Cvent’s Rapid City meeting planning guide is an extensive city guide for planners of meetings in Rapid City. As part of the tourism center for South Dakota's Black Hills region, Rapid City is home to an abundance of shopping, dining, entertainment and cultural attractions; nearby are outdoor recreational opportunities, wildlife, and more than a million acres of Black Hills scenery. Rapid City event venues are group- and convention-friendly; and pre- and post-activities abound in this fascinating area, which is home to Mount Rushmore National Monument, Crazy Horse Memorial, Badlands National Park, and more.
The area is served by Rapid City Regional Airport, the commercial airline hub for the Black Hills region. Rapid City Regional Airport serves an estimated 590,000 annual passengers and provides nonstop service to Minneapolis, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix, Denver, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, as well as Atlanta and Houston, seasonally. Once in Rapid City, visitors can ride the City View Trolley, a narrated tour featuring points of interest in and around the city, including attractions, Main Street Square, and several area hotels. Visitors can also access the Rapid Ride bus system, operating five fixed routes throughout the city and providing direct access to the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
Located in the center of Rapid City, the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center features arena, theater, and exhibit and meeting space, set within seven acres of serene park space. Meeting and exhibition spaces include the 41,000-square-foot Rushmore Hall, 15,000-square-foot LaCroix Hall (divisible into four spaces), 34,000-square-foot Don Barnett Arena with seating for up to 10,400 guests, a 1,752-seat theater, and meeting rooms accommodating 10 to 1,600 attendees. The Ice Arena features a permanent ice floor and 7,450 seats, and can be transformed into a 28,000-square-foot convention space when equipped with temporary flooring.
Rapid City unique event spaces are perfect for group gatherings and activities include the celebrated Dahl Arts Center, western South Dakota's premier arts center for contemporary visual arts, arts education, and performing arts. The city-owned center is home to such highlights as a kids-friendly interactive gallery and Bernard P. Thomas Cyclorama Mural of American Economic History, a 180-foot, oil-on-canvas panorama spanning 200 years of U.S. economic history that is complete with special lighting and narration. Groups can rent several spaces within the center, including a cafe, conference rooms, main lobby, and gallery space. Meeting and business groups can also gather at Bear Country U.S.A., a 250-acre drive-through wildlife park that is home to the largest collection of privately owned black bears in the world. Bear Country U.S.A. welcomes private events for up to 2,000 guests, as well as group bus tours of the park, along which visitors can view black bears, elk, reindeer, cougars, deer, bobcats, Rocky Mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and buffalo.
Other Rapid City unique facilities include The Journey Museum, a natural history museum that explores the Black Hills' geology, paleontology, and cultural heritage. Group events take place in the museum lobby, gallery space, 144-seat theater, library, and boardroom, as well as outdoors throughout seven acres of Western Dakota native gardens. The city's historic Elks Theatre, which first opened in 1912 as an opera house, hosts nearly any type of live presentation or private group event in its 608-seat main auditorium.