Governor lauds Sturgis efforts to be a year-round destination


Sturgis, SD – 6.6.17  Gov. Daugaard says he enjoys the Capital for a Day program because it gets him out of his office to meet people where they live and hear about their challenges and celebrate their successes.

People around the nation talked about how Washington, D.C. can be like an island. Daugaard said Pierre can be like that also being isolated from the rest of the state.

“It’s good for me to get out of Pierre and get into places like Sturgis so I can see what’s going on,” he said. “I don’t want state government to be isolated from South Dakotans, or independent of the people.”

Daugaard said Sturgis has a lot going for it and has always been known to think big.

He was thoroughly impressed by the new Sturgis Main Street during a walk Tuesday morning with Sturgis Public Works Director Rick Bush.

“Wow! What a beautiful Main Street,” he said. “Between all the infrastructure you can’t see and the street, sidewalk, lighting and bumpouts with the plantings you can see, it’s just spectacular. Sturgis is on the cutting edge. The rallygoers will see a better street and a smoother and easier ride down Main this year. They’re gonna love it.”

Daugaard characterized Sturgis as a community responsible for making its own future.

“Many communities of this size would wait for business opportunities to come their way, but Sturgis is more proactive than most,” he said. “Economic development is something you must do intentionally. You have a vibrant economic development corporation here.”

Daugaard said communities can’t wait for businesses to need a location, communities need to provide that location so that when businesses are looking, proactive communities are in the running.

“Sturgis does that,” the governor said.

Daugaard also lauded the Meade School District for its commitment to career and technical education or CTE.

“Because the firearms industry is very active in Sturgis, the school system has a machinist program with up-to-date modern equipment. I know that because I gave a grant to help buy it,” he said.

The Sturgis motorcycle rally is what draws people to Sturgis and the entire state from all over the world. And Sturgis is learning to leverage their hospitality to other events year-round, the governor said.

Daugaard gave as an example the pavilion at The Knuckle Saloon which serves thousands of bikers during the annual motorcycle rally, but also uses the venue for a bull-riding event during the summer when rodeo fans are in town for the Southwest Regional High School rodeo.

“That just shows you take your assets and don’t just rely on them for the obvious – like the rally – but use them in other ways to create more interest in Sturgis,” he said.

Daugaard was excited to visit the Sturgis Watershed area during his visit Tuesday and said opening that area to visitation is just another example of Sturgis using its assets to the fullest.

“The city has been very active in making the decision to open up that area formally to the public. The welcome mat is being rolled out and this government-owned asset is being made available to the people,” he said.

Whether it remains a city-owned asset open to the public or becomes a state-owned asset is open for discussion, the governor said.

Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen said the city and state have collaborated on several projects in recent years and the city was proud to be able to showcase those efforts during Daugaard’s visit to the city Tuesday.

“As we tour businesses in the downtown corridor and in the industrial park, we are truly grateful for the support we have received from state agencies,” Carstensen said.

A noon luncheon Tuesday, dubbed a Community Leader Roundtable, was a time for discussing new ideas and to set new goals that will help not only the community of Sturgis, but also the state to continue to thrive and grow into the future, the mayor said.

Excerpts reprinted courtesy of Deb Holland, Meade County Times-Tribune

Sturgis To Be Capital For A Day

General City of Riders

PIERRE, S.D. (5.16.17) – Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced today that Sturgis has been chosen to be South Dakota’s Capital for a Day on Tuesday, June 6. 

“I look forward to the Sturgis event, and thank community leaders for offering to host it,” Gov. Daugaard said. “It’s an opportunity for me to become better acquainted with current issues in the Sturgis area.” 

The Governor’s activities for the day will include a Main Street walk, business tours around town, and a community social and coffee hour. The Governor will also hold a roundtable for community leaders to meet and discuss the needs of the city. 

“The City of Sturgis is honored to be selected as South Dakota’s capital for a day. We are pleased to welcome special guests Gov. Daugaard, Mrs. Daugaard and state officials to the City of Riders. Over the past several years, Sturgis has worked with various state departments on many initiatives and projects. We will share with the Governor the positive results of our collaborative efforts,” said Mayor Mark Carstensen. “Sturgis is well known as a motorcycle mecca but we are also known as a vibrant and growing community, attracting numerous new families and retirees to enjoy our superb quality of life. Sturgis is recognized as a hub for firearms manufacturing, a regional center for healthcare and a community that works hard to provide a positive South Dakota experience to hundreds of thousands of visitors who enjoy visiting our city each year.”   

