- Real Estate
- Food & Drink
Sept. 17, 2020
Lake Lorraine’s first hotel is ready for travelers.
The new Hyatt Place opened today and is the first location for the brand in the state.
It’s a 110-room property that aims to take full advantage of the lakeside location, said Tom Morris, director of development for hotel operator Kelly Inns Ltd.
“I’m really glad about how it came together on this site,” Morris said. “We were able to change from the prototype a bit and take advantage of the site with the public spaces and put the breakfast seating area and lounge area so they have great views of the lake.”
There are 14 rooms with balconies facing the lake and 14 rooms that have walkout patios on the lake.
A 100-foot main deck allows for outdoor dining that Morris said he expects will be a draw for locals as well as visitors.
“We have a bar and lounge that has a beer and wine license, and then we also offer food service,” Morris said. “With COVID, we have a somewhat-limited menu, but we have a nice variety from burgers and pizzas to soup and salads, other sandwiches and wings.”
Hyatt Place is a brand of Hyatt Hotels Corp. that’s marketed as a modern hotel with amenities that include a free hot breakfast, a 24/7 Gallery marketplace and lounge with grab-and-go items along with the full menu plus a 24-hour business center.
Guest rooms include suites with sectional sofas and contemporary bathrooms.
“The finishes are great,” Morris said. “It’s upscale … but just really open and inviting, and the public spaces have great views.”
There’s a nod to the area’s past, too, with portions of a white barn that used to sit on the property reclaimed and used as an accent wall behind the front desk.
The hotel also features an indoor pool and what Morris called a “state-of-the-art fitness center with monitors on the treadmills and elliptical machines and a full weight machine.”
There’s also a 1,120-square-foot flexible meeting and event space.
Hyatt Place Sioux Falls is under the leadership of general manager Jeff Eliason and director of sales Ali Ramsley. Eliason is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the hotel, including overseeing the hotel’s 14 associates.
While there are a few positions left to fill, the hotel has been ramping up on the slower side in anticipation of pandemic-related travel reductions.
“It’s a tough time to be opening a new hotel, but we’re still excited about it,” Morris said, adding the Hyatt primarily will cater to corporate guests.
“Leisure travel has definitely picked up this summer, and weekends have been pretty good, but the weekdays have been fairly slow as the business or corporate travel hasn’t fully rebounded and doesn’t appear it will for some time.”
Hyatt opening is a positive step for Lake Lorraine, which is starting to see interest from potential new tenants return, co-developer Steve Van Buskirk of Van Buskirk Cos. said.
“We’ve got kind of a crazy environment out here but we’re making progress in spite of it all,” he said. “Hyatt opening is good, and Pillar Dental is going to fill in the spot between Hyatt and Carsforsalecom, that project is out for bid, so we continue to see progress.”
The path around the lake was extended this year, and the developers are considering adding one or two apartment projects to the area given the current strength of that market, Van Buskirk said.
“It would be a nice niche and a different offering for people in Sioux Falls,” he said. “There’s one piece on the northeast corner of the lake … I’ve got a group looking at for a multifamily project and right west of our office we think is a good opportunity for multifamily with some really nice lake views.”
The plan is still to add Aloft as a second hotel, but “we’re just on pause,” he added.
“The hotel industry has a bit of uncertainty in front of it as far as how the recovery looks, but once we get through winter we’ll be able to assess a lot better.”
It’s a similar story with Dave & Buster’s, which has a building ready to go but needs to finish the inside. The Wall Street Journal reported today the entertainment venue is considering filing for bankruptcy if it can’t reach a deal with its lender. The company has repeatedly committed to Lake Lorraine developers it still plans a Sioux Falls opening.
“They’re still coming,” Van Buskirk said. “We’re still communicating with them, and their first priority is reopening stores, but they’ll be back to Sioux Falls eventually.”
Lake Lorraine’s first hotel is ready for travelers. Take a look inside!