• February/March 2021

Five questions with Gary Krekelberg


Gary Krekelberg and his wife, Cindy, own and run Party Land, located at the intersection of 26th Street and Marion Road. Gary holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and has nearly four decades of retail experience. Party Land is a retail store that offers supplies for all types of parties and events; they specialize in balloon décor for weddings and corporate events. Party Land opened in December of 2001 and has been a Chamber member ever since.

Q: Why does your company choose to be a Chamber member?

A: The chamber works on behalf of the business community and especially the small businesses. It's important to have an advocate especially in this climate.

Q: What is the best and worst part about owning/running your company?

A: The best part is that you control the success or failure of the business with the decisions you make every day. When you own a business, the climate and culture within that business is a direct reflection of the actions you take and how you implement those actions. Prime examples would be employee and customer retention. The worst part, if there is a worst, would be that you never truly have a day off where you can just forget about your business.

Q: What is your favorite type of party?

A: I think my favorite type is baby shower parties, especially gender reveals. It's exciting to be one of the first people (even before the parents) to know the gender of the new baby. We love hearing about and seeing the pictures of the reveal and how happy the moment makes family and friends.

Q: What is one community or non-profit organization that you support? Tell us about it and why it is important to you.

A: One organization that we love to support is the Olde Towne Dinner Theatre in Worthing, SD. They are a great asset to the community. Relying on volunteers and private donations to survive and thrive, this Theater has been providing entertainment and great food for 35 years. It is also near and dear to our heart because it is the place where Cindy gets to share her passion as an actor in many of the plays over the years.

Q: What is a skill that you'd like to learn and why?

A: I would love to learn to play a musical instrument. Any instrument. I never took music in school and have always regretted that I can't read or play music.

Restaurant/Retail Series Question:

Q: Besides your own, what are some of your favorite local shops or restaurants?

A: We always seek out local restaurants. Some of our favorites are The Sandbar & Grill and Look's Marketplace, among others.

More Q&A with Gary

Q: What is your favorite thing about Sioux Falls?

A: I like that Sioux Falls still has, in many ways, a small town feel even though it's grown into a substantial sized city. It is a well-run, diverse city with low crime and low unemployment.

Q: Make a prediction...what changes do you expect to see in our community in the next 5 years?

A: One big change I see coming is the tightening of the labor force. With the pace of the growing city and the addition of large businesses such as Amazon, I see it tougher and tougher to find and retain a quality staff. The logical consequence of the tightening work force is a continually growing and thriving economy.

Q: Describe a tool you could not live without.

A: I think one of the most vital tools to a retailer is the POS system. We have over 80,000 sku's and it would be a logistical nightmare to try to maintain inventory of those without a good up-to-the-minute POS system. The system also integrates other business functions such as ordering, financials, payroll...

Q: If you could witness any event of the past, present or future, what would it be and why?

A: Even though I was fortunate enough to be alive for the first moon landing, I was pretty young. I still think that was one of the most courageous and momentous events ever. The space shuttles and Space X missions are commonplace today but back when they landed on the moon, space exploration was something of science fiction. And they did it with computers less powerful than the watch I'm wearing.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you have received?

A: Be sure to give yourself time to work on your business and not get bogged down working in your business.

Five Questions Retail & Restaurant Series
Chamber News has decided to shine a spotlight on a couple industries that have been hard hit by the pandemic — the retail and restaurant industries. In the next several issues, our Five Questions segment will feature the owner of a local restaurant or retail store. With each personal profile, you'll also find information on about their business and products. And each Five Questions subject will be asked to 'share the love' by telling us about their favorite small businesses to support!

Thank you to our Chamber News Premium Sponsors

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