Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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The falls of the Big Sioux River were created during the last ice age, around 14,000 years ago. Since then, Ho-Chunk, Ioway, Otoe, Missouri, Omaha, Ponca, Quapaw, Kansa, Osage, Arikira, Dakota, Nakota, and Cheyenne people have inhabited the area at one time or another. Members of many of these tribes still live there to this day. The original Lakota name for the area roughly translates to “Stone Shatter City.”
The first Europeans to visit the area were French voyagers and other explorers during the early 18th century. In fact, Sioux Falls was mentioned (at least second hand) in a journal from the Lewis & Clark Expedition. However, the first officially recognized visit by an American to the area was Philander Prescott, in December of 1832.
Following other incursions into the Sioux Falls area, in 1856 the Dakota Land Company of St. Paul along with the Western Town Company of Dubuque, Iowa claimed the land around the falls. These groups saw potential for a town site due to the area’s beauty and waterpower. Originally, they named the town “Fort Sod.” That idea did not last very long. In 1876, the Village of Sioux Falls was officially incorporated.
Today, according to a 2015 estimate by the US Census Bureau, the population of Sioux Falls is 171,544 people. This makes it the 145th most populous city in the United States and the largest city in the state of South Dakota. According to that same estimate, the Sioux Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area has a total population of 251,854 people. This makes it the 186th most populous metropolitan statistical area in the country.
Sioux Falls is considered a regional health care center. It is home to four major hospitals: Sanford Health (once known as Sioux Valley), Avera McKennan Hospital, South Dakota Veterans Affairs Hospital, and the Avera Heart Hospital of South Dakota. In fact, Sanford Health and Avera Health are the two top employers in the city, responsible for 8,571 and 6,259 jobs, respectively.
South Dakota does not have a state corporate income tax. For this reason, Sioux Falls also serves as a financial service hub. Other top employers in and around the city include Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Great Western Bank, Western Surety Company (CNA Surety), Total Card Inc., Capital Card Services, Midland National Life Insurance Company, Capital One, and First Premier Bank.
As for companies actually headquartered in the Sioux Falls area, there is Raven Industries, retailers Lewis Drug and Sunshine Foods, SONIFI Solutions, and Midcontinent Communications.
Sioux Falls isn’t all about business, however. The city hosts annual events such as the Sioux Empire Spectacular, the Sioux Empire Fair, the Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Festival, and the LifeLight Music Festival. In 2014, attendance at the Sioux Empire Fair was 280,985. One of the most interesting (and perhaps amusing) attractions located within the city of Sioux Falls is a replica of Michelangelo’s famous David statue. This replica is located within the downtown area at Fawick Park.
Sioux Falls is home to several professional sports teams. American Association of Independent Professional Baseball’s Sioux Falls Canaries (Fighting Pheasants) play their home games at Sioux Falls Stadium. They have one championship to their name. United States Hockey League’s Sioux Falls Stampede play in the Denny Sanford Premier Center. They have three championships to their name. Indoor Football League’s Sioux Falls Storm also play in the Denny Sanford Premier Center. The Storm have won a whopping seven championships in total. NBA Development League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce play their home games in the Sanford Pentagon. Skyforce have won two championships.
Do you own a small business in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota area? Considering it? These resources could help you: