Sioux Falls Business Journal
Another player is poised to enter the downtown hotel market.
Regency Hotel Management, whose properties include the Ramkota Hotel and ClubHouse Hotel & Suites in Sioux Falls, wants to build a 70- to 100-room hotel in the heart of downtown.
“I envision a boutique hotel, a little more edgy, a little more technology, upscale and comfortable,” said Dave Sweet, Regency’s chairman.
Boutique hotels generally are smaller, more independent properties that offer upscale amenities and are designed to feel more intimate than a hotel chain. Sweet envisions a roof garden, lounge and entertainment.
“Everything from today’s exercise area, to an area to watch sports and have people around, a lobby bar, a lobby coffee shop that’s upscale, an area for wine gatherings,” he said. “I’d do those when it’s nice on the rooftop and in the lobby the other times. You just try to create things so people meet people.”
The hotel also would involve some type of dining, ranging from a cafe to a full-service restaurant depending on space, Sweet said.
The boutique hotel concept has “exploded” in the past decade, according to Glenn Haussman, editor-in-chief of Hotel Interactive Inc.
“It’s huge,” he said. “The rise of the Internet has made it very helpful that everyone can have a hotel that’s a brand.”
Many large hotel companies are creating boutique properties or acquiring existing ones, he said.
Sweet said he has thought about bringing the concept downtown for the past five years. He considered the area next to the new CNA Surety building, which now will house a Hilton Garden Inn, but he didn’t move forward.
He’s down to two potential sites and hopes to start construction this fall.
“I believe where you really want to be is from the (Phillips Avenue) Diner down to Touch of Europe, within half a block of those areas, because that’s where the action is now,” Sweet said.
The concept would add diversity to the hotel market and help promote tourism, said Darrin Smith, the city’s director of community development and public parking.
“I think it’d be really cool, just because it would be different and another sign Sioux Falls is continuing to grow and our downtown has more of that real urban feel to it,” Smith said.
The city is working with Regency on potential locations. One option might involve building on an existing city parking lot, although the company would need to replace any public spaces that were lost, Smith said.
“I want to take the approach that we will find a location for him that will work for him and work for what we’re trying to do long-term downtown.”