Sturgis City Council approves purchasing building for events center

STURGIS, S.D. (KBHB) – With the closure of the Boulder Canyon Event Center, the city of Sturgis has its eye on a Main Street building for sale that could serve as a new downtown events center. After two hours of discussion Monday night, the council, on a 6-3 vote, approved beginning the purchase agreement to buy the Mr. Al’s building on Main Street.

Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie says the closure of the Boulder Canyon Event Center, hotels and restaurants lost a significant resource for weddings, meetings and banquets. He says the former building was a beautiful facility, but often lacked adequate space for several meeting and wedding parties.

The new building the city is interested in is much bigger and would allow the city to fit two large bathrooms, a storage area for the Music on Main and other events, a kitchen and up to 9,000 square feet of event space.

The building, known as the Mr. Al’s building, is right next to the city’s Rally Point at the intersection of Main and Harley Davidson Way.

Discussion last night focused on concerns about the age of the building, upgrading costs and getting more input from the public. Council member Mike Bachand was among those with concerns.

Council member Terry Keszler also shared concerns.

The council took to heart the concerns raised and reminded residents that they will conduct an appraisal of the building as well as an environmental review and inspection before officially making a purchase. Ainslie says those factors would all have to be positive for the council to move forward.

Ainslie says if the city then moved forward, the total purchase price of $1.2 million and renovation budget of $365,000 would be financed.

Ainslie says the total annual payments for the first 10 years are anticipated to be covered entirely through the Rally rental revenue and few leased events. He says after 10 years, the Rally revenue is anticipated to generate $45,000 above the costs of the remaining financing.

He says this would be a long term investment in the future of downtown – creating an anchor for new visitors to downtown restaurants and new guests in Sturgis hotels.