SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — The return of fans to the Summit League Basketball Championships means big business for Sioux Falls hotels.
As the basketball court comes together inside the PREMIER Center, down the hallway at the Sheraton staff is preparing to welcome fans.
“Definitely on Saturday and Sunday we’ll have a full house. We are expecting a lot of fans in town and we are ready for them,” Sheraton Sioux Falls General Manager Marek Vesely said.
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It was a different story at last year’s Summit League Championships. The tournament was held at the Sanford Pentagon due to COVID-19 and very few fans were able to attend.
“We still hosted a few people here but it was very slow and it’s the opposite of this year,” Vesely said.
“Very exciting tournament, lots of fun,” SDSU fan David Schaefer said.
David Schaefer is an SDSU fan from Rapid City. He can’t wait to see the PREMIER Center packed with blue and yellow for the first time in two years.
“Great time to come together around the spirit of the team as well as see friends and family, so to be able to come back this year is a really big deal and we’re staying here right at the tournament and we’re excited about it,” Schaefer said.
What is the Summit tourney without SDSU, USD?
And he’s not alone.
“Always to see my hotel full and happy people around is always great for me as a general manager,” Vesely said.
Vesely says the hotel industry as a whole is rebounding and expects big things for the summer ahead.
“Our occupancy is picking up, it’s very similar to 2019 which was actually our best year for our industry and we are definitely excited that we already have a lot of reservations coming for summer and we expect it will be very busy,” Vesely said.
During the tournament, Vesely expects the Sheraton to be buzzing with activity from 6:00 am until midnight daily.