Entries Tagged 'Sioux Empire Fair' ↓

Quarry Hotel?

I have heard from a couple of reliable sources that the aggregate company that wants to buy the fairgrounds has been circulating a presentation on different concepts of what to do with the old quarry once they leave it and start using the fairgrounds quarry (if the sale is successful). One concept is a quarry lake hotel like they recently opened in China. It is probably highly unlikely since it would cost hundreds of millions of dollars to construct and somewhat funny that they are even throwing the idea around. As I told someone about the concept, “It’s kinda of like what we were promised with the Denty and instead we got a polished (dented) turd.”

Will Minnehaha County sell the Fairgrounds for Quarry use?

A few years back on a couple of occasions there was a very public push for a concrete company in Sioux Falls wanting to buy the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds because of the rich quarry reserves below. It was rejected by the County Commission. The fairgrounds are county property, and while they do have some infrastructure cost sharing with the city, the actual property was gifted to the County by the Lyon family. I may be wrong on my history but I think when the land was gifted for the fair it was farmland out of the city limits.

There were two issues with the sale a few years ago. 1) The Lyon family did NOT want it sold for a quarry and 2) The County didn’t have a plan to replace the fairgrounds.

Moving forward, the company has supposedly renewed their appeal for the property, according to one of my county sources. This time around they are claiming the Lyon family is on board, but my source is telling me the commission cannot approve the sale because the commission’s counsel has told them they cannot legally sell it for that use. The other issue is where will the SE Fair be moved to? And what would it cost to replace the grounds? The suggestion floating around is to just put a big tent up each year for the fair. How festive in a 1920’s Ringling Brothers sort of way.

While I could care less if we have a fair each year (just brings up bad memories of being in 4-H and how much I hated it) my concern is having a gigantic hole in west central Sioux Falls. I also wonder what the city would think about that attractive hole?

We will see how public and transparent this battle becomes.

Sioux Falls Mayoral Candidate David Zokaites at the SE Fair

While one of his other opponents is busy selling overpriced American motorcycles, David has been working the crowd this week at the SE Fair. I spoke with David at the Fair Monday night, he said the response to his candidacy has been ‘Very Positive’ and people are looking forward from moving on from the current administration. Thank God for term limits!

Badlands Pawn proposes to sponsor the Sioux Empire Fair in 2016

Chuck Brennan proposed to the Fair Board that he wanted to sponsor the SE Fair next year.  He wants to market the fair next year through his TV shows, radio station, reality show and other media associated with his mega pawnshop.  If the SEF doesn’t buy the advertising package they would not be able to hire Hairball a la carte for SEF 2016.

It sounds like an all or nothing deal.

I haven’t seen the actual proposal yet, but as I understand it the Fair Board will probably reject the plan.

The irony of it all is that the fair is right before the 2016 election in which a payday initiative may be on the ballot.

A couple of carnies get arrested for drugs, shocker!

I want the one with crack in it’s head!

Two Sioux Empire Fair carnival workers have been arrested after police intercepted a package containing 37 grams of crack cocaine.

On Saturday, Sioux Falls Police were tipped off by Texas authorities about a shipment of drugs that was headed to the area.

Police were able to intercept the package before it was delivered and found a Lalaloopsy doll inside. Inside the head of the doll was 37 grams of crack cocaine.

Police repackaged the doll and the drugs and delivered it to a southwest Sioux Falls hotel. The man who received the package claimed it was for a friend.

Authorities ultimately arrested both men, 35-year-old Louis Frank Deak of Lawton, Oklahoma and 55-year-old John Thomas Whitfield Jr. of Houston, Texas.

Police say both men worked in the ‘kiddie land’ area at the Sioux Empire Fair.

Deak and Whitfield face numerous drug charges and will be in court Monday afternoon.

“Mommy! Those two guys running Kiddie Land are really hyper, and a little sweaty!”

Maybe someone should read SE Fair Manager Scott Wick the US Constitution

First he stopped people from petitioning their government on the fair grounds (which are owned by the people petitioning the government) now he wants to fine bands for using cuss words (a clear violation of 1st Amendment rights).

Not sure what country Wick is from, but he doesn’t sound like he is from America.

Sure, cuss words and pesky petition gatherers can be annoying, but guess what, they have rights, the US constitution guarantees these rights.

