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JAN. 2, 2018 - VOL. 54 No. 4

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Hospitality industry prepares for
Pheasant Fest

Event will draw thousands of visitors to Sioux Falls

The state known as the pheasant capital of the world will soon welcome thousands of people to its largest city for a three-day event centered around pheasants and quail. The 2018 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic will take place Feb. 16-18 at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Sioux Falls Convention Center, Sioux Falls Arena and Best Western PLUS Ramkota Exhibit Hall.

Despite its status as a top destination for pheasant hunting, South Dakota has never hosted Pheasant Fest–the signature annual event of Pheasants Forever. The Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) lobbied the national organization for years to bring the show to Sioux Falls. Their persistence paid off in the fall of 2016 when they secured the 2018 show.

Organizers are expecting approximately 25,000 people to attend Pheasant Fest. Some may choose to visit the tradeshow for a single day, while others will participate in the full slate of activities planned for the weekend. Visitors flying into Sioux Falls from around the country, combined with local and regional event attendees, is expected to translate into a significant economic boost for the city as the visitors spend money on hotels, dining out, shopping and entertainment.

Best Western PLUS Ramkota Hotel general manager Ted Hilleson said his staff is busy preparing for the visitors that Pheasant Fest will bring to town. "We are altering the way we do business every day to accommodate the volume of people and their schedules with specials and promotions all week," said Hilleson. "We'll have shuttles all day and evening, so they can get back and forth to the Convention Center with ease as well as experience all Sioux Falls has to offer."

Restaurants are also planning extra staff in anticipation of the event. Crooked Pint Ale House recently opened in the new Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites across from the Convention Center and general manager Mandie Berberich is expecting a busy weekend. "We are looking forward to serving all the visitors for the event. We'll have plenty of people on staff and will give the visitors a taste of what Sioux Falls has to offer," said Berberich.

Pheasant Fest features a trade show that will focus on wildlife conservation, upland game bird hunting (pheasant and quail), dog training and wildlife habitat management and restoration. In addition to the trade show, Pheasants Forever will hold seminars on habitat improvement, pheasant hunting, shooting sports, wild game cooking, dog training, conservation and more.

Pheasant Fest is open to the public, and you do not have to be a member of Pheasants Forever or Quail Forever to attend. Daily admission to the show is $10 and only available for purchase at the door. Special ticketed events are scheduled throughout the weekend, including Pheasantennial Friday; Saturday night's National Pheasant & Quail Classic Banquet; and a Precision Ag workshop on Friday morning. More information on these events, special event tickets and full weekend passes are available at pheasantfest.org.

The Chamber will mark the start of Pheasant Fest with a ribbon cutting ceremony in the lobby of the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center on Friday, Feb. 16 at 11:45 a.m.

The CVB is organizing a group called "Team Sioux Falls" to serve as hosts at Pheasant Fest. Team Sioux Falls will act as greeters, information providers and ambassadors on behalf of the CVB and Sioux Falls. The goal is to ensure that Sioux Falls makes a great impression on the visitors.

Hilleson said, "This is an incredible event for Sioux Falls to host, it's our intention to nail it so they'll come back again!"



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