This is a paid piece from the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance.

Simplified: Palisades State Park will nearly triple the available camping spots in the coming years. It'll also construct a new welcome center and add several other upgrades. Here's a look at what that could mean for Garretson.

Why it matters

  • Palisades State Park sees more than 120,000 visitors each year, and the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Department expects that'll increase to more than 300,000 once the expansion is completed.
  • That growth will also mean more visitors – and, in turn, more revenue, for the city of Garretson, said Nick Harrington, GF&P spokesman.
  • One of the biggest additions to the park will be the 75 new camp sites coming in 2024. That'll nearly triple the current capacity (about 35 sites).
"Recreation, especially camping, has been on the rise, and expanding these resources will benefit the public – especially folks in the Sioux Falls Metro," Harrington said.

Tell me more about what's changing in the park

In 2019, the state acquired an additional 250+ acres to expand Palisades State Park.

  • That additional land will be used to add the new campsites as well as more hiking trails for visitors. Utility work to service the new areas of the park is already underway.

Expansion plans also include:

  • A welcome center,
  • a comfort station,
  • a dump station,
  • and several day-use areas.

Those facilities are expected to be completed yet this year, while the campsites are expected to be finished in 2024.

What does this mean for Garretson?

The park's proximity to Garretson will mean more visitors to the town, which will boost the local economy.

"Attracting visitors is the first step to economic development," said Jesse Fonkert, president and CEO of the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance. "The more people who see all that Garretson and the region have to offer, the more likely they will choose to come here to live, work and play."

What happens next?

Construction on the park expansion will take place throughout 2023 and into 2024.