It reminds me of something Lucinda Williams said about one of her songs a few years back in concert, she was going to perform the song on the ‘Today’ show, and they asked her to censor some parts of the song (it is about masturbation, and other stuff). She told them she was going to perform the song ‘as is’ or not at all. This was of course about 60 seconds before air. She performed the song ‘as is’ and she said this, “And guess what? No one died, and no one got hurt.”

Not to long ago the SE Fair was in financial straights, now they are going to Vegas.


From an SE Fair entertainment announcement email;

Coming to the 2012 Grandstand

Tracy Lawrence
Friday, August 10

‘Tracy was sincerely disappointed that he couldn’t perform last year due to weather”, says Scott Wick, Fair Manager, “He made a point to personally meet with us at our convention in Las Vegas last fall to work out his return as to not disappoint his South Dakota fans.”

Maybe I am wrong about this, and hopefully music guru Hudson can chime in, but does the SE Fair really have to attend conventions to bring in musical acts? We have things called telephones and email to work out contracts now.


“To sell or not to sell the fairgrounds, that is the question.”

This long article in the Gargoyle Leader (not written by my favorite journalist) talks about a lot of unknowns and gives some people an out;

Sweetman Construction, which owns the huge quarry adjacent to the fairgrounds, could be a logical buyer. The company is interested in acquiring the site for the quartzite underlying it. But only if the county wants to sell, according to CEO Patrick Sweetman. He strongly makes the point the company is not trying to force a sale.

“We are always looking out for the future of our business and looking at our potential for reserves,” Sweetman says. Acquiring the fairgrounds to expand the quarry makes good business sense. However, it “is one of the multiple options we’ve got on the table,” he says.

Damn right is does. But he just wants us to believe that it hasn’t been under serious consideration . . . yeah . . . right.

All that said, however, Hajek thinks the busy county commission would not be adverse to dealing with a fairgrounds sale yet this year.

“If the right pieces came together, I think we would act and do something,” she says.

I’m sure you would not be ‘adverse’ to selling the land. You are on your way out, what do you have to lose, or better yet GAIN from the sale?

IMO, leave the fairgrounds where they are at, they serve a purpose, and they make money when people are not stealing from them.

He (Mayor Huether) makes it clear he wants the city to be a fair advocate. On an ad-hoc basis, the city could assist with projects such as fixing fairgrounds potholes.

Why don’t we start by paving the entire lot by the EXPO building? Maybe Sweetman would like to donate some paving materials?

Doug Lund is right, um, did I just say that?

While I never agree with Doug, he hit the nail on the head with his latest blog post about the Fairgrounds.

Again, I gotta wonder. . who believes that the fair is such an albatross around the county’s neck..especially after it was discovered that the person responsible for  the fiancial shortfalls is sitting in the pokie?

And he supplied this link explaining the terms of the deed;

The terms of the gift also stated that, “In the event of the failure of the grantee to hold such fairs or exhibitions for five consecutive years, then, in that event, the said premises and title shall immediately revert to the grantor or next of kin to the grantor, with the right of immediate possession.

And these questions still remain;

• Is one of the commissioners an attorney representing the company wanting to purchase the land?

• Did several commissioners receive political contributions from the company wanting to buy the land?

• Does the company that wants to purchase the land do the appraisal of the property?

• Would there be a posibility of a referendum for a public vote if the county commission decides to sell the land?

The local MSM media needs to start doing more digging before it is too late. Like I have said, if some company wants the land, sell it to them, but you better be building us a whole new fairgrounds (with the possibility of connecting it with a new Events Center) and the county better be getting yearly dividend checks from the quarry.

Still a lot of unanswered questions about the sale of the Fairgrounds

When are politicians going to realize we might start trusting them if they start being transparent?

Minnehaha County commissioners could move forward soon on the question of what to do with the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds, including the prospect of selling the land and moving the Sioux Empire Fair to a new location.

“I think it will be soon,” Commissioner Dick Kelly said. “It’s been an information-gathering process. Now we’ve got all the facts, or opinions.”

Kelly said he hopes all the questions are settled before officials begin work on the next budget, which starts next month. The fairgrounds, he added, have an effect on both the county’s short- and mid-term budget outlook.

Sanford already has submitted two reports to the county, including one that analyzes the legal issues as to whether the county can sell the land. Kelly characterized them as “draft reports,” meaning they are not available to the public.

And there isn’t many answers in the rest of the story either.

Sweetman Construction, which operates a nearby quarry, has been mentioned as a possible buyer for the site, but Sanford said there has been no talk of selling the land and no negotiations.

Yeah, sure, you betcha. If that is true, let’s see the reports.