Sioux Falls, S.D. - It was a busy Sunday as Sioux Falls hosted a 2nd day of Summit League Tournament action. Many Sioux Falls hotels and businesses are packed with crowds of fans in town for the tournament and many say the community helps make the tournament experience so great.
“The concerts, the sporting events all of it. It’s great for Sioux Falls and it’s really great for our business,” Holiday Inn and Suites Assistant General Manager, Shellie Linn said.
Thousands of fans are in Sioux Falls to cheer on their team in the Summit League Tournament.
“My daughters here today playing with Oral Roberts University,” Oklahoma native Mark Lippe said.
All those fans means businesses stay pretty busy.
“We are very busy. We have had a great turnout. A lot of walk-ins, a lot of short-term reservations, and we've had just a great reception and a great turnout,” Linn said.
One of the biggest advantages for the Holiday Inn and Suites is being so close to the Denny Sanford Premier Center.
“Being within walking distance I think is a great benefit for us here at this hotel. You can just walk out the back door and in three blocks be back in your hotel and your bed,” Linn said.
Many businesses throughout Sioux Falls are whole-heartedly supporting South Dakota’s teams, but those visiting said the welcoming atmosphere is different from many other places.
“This venue gives our athletes the respect that they deserve. You know they've worked hard on the men’s and women’s side. Just to get this much excitement about the conference and about the sport is always fun to see,” Oral Roberts Assistant Coach, Janae Inman said.
Many may think South Dakota has the home court advantage, but visiting teams said they don’t think that’s true.
“If you're playing one of them you have the love of every other opponent’s fans. So there’s not really, I see the point, but at the same time you're never going to get this kind of atmosphere anywhere else,” Inman said.
“There’s a lot of people coming in with the tournament. I mean it’s really, there’s a buzz here with everything going on and it’s a fun time to be here,” Lippe said.
Many fans also said they're still hoping for some snow so they can get the full South Dakota experience while they're here. The holiday Inn made sure it had enough staff on hand for the tournament and pre-assigned rooms.