An anonymous person contributed to this post.

Something stood out in Tuesday’s City Council Informational meeting.

It was during the Overlook Cafe presentation.

Mike Milstead’s wife, Rhonda, appeared at both meetings.  She did a small event at the Overlook last year for Winter Wonderland, and now is the only vendor that submitted a proposal for the five-year contract.  Somehow she has convinced them to allow alcohol in the park.

There are over 70 parks in the system and 12 of them prohibit alcohol, Falls Park being one of them.  I am surprised that none of the councilors questioned this.

So, at the same time they are discussing safety at the Falls, the Mayor is going to approve a long-term contract to allow alcohol?  This seems somewhat incongruent!

The management agreement is up on the website (agenda item #16).  (PDF of Document: agreement) The only place that I even see this mentioned is under liquor liability insurance, and then again in Exhibit A under Manager Responsibilities.  #7.  Manager agrees that the use of beer and wine is intended for private rentals/caterings and to complement park patrons dining experience.  Alcohol may not be the focus of advertising or offered as a “special” such as “bucket night” or 2-for-1 promotion.

This seems like a major shift in policy regarding this city property.

I also question why the county sheriff’s wife is the only person to submit an RFP, which includes selling alcohol?

13 Thoughts on “So this is how we are going to make Falls Park Safer?

  1. rufusx on April 7, 2013 at 1:50 pm said:

    What – you passed on this golden opportunity to get into the restaurant business? Crap – the city of SF spends millions in advertising every year to bring 100s of thousands of potential customers right to your door. They even provide your parking lot. Come on man – get in the game!!

  2. anominous on April 8, 2013 at 1:50 am said:

    “Bucket Night” at Falls Park! How romantic!

  3. Previous tenants of the cafe served wine and beer without any ill effects.

    To my thinking, such beverages are necessary to legitimize such an establishment, straddling as it must the dual roles of public service (potty break! air conditioning! historical photos!) and competitive private enterprise.

    I’d bet that fisherman sneaking in 6-packs have and will always be the biggest drinkers in the park, something that won’t change regardless of what the cafe is doing just up stream.

  4. l3wis on April 8, 2013 at 8:11 am said:

    Grant – I am a little on the fence about the the serving. I am more concerned about why the sheriff’s wife is the ONLY person to submit an RFP.

  5. It kind of reminds me of a certain former law enforcement official who also ran the prison food system. That didn’t end well.

  6. Johnny Roastbeef on April 8, 2013 at 8:20 am said:

    I’m all for serving alcohol at the Falls. It’s the way the forefathers would have wanted it and if you don’t like it you should leave South Dakota and move to Communist China.

  7. Tom H. on April 8, 2013 at 9:06 am said:

    I agree with l3wis about the single bid thing – suspicious. I’m okay with the alcohol, though. The agreement says they won’t advertise for it, and there’s tons of cops at Falls Park to prevent underage drinking and public drunkenness.

  8. Grant Wentzel says……

    Previous tenants of the cafe served wine and beer….

    I believe this is inaccurate information.

  9. CR, I am starting to wonder about that to.

  10. All info on indicates that no alcohol consumption is allowed in Falls Park.

    Which makes sense……

    Alcohol consumption at the Falls was one of the major reasons City leaders made the decision years ago to rehab the entire area investing millions of tax dollars to do so!!!

  11. It would have been around 2008 when I noticed it on the menu, 2-3 vendors back. Anybody have any details on the business that was in place back then?

    I’ve never ordered anything but ice cream down there, so I couldn’t tell you much more about it.

  12. I know that the SE Arts Council battled the city on the alcohol issue several years ago. They wanted to serve beer and wine at art receptions at the horse barn, and they would not let them because of the Falls Park ban on alcohol.

  13. ironically, we would go over to the Silver Moon and have a drink after receptions 🙂

Post Navigation