As we face this unfortunate and challenging reality, I am proud of our entire staff for facing this budget crisis head-on.”

The Civic Center closed to the public March 23. All benefited employees have continued their duties in preparation for the 2020-2021 event season. However, due to the forecasted loss in revenue it was clear that now was the time to take action. Furloughs are expected to begin no later than June 1 and continue throughout the summer, with the option of calling employees back early if needed.

“The reach and impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus is bigger than any of us could have ever imagined,” said Baltzer. “Civic Center revenues have dramatically declined as a result of event cancellations and postponements that combined with the forecasted decrease in BBB revenues have forced our hand. Every single staff member is affected by this furlough, including our Executive Team. It is important to note that the furloughs will be managed by each department. This enables us to provide the quality services we are known for - to our tenants, lessees, and patrons - for the events that are still on our calendar in the next few months.”

Furloughed employees may be eligible for reemployment benefits. Through the CARES Act, the federal government is providing an additional $600 per week in addition to regular reemployment insurance benefits. Rapid City’s Human Resources Department is working with employees to share information about reemployment benefit options.