Through stretches of its history, Sturgis was known as the "Key City" -- so named for its location as a principal entry point into the Black Hills from the surrounding prairie. As a community, we're reaching for that title again in ways beyond geography.
Sturgis sits on the borderlands between the Black Hills and the prairie - serving as both a tourist mountain town and a ranch community. By all accounts, it is a rural town with just 6,700 residents and, yet, the resources and infrastructure stretch each year to accommodate the 400,000 to 600,000 guests who attend our annual motorcycle rally. This dichotomy is replicated in the diverse population of creative intellectuals and pragmatic entrepreneurs.
In 2013, Sturgis received the SD Governor's Community of the Year Award recognizing leadership in economic development, as well as, the achievement, innovation, and growth resulting from collaborative community efforts especially in our downtown core. New city ordinances allow mixed-use establishments to boost walking traffic. Building setbacks encourage year-around retail by allowing vendor space in front without displacing the permanent business within. The ordinances also require that any demolition permit request include a timeline to rebuild and that existing buildings be brought up to current code standards.
Sturgis is poised for additional growth. It's the seat of Meade County, recently named the 8th fastest growing county in the nation, and home to a 100% 5-year tax abatement for new business. Additionally, the city and Sturgis Economic Development Corp, offer a variety of incentives and project-specific packages to interested developers and businesses. Our 45-acre Industrial Park is South Dakota Certified Site Ready with 18 acres remaining for development. It currently houses 25 businesses and more than 200 employees. Sturgis is also home to the largest firearm manufacturing cluster in the state.
Nearby, Fort Meade VA Medical Center serves our nation's veterans from a five-state region and preserves the local military and western history through its museum. The BLM land surrounding it is riddled with an expanding trail system that in recent years has become a top destination for hikers, mountain bikers, horse-back riders and endurance athletes.
Great schools. Safe neighborhoods. Growing economy. World-class public recreational space. Stunning landscapes. We are at once a small town and an international brand.
This town is special, and we're making concerted efforts to make sure we remain an ideal place to visit, work, play and live. Sturgis was the Key City because of geography. Today, we are striving to be a key catalyst of innovation and creativity in the Black Hills.
Learn MoreTo learn more about Sturgis visit www.sturgis-sd.gov or www.sturgisareachamber.com