South Dakota’s largest city, Sioux Falls offers most of the great amenities that you find in big cities, yet still retains the charm and likeable qualities of a small town. Sioux Falls is also a very clean and affordable city that is moving ahead with momentum spurred by $400 million in new development downtown.
“Being located in a traditional ‘flyover state,’ Sioux Falls gets passed over quite a bit because people don’t think there’s anything to do,” says Experience Sioux Falls director of sales Anna Derry. “From our iconic SculptureWalk to 50 free outdoor concerts, breathtaking parks and beyond, people are always surprised by what they find when they visit our city.”
The venues available in Sioux Falls also are more varied than you might think. For example, a former high school was transformed into the Washington Pavilion in downtown Sioux Falls that serves as a hub for the arts, science and theater. The expansive lawn at Levitt at the Falls, an outdoor concert venue, can be used as a picturesque setting for receptions. Another unique venue is the Old Courthouse Museum. “As the name suggests, this once-courthouse-turned-museum was constructed in the late-1800s with pink quartzite, which is found all around our iconic Falls Park,” says Derry.
Part of the $400 million development in downtown Sioux Falls includes a 216-room Canopy by Hilton, expected to open in 2024 with 20,000 sf of convention space. Another development downtown, Cherapa II, will include 7,000 sf of space as part of a project expected to open later this year. Monick Yards is another new downtown venue opening this fall that will have a total of 12,000 sf divided into two separate spaces.
Singer John Denver called West Virginia “almost heaven”—and planners may want to sing along when they learn of the exceptional facilities of all sizes, signature hospitality and the variety of activities for attendees to enjoy.
Lauren E. Hough, public relations manager with the West Virginia Department of Tourism, points out that West Virginia is a four-season travel destination, “so no matter what time of year your event takes place, you’re guaranteed stunning mountain views, small towns brimming with arts and culture and incredible outdoor adventure.” It’s also just a day’s drive from two-thirds of the U.S. population, and commercial airports are conveniently located in five of the nine travel regions.
In terms of meeting venues, The Greenbrier Resort in the mountain town of White Sulphur Springs, boasts large meeting spaces, hundreds of guest rooms, world-class dining and a plethora of activities. Overlooking the picturesque Monongahela River, the Waterfront Place Hotel offers an escape that is both close to nature and easily accessible to downtown. “[Its] unique location in the Wharf District, its spacious conference rooms, inviting atmosphere and upstanding service combine to make this the ideal West Virginia hotel for your important business trip,” says Hough. She adds that getting there is easy, as the Pittsburgh International Airport is a 1-hour drive from the hotel.
For groups that want to get away from it all, the Snowshoe Mountain Resort is open year-round. Surrounded by mountain vistas, the resort offers plenty of outdoor recreation activities, including mountain biking, hiking trails and kayaking and paddleboarding on Shaver’s Lake.
One of the newest and largest meeting properties in West Virginia is the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center. As the entertainment and convention centerpiece of Charleston, the Civic Center hosts the majority of the state’s premier entertainment, sporting and corporate events. “Whether you need a meeting place, a banquet facility, a sports arena, a concert hall, or an exhibition space, the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center is both uniquely suited and ideally situated to make your event a success,” says Hough. —Sue Pelletier