A complete agenda will be released at a later date.

SEDC Names 2017 Board and Officers

Annual Meeting 2017

Sturgis, SD (4/21/17) – At the Annual Meeting of Members of the Sturgis Economic Development Corp (SEDC), it was announced that Scott Sabers (Sabers Insurance Agency) and Jeff Dragseth (CBH Cooperative) were re-elected to 3-year terms on the Board of Directors. New board member Ken Meirose (Black Hills Energy) was also elected to serve a 3-year term. Mutch Usera (Black Hills Energy) retired from the board after serving a 3-year term.

At SEDC’s April Board of Directors meeting, the 2017 slate of officers was chosen. They are: Paul Bisson, Chair; Scott Sabers, Vice-Chair; and Scott Reiman (First Interstate Bank), Treasurer.

The other 2017 SEDC voting board members are: Don Kirkegaard (Meade School District), Clint Brengle (The HomeSlice Group), Lonnie Isam (Competition Distributing), Ron Rosenboom (West River Foundation), Irving Stone III (Bar-Sto Precision Machine), Daniel Ainslie (City of Sturgis) and Galen Niederwerder (Meade County). Ex-officio non-voting members are: Dave Martinson (City of Sturgis), Kirk Chaffee (Meade County), Heidi Kruse (Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce), Pat Kurtenbach (SEDC) and Vickie Harter (BHSSC).

About SEDC: SEDC is a private non-profit economic development agency formed in 1973. Its mission is to actively pursue economic development by assisting new or expanding business and industry in Sturgis and the greater Meade County area.

SEDC March Newsletter



Buxton Update.

Representatives from the City of Sturgis, Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce, and SEDC received initial training from Buxton on the numerous reports that can be customized for our retail businesses. They include sales leakage and surplus, consumer buying tendencies, and demographic information. While we become familiar with using and interpreting the information in the reports, Buxton is completing the VISA data extraction that will give us further insight into the buying patterns of local shoppers and visitors. Once the information is complete, it will be presented to local businesses to assist in strengthening their marketing and advertising programs. In May, the City and SEDC will attend RECON, a retail trade industry show, to meet with national and regional retailers who could be a match for Sturgis.

 Sierra Vista Apartment Homes.

The owner of Sierra Vista Apartment Homes reports that Phase II of the planned 3-phase development should have units ready for lease by May 1.This 16-unit, pet-friendly building on Ball Park Road in Sturgis offers these configurations and rates:

  • Three 4 bed / 2 bath (1st floor
  • with finished basement)             $1,300
  • One 3 bed / 1 bath (1st floor)     $ 900
  • One 3 bed / 2 bath (2nd floor)     $1,000
  • Four 2 bed / 1 bath (1st floor)     $   800
  • Seven 2 bed / 2 bath (2nd floor)  $ 850Questions regarding rates and lease information may be directed to property/leasing manager Help-U-Rent at or 605-490-3974.

Industrial Park Spec Building.

Bids for a 9,600 sq. ft. speculative shell building to be built in the Sturgis Industrial Park were opened in February. Of the four bids received, Iverson Construction was the low bidder for a wood building, and the only bidder for a metal building. The $164,324 bid was awarded to Iverson. Construction should begin in two weeks, weather permitting. The building shell will be ready by July 1. Spec buildings are designed to shorten the start-up time for businesses seeking to expand or relocate. By having the building’s foundation and exterior in place, the remainder of the building is customized to meet the needs of the new owner or tenant, often cutting their start-up time in half.

Reverse Career Day.

Will be held March 21st. Now in its fifth year, this industry-education partnership finds local high school students applying to tour Sturgis Industrial Park businesses. Accompanied by faculty, 25 students will meet with business owners, managers, and employees to gain a firsthand perspective on modern manufacturing processes. These processes include software programming, CNC programming, and product development. Participants will also learn about the coursework required for entry-level success, aptitude and skill sets necessary for career success, regional salary expectations and career development opportunities. Local tours include: Bar-Sto Precision, Hi Qual Livestock Equipment, Horizon Machine, Landsport, and Rasmussen Mechanical.

 Industrial Park Tour.

