STURGIS — During his recent Capital for a Day visit, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard lauded Sturgis as a community that has taken responsibility for its own future.
“Many communities of this size would wait for business opportunities to come their way, but Sturgis is more proactive than most,” he said. “Economic development is something you must do intentionally. You have a vibrant economic development corporation here.”
According to a story in the Meade County Times-Tribune, Daugaard also lauded the Meade School District for its commitment to career and technical education or CTE. “Because the firearms industry is very active in Sturgis, the school system has a machinist program with up-to-date modern equipment. I know that because I gave a grant to help buy it,” he said.
The Sturgis motorcycle rally is what draws people to Sturgis and the entire state from all over the world. And Sturgis is learning to leverage their hospitality to other events year-round, the governor said.
Daugaard gave as an example the pavilion at The Knuckle Saloon which serves thousands of bikers during the annual motorcycle rally, but also uses the venue for a bull-riding event during the summer when rodeo fans are in town for the Southwest Regional High School rodeo. “That just shows you take your assets and don’t just rely on them for the obvious – like the rally – but use them in other ways to create more interest in Sturgis,” he said.
Daugaard also visited the Sturgis Watershed areas, city-owned reservoirs on Alkali Creek just outside of Sturgis. The Sturgis City Council has proposed turning the area into a state park. The governor suggested the area could someday become a day-use recreation area.