Civic Center sees future challenges in event planning

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 4:08 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Construction continues on the new Civic Center arena, but what can you expect to see happening at the facility in the near future?

Executive director Craig Baltzer told the Civic Center Board Tuesday morning about some of the challenges in scheduling events these days amid the pandemic.

In fact, the staff there says they were ready to announce a big event this week but say, just last night, the promoter decided to move it to next year.

And it's been the same story with other events scheduled here for 2020.

They say so far, they've been hosting private events and meetings and you'll see larger events starting at the end of July and into August.

And scheduling now includes working with those events to keep everyone safe.

Civic Center deputy director of events Jayne Kraemer "Every event is different, no matter if we have COVID-related requirements or not. So every event is unique in itself. We see some events that are not so strict by not making their attendees wear masks to people that do want their attendees to wear masks. So it varies widely. there's a lot of meetings, a lot of calls, a lot of questions we're handling for each event."

Kraemer says they're working to get Rushmore Hall ready for rentals again after being used as an emergency shelter for homeless community members who needed to isolate because of COVID-19.

That shelter moved to a new location last week and Pennington County Emergency Management had a company come into the Civic Center for a thorough cleaning.

Kraemer says "And that company came in and cleaned and disinfected and sanitized Rushmore Hall. And so this week, we're just finishing up with the teardown of the showers, the water heaters that were put in for those showers. They're boxing up the cots that are down there right now and they should be shipped out by the end of this week. So we will have everything cleared up and back to normal and ready for business by next week."

The city says more than 50 different people were served in the shelter at the Civic Center before it was moved to the North LaCrosse Street location.

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