On April 6th, educators from a 16-state region will have an opportunity to tour the Meade School District’s machine tool technology classroom located in the SEDC incubator, as well as, some of the Sturgis Industrial Park manufacturers who helped make this industry-education partnership possible. The Association for Career and Technical Education is the largest national education association dedicated to advancing education that prepares youth and adults for careers. The educators will be touring these manufacturers: Horizon Machine, Bar-Sto Precision, Legend Suspensions, and HiQual Livestock Equipment.

Sturgis Partners with Buxton to Strengthen Economic Development Decisions


FORT WORTH, TEXAS (February, 2017) — The City of Sturgis, SD recently partnered with Fort Worth-based Buxton to assist in growing its retail sector, supporting downtown development and better understanding the types of consumers visiting the city. Using advanced consumer analytics, Sturgis will have the insights needed to make informed economic development decisions.

“Our main goal is achieving the best quality of life for our residents,” said Daniel Ainslie, City Manager of the City of Sturgis. “Buxton’s years of retail knowledge and analytics expertise will help us reach that objective by outlining the retailers with the highest potential to succeed in our city and providing existing businesses with the consumer insights they need to remain successful.”

“We’re ready to assist Sturgis’ city leaders in making the best economic development decisions by providing both residential and visitor insights,” said Cody Gunstenson, director of sales in Buxton’s public sector division. “Buxton is excited to help Sturgis move towards its retail sector goals.”

While retail economic development programs have traditionally relied on basic demographic information, Sturgis’ retail attraction program is utilizing consumer insights that go beyond demographics, presenting a convincing case to retailers seeking growth opportunities. Buxton’s proprietary web-based real estate platform, SCOUT, gives city leaders the ability to analyze retail matches, support existing retailers and optimize development decisions.

About Buxton

Buxton is the industry leader in customer analytics. Our analytics reveal who your customers are, where more potential customers are located and the value of each customer. More than 3,500 clients in the retail, restaurant, healthcare, private equity and public sectors have relied on our insights to guide their growth strategies.

For more information, visit


The Broken Bean Coffee House Re-opens


STURGIS, SD (12/13/2016) – The Broken Bean Coffee House, located at 1125 Junction Avenue, Sturgis re-opens Monday, December 19 at 7:00 am.

After a five year hiatus, owners Deborah and Robert Quinonez have renovated the interior dining areas to include a gift shop. Exterior renovations to the historical structure include a paved surface drive-thru and porch seating.

Hours for the drive-thru, dining area and gift shop will be Monday-Saturday 7:00 am – 1:00 pm; closed Sunday.

Rental space will be available for meetings and events.

The new menu will include made-to-order espresso, coffees, teas and other drinks, as well as, gourmet breakfast quiches, sandwiches, burritos and assorted pastries and desserts.

Owner Deborah Quinonez says, “The Coffee House was built in 1910 by local blacksmith Howard Marshall and his wife Alice, who enjoyed hosting festive parties. Over 100 years later, Robert and I want to re-create a fun, relaxing atmosphere in which to continue the tradition of enjoying old friends and making new ones.”

SEDC President Pat Kurtenbach states, “The Broken Bean Coffee House will offer a unique year-round dining experience for residents and visitors. We are excited to welcome the Quinonez’s quaint coffee house back to Sturgis.”





Please join the SEDC Board of Directors in welcoming these businesses as new SEDC investors: J & P Cycles, Rasmussen Mechanical, Discovery Kids University. For SEDC’s complete investor listing, visit


If you want to make a 2016 tax deductible contribution that will benefit Sturgis for years to come, please consider giving to these local 501(c)(3) foundations before the end of the year.

  • The Downtown Sturgis Foundation (DSF). Its mission is to foster economic and community development by creating a vibrant business district rich in appeal and distinct to Legendary Downtown Sturgis. Through its tax-exempt status, the DSF is able to assist caring people who desire to help revitalize the City’s core and make a positive impact on the quality-of-place of downtown Sturgis. Donors can contribute cash gifts in order to acquire items for the new Sturgis Main Street such as sculptures, benches, landscaping, etc. The DSF accepts all levels of contributions.
  • The Black Hills Area Community Foundation (BHACF). Its mission is to inspire people to invest as a community to improve the quality of life of the people in the Black Hills area. The BHACF is home to the Future Sturgis Fund which grew out of the Future Sturgis Initiative in 2010. Past contributions to this fund have aided in the revitalization of downtown Sturgis, senior assisted living and Sturgis Industrial Park development.

