RAPID CITY, SD – Despite a calm start to the year, Rapid City saw tons of new opportunities for economic growth in 2021.
February saw the return of live events, such as the Black Hills Stock Show and the Rapid City Rodeo, with record cattle sales of nearly $ 2 million.
May 4th was Black Hills and Badlands Travel Rally Day. As attractions reopened and cabins and hotels filled up, excitement boiled for travel and sightseeing.
On June 9, news broke that Ellsworth Air Force Base was officially chosen as the first home of the B-21 Raider bomber. An announcement was also made regarding the arrival of hundreds of new jobs providing opportunities in the residential construction and ancillary positions market, with local businesses expected to experience indirect growth as well. The bomber is also expected to boost economic activity by nearly $ 24 million in the region.
At the end of the summer, Elevate Rapid City brought new technological opportunities with the announcement of a battery manufacturing plant for the region, creating the potential for over 1,000 new jobs. October quickly followed with the official opening of the David Lust Accelerated Building, focused on building local and community start-ups to create more growth.
“It’s really important to have a place where entrepreneurs can monetize and create jobs from the intellectual property that came out of the École des mines. We have a world-class university here. Students who graduate from here go to places like Google, Microsoft and Garmin, ”said Tom Johnson, president and CEO of Elevate Rapid City. The more we can keep here, we can keep this intellectual property here, we can transfer it to individual companies like Property Meld. The better we will be. “
The month also included change of ownership news and new plans for the Rushmore Mall, which is now called Uptown Rapid. Increases in gaming revenue for Deadwood after sports betting was legalized and a 20% increase in tourism over the summer months were also announced.
At Belle Fourche, California-based Albany Farms has announced plans to build a ramen factory, creating 900 jobs.
The long-awaited Summit Arena was slated to open in October, but has been pushed back to November due to event cancellations. However, The Monument sold over $ 30,000 in tickets for its first concert series.
As for the New Year, Johnson says new opportunities are on the way. About five to six companies have expressed interest in coming to the DLAB, placing the building near capacity within six months. If all goes as he says, plans for a second field startup lab next door could follow.
“We try to make sure that we grow in a way that matches our culture and our quality of life here,” Johnson said. “We’re not trying to grow up too fast, but we’re also trying to grow up just enough to give a chance for young children who are gone and gone to come back or those who want to stay to stay here and stay worked here.”