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A spiffy stay in store for SMM Conference attendees

Courtesy Sheraton Sioux Falls

The Sheraton Sioux Falls and adjoining Sioux Falls Convention Center, site of this year’s Small Market Meetings Conference (SMMC), are both bustling these days.

The Sheraton is wrapping up the most comprehensive renovation since it opened 15 years ago; the hotel and convention center staffs are watching as the city’s new event center, the Denny Sanford Premier Center, is being built beside them.

The 12,000-seat events center, which will also have meeting space, will open in the fall of 2014. When SMMC attendees are in Sioux Falls in October, they’ll get a preview of the new event center.

Complimentary stay in renovated Sheraton
Attendees will also be among the first to stay in the renovated Sheraton. By the middle of this summer, the last phase of the work, remodeling of 243 guest rooms, will be done, according to Karen Masterson, general manager. “I’m so glad you guys are coming this fall so you can see the new rooms,” she said.

Rooms are all new, from furnishings and vinyl on the walls to vanities and mirrors in the bathrooms. The entryway to each room was made larger so that a “welcome” beverage station, with a coffee area and ice bucket, could be placed there.

Returning guests will also notice changes in the hotel’s atrium lobby. “We had big trees all over the place, and all that is gone,” Masterson said. “Now the lobby is open and airy. It makes it feel more spacious and gives it a feeling of energy.”

One of the lobby’s most popular new features is a communal table that seats about 12. Equipped with power outlets for computers, “it is used from 8 a.m. to midnight,” Masterson said. “What is so incredible about it is that people don’t mind sitting down with other people. You’ll see them talking and turning their laptops toward one another.”

Couches and chairs are also grouped to create comfortable sitting areas.

Although the hotel has its own 2,600-square-foot ballroom and three small meeting rooms, most of the meeting space is in the convention center.

A climate-controlled, enclosed walkway with windows connects the hotel and center. “It’s about 100 feet long, no more of a walk than if you were walking down a long hallway to your hotel room,” said Ronette Hegg, director of sales for the convention center.