For more info on how you can contribute to either of these funds and direct how your contribution will be used, contact Pat Kurtenbach/SEDC at 347-4906 or


In November, SEDC joined other regional economic development organizations from five states in the Black Hills Energy booth at FABTECH in Las Vegas.

FABTECH is billed as North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing trade show with over 28,000 attendees and 1,300 exhibits. FABTECH provided an opportunity to meet with world-class suppliers, see the latest industry products and developments, and bring back information to support our existing manufacturers. With our concentrated metals-related manufacturing base, this was a great way to showcase our region’s workforce capabilities, business-friendly climate and affordable utility rates to prospective new businesses. We are proud to partner with Black Hills Energy.


The Sturgis Brown High School machine tool technology class occupies 1,800 sq. ft. of the industrial park incubator. The rest of the building will be completed and ready for occupancy by March 1st. It will have approximately 3,300 sq. ft., 3-phase power, natural gas, concrete floor, truck doors and separate utility hookups. This incubator is designed for a new or expanding business and will be available on a lease-only basis. The lease rate and terms will be determined by jobs and/or services created. For more info, contact Pat Kurtenbach/SEDC at 347-4906 or


Since SEDC’s 2012-2016 strategic plan is quickly reaching an end, October’s annual board retreat served as a timely opportunity for both reflection and visioning.

Looking back, many of SEDC’s goals were not only met, but exceeded. Local business expansions, business relocations, new business start-ups, residential development, retail services, childcare and assisted living, as well as, industrial park near build-out have all contributed to unprecedented growth in sales and property tax revenues. Just as important is the enhanced quality-of-place for our residents and guests. A comprehensive review of 2016 will be compiled after year end.

For SEDC’s 2017-2020 strategic plan, the board established enhanced priorities while keeping SEDC’s fundamental goals the same. These foundation goals are:

Grow Business: Cultivate job creation and growth opportunities for new and existing businesses and industries.

  1. Develop Infrastructure: Create a diversity of fully developed sites, buildings and housing to provide adequate opportunities for new and expanding businesses and industries.
  2. Build Partnerships: Enhance or establish strategic alliances that foster focused, unified economic development strategies.
  3. Create Awareness: Increase public understanding of the role of economic development in the growth of the region.
  4. Grow the Organization: Strengthen SEDC through effective, sustainable operations to be recognized as the premier regional economic development group.

As in the recent past, SEDC will continue to promote residential, retail and industrial growth.

Residential priorities include more workforce housing options in line with local wages, as well as, market-rate independent congregate and senior living options.

Retail priorities include new ways to assist local businesses seeking to expand or innovate to increase their sales revenues. Other initiatives involve marketing to regional or national retailers to bring or enhance products and/or services available to our residents and guests.

Industrial priorities will focus on acquiring land to develop a new industrial park, as well as, constructing a new 9,600 sq. ft. spec building in the Sturgis Industrial Park. The success of metals-related manufacturing finds the Park nearly full, with no large buildings available for expanding or new manufacturers.

These are only a few of many strategies that will be undertaken by the SEDC Board in the next four years.

Looking forward, it is exciting to know that the momentum built over the past five years will continue to launch even more responsible growth and development. With a proven track record and many economic development partnerships in place, the future holds great promise.

We appreciate your partnership and look forward to your continued support.

Pat Kurtenbach, SEDC President

This institution is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

Sturgis Regional Hospital breaks ground on new clinic


STURGIS, S.D. 10/26/16 – Another chapter in the history of Sturgis Regional Hospital began Wednesday with an official groundbreaking for a new $10.2-million clinic to be constructed on the hospital’s campus.

The new project will add over 20,000 square feet to the existing hospital and replace some 8,000 square-feet of existing specialty clinic space. It will also provide a new front entrance to the hospital and the emergency department.

Mark Schulte, president of Sturgis Regional Hospital, says the clinic addition will benefit not only Sturgis, but the entire region.

“By combining all of our services and specialists within one central caring environment, we can offer patients greater access, more convenience, less duplication and better coordination of high-quality care.”

Schulte says the project is part of the health network’s plan to meet the growing need of health care needs of the community.

Mayor Mark Carstensen says the expansion strengthens the future of Regional Health in Sturgis.

