Happy Friday! Megan here.

Weather check: Warm and windy

This weekend, I'm so pleased to introduce the 2024 Simplified Welcome Guide. This guide is meant to be an easy, one-stop shop for folks who are new to town to get quickly up-to-speed on all of our weird little Sioux Falls colloquialisms (and, ya know, practical stuff like where the parks are and how to renew your drivers license). You'll also learn about a new Levitt expansion, meet some new city leaders, get smart about commercial real estate with Marcus Mahlen and find a cool behind-the-scenes look from one of our sponsors.

And now, news:


The 2024 Simplified Welcome Guide is here

Simplified: The Simplified Welcome Guide was first published in 2022 as a resource to help all of the people who are moving to town get quickly acclimated, connect with local resources and feel smart along the way.

Tell me more

I'll be honest, the guide hasn't changed a ton in the last few years, but I think it's important to re-launch it every year to remind folks this awesome (and – brag – award-winning) resource exists.

How can I find it?

It's right here! It's worth a click if for no other reason than to hear the little "page flipping" sound it makes when you turn the pages on the online magazine. 😄

You can also download it, print it, share it, write a musical about it – whatever floats your boat.

There's also a version of the guide available in Spanish in an effort to increase accessibility.


How Panther can custom engrave just about anything

This is a paid piece from Panther | Ad Arts.

Simplified: Panther Premier Print Solutions' commitment to sharing your brand on anything, anywhere hit new heights last month when the company added a new, custom engraving machine. Here's how you can customize everything from coffee mugs to journals to blue jeans to awards.

Why it matters

  • Panther Premier Print Solutions is a family-owned company that has been open in Sioux Falls for 40 years. The addition of laser engraving is the latest evolution of the business's commitment to being a one-stop shop for branding needs.
  • Engraving Specialist Cody Witte brings eight years of experience, and he's engraved everything from a recipe on a cutting board to a leather jacket to the stock of a gun. He's also got expertise at using color to fill an engraved image.
  • The new engraving option also gives Panther a way to help not only businesses, but also anybody who is looking for some custom gear. Need some custom glasses for your wedding? Custom bibles for your church group? Custom travel mugs for a family reunion? Panther can help with all of those.
"This new service helps us better meet the needs of our customers," Vice President of Operations Aaron Wimmer said. "It also gives people another option for custom gifts for any occasion."

How does engraving work?

Learn more – and see a cool, behind-the-scenes video – here.


Super Simplified Stories

  • New kids on the dias. The Sioux Falls City Council has four new members as of Friday morning. Newly elected councilors Richard Thomason, Miranda Basye, Jennifer Sigette and Ryan Spellerberg took their oath and were sworn in to serve the city for the next four years. You'll hear more from them about their early priorities on the council later this month.
  • It's graduation weekend. Nearly 1,700 Sioux Falls high schoolers will walk the stage at graduation this weekend. Ceremonies will all be held Sunday at the Sioux Falls Arena, starting at 11 a.m. with Lincoln High School, 1:45 p.m. with Jefferson, 4:30 p.m. with Roosevelt, and rounding it out with Washington at 7:15 p.m.
  • Levitt announces expansion. The Levitt is growing thanks to a donation from Dick and Kathy Sweetman. The grassy area on the southwest corner of the venue will become a 2,600 square foot programming space where the Levitt can host summer camps and professional development events for artists.
    • There will also be an addition on the west side of the shell to add offices for the Levitt staff, and on the east side, they'll add storage space, room for an expanded dressing room, an additional restroom, and a backstage ramp allowing greater accessibility for all Levitt artists.
    • Here's a picture of the before and after to help you get your bearings:

More Super Simplified Stories

  • Mayor appoints new health director. Mayor Paul TenHaken wants to see local healthcare administrator and current Minnehaha County Commissioner Joe Kippley take the role of city health director. The role was abruptly vacated by Dr. Charles Chima nearly a year ago. Kippley's appointment now moves to the City Council for final approval.
  • City hires new arts coordinator. Maren Engel brings a background of performing arts, fundraising and arts administration to her new role of working with the city and community groups to create arts and culture policies in Sioux Falls, manage city art investments, develop partnerships and more. Step one is to set up a seven-member Sioux Falls Arts Commission.
  • It's Garden Week. Sioux Falls Thrive is facilitating a week-long event to help plant "collective gardens" in community spaces. It kicks off Monday at Meldrum Park, followed by Tuesday at Lyon Park, Wednesday at Terrace Park, Thursday at Whittier Park and Friday at Pioneer Spray Park. More details here.


Get smart about our growing business community with Marcus Mahlen

Simplified: Marcus Mahlen is a commercial real estate agent with a special focus on industrial. He's also got a background in economic development, currently chairs the Harrisburg Economic Development Corporation, and he's recently started a new podcast with his wife Alexis Konstant Mahlen – who's also a commercial real estate agent (and a competitor).

Mahlen sat down with Sioux Falls Simplified to talk about what commercial real estate is, how it plays into growth and more.

Answers are edited for length and clarity. All responses are direct quotes from Mahlen.

How did you get smart about commercial real estate?

I always wanted to go into economic development ... then I went into sales, and I became a student of sales but always wanted to get back into that economic development and community building.

  • Commercial real estate is an industry that's literally a marriage of sales and economic development because it combines both skillsets.

We're all about simplicity here. Can you describe your job in one sentence?

I help buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants sell, lease or buy commercial real estate.

What's something most people misunderstand about commercial real estate, and can you help us set the record straight?

There are so many types of commercial real estate – there's entire industries just within retail commercial real estate, for example.

  • We break down the industry by asset class, and the main three that have existed forever are retail, office and industrial. I specifically focus on industrial real estate, whereas my wife focuses more on retail and office.

There are also other classes like apartments. We have a guy in our office that just sells hotels. Self-storage is its own asset class, and land is another big one.

See the full interview here


What I'm falling for this weekend:

  • Flowers
  • Dodge
  • You, for being awesome and supporting local news


More Simplified Stories

Get a look at the zoo’s new splash pad
Here’s a look at the new amenities and how the zoo is paying special attention to accessibility.
Stuff to do: May 15-21
Here’s a look at what’s happening this week.
Why Sioux Falls likely won’t see more childcare wins until the state pitches in
After months of city discussion and a win for the childcare workforce, it’s looking like any future progress toward solving the childcare crisis in Sioux Falls will have to come from the state legislature.


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  • Forward this to a friend. Sharing is caring, and the best gifts are the ones that make your life easier – like this smarter, easier local news.
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  • Give a one-time gift. Not ready to commit to a membership? That's OK! If you want to help in a smaller way, you can give a one-time gift via buy me a coffee. :)
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Want the process to be even simpler? You can schedule a newsletter or event sponsorship right here with just a few clicks and a few questions.

Reach out

What story do you want to see simplified? Falling for something local? Send any news tips, attaboys, missed typos or BBQ recipes to megan@sfsimplified.com.

Thank you

Thank you to Sioux Falls Simplified sponsors, including Dakota Adventure Supply, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Panther Premier Print Solutions, Barre3 Sioux Falls, Midco, the Great Plains Zoo, and the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance. When you support them, you're also supporting Sioux Falls Simplified.