“We are excited about Regional Health’s plan to expand. This will greatly enhance our community and make health care more convenient and accessible to area residents and visitors and responds to our community’s ongoing growth and supports our health care needs now and into the future.”

Construction on the new addition is scheduled to begin next month. When completed, the new clinic will have 36 exam rooms and will consolidate all of Regional Health operations in Sturgis onto one campus. That will include Massa Berry Clinic, which is currently located over 11 blocks away in downtown Sturgis.

Reprinted courtesy of KBHB Radio, correspondent Gary Matthews

As Sturgis Grows, day care options growing too

Sturgis, SD 9/14/2016 – Sturgis Economic Development director Pat Kurtenbach displays a wide grin whenever she talks about the community’s multitude of new child care options.

She smiles because while this growing city now has three new options for parents, that wasn’t always the case, and she worried that a lack of child care options could hinder the community’s growth and development.

When the town’s Early Childhood Development Center closed in 2013, it made it difficult to sell the community to prospective day care businesses, Kurtenbach said.

When there are more day care options available, parents are more apt to be employed, and the community is more likely to attract new residents, Kurtenbach said.

“We’ve had people underemployed or not employed at all because they were held back because of the lack of day-care choices,” she said.

Kurtenbach said the new child care services help support the amazing residential growth in Sturgis. “They also address the needs of our area’s largest employers for more affordable, dependable day care services with extended hours,” she said.

Residents now have a choice of three state-licensed day care centers in the Sturgis area.

When Meade School District students returned to school on Aug. 29, all three new centers were open.

Discovery Kids University and Better Building Blocks Daycare opened Aug. 29, and First Step Child Care Center & Pre-School at Fort Meade opened in late July.

Kayla Klein is director of the Northern Hills Alliance for Children, which took over the Fort Meade Center earlier this year after it closed at the end of May.

“When our organization first was created seven years ago they had this vision of wanting to serve the Northern Hills,” Klein said. “They didn’t want it to be just Lead-Deadwood.”

A survey done then showed a high need for early childhood education and child care, she said.

“To be able to expand our mission into Sturgis and Fort Meade is very exciting,” Klein said.

Taken together, the three facilities employ 33 people and are able to serve 272 children, ages 6 weeks and up. They provide a variety of services including pre-school, day care, after-school programs, extended hours and school busing.

Alyssa Smith, who works at Sturgis Regional Hospital, brought her daughter, Kaelynn, to Better Building Blocks child care center after seeing information about it on Facebook.

Kurtenbach says it’s great that parents have options for child care now.

“Competition is good,” she said. “It’s important for parents to have choices. Each of them may offer a little different programming. It’s important to be able to chose a program that fits their children and their business lifestyle.”

Discovery Kids University and Better Building Blocks stepped up when the city and the economic development corporation were searching for someone to start a licensed child care center.

“This came down to private enterprise at its best. It wasn’t started by the state or the city, it’s individuals who have taken a leap of faith to do this for the community,” she said.

Shannah Grenz-Williams, owner of Discovery Kids University, said she hopes investing in the community’s children will pay dividends for years to come.

“We know Sturgis is known for the motorcycle rally, but we hope that it also will be known as an incredible place to raise a family because of how much the community has invested in its children,” she said.

School District Enrollment Increases


STURGIS, SD 9/1/2016 – An apparent spike in enrollment at the Meade School District caused administrators to hire more teachers before school started on Monday. 

From early registration numbers, it looks as if the Meade School District may see a sizable enrollment increase for this school year and the district hired two additional teachers to accommodate the extra students.

Meade School District Superintendent Don Kirkegaard said official numbers would not be available until late September, but “as of last Friday, our numbers are up significantly.” 

“Piedmont, Sturgis Elementary and the middle school all have some sizable growth,” Kirkegaard said. 

If enrollment numbers hold or increase, the district has little remedy because there are no other classrooms available, Kirkegaard said.

“We are bursting at the seams,” he said.

“We are struggling with space, but the school board is proactive in this regard,” he added, citing the remodeling of the second floor classrooms of the Williams Administration Building as a way to accommodate the Sturgis Elementary School fifth-graders. The teachers hired last week were for kindergarten and fifth grade the superintendent said.

Future capital improvement projects could include a new middle school in the Piedmont/ Summerset area and a new attendance center in the rural area.

Excerpt from Meade County Times-Tribune Staff Deb Holland and Mike Johnson