How Graduation Affects More Than Just USD Students
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How Graduation Affects More Than Just USD Students

Graduation for USD students is quickly approaching and has the potential to be very beneficial for Vermillion’s businesses. 

     Miles Amende, a member of the Vermillion Area Chamber & Development Company (VCDC), said that an event such as graduation creates a great deal of revenue for the town of Vermillion.

     “When hundreds of people suddenly show up and start spending their money at restaurants, coffee shops, bars, stores and gas stations, our businesses have a great couple of days,” Amende said.  “Hotel stays are especially important because the city collects a small fee per room per night through what’s called a Business Improvement District, funds from which are used for special city projects.”

     The VCDC makes it their goal during times like these to help businesses take advantage of the large influx in visitation and profit as much as they can.

     “The VCDC is Vermillion’s chamber of commerce, office of economic development and tourism bureau,” Amende said. “So essentially, we work to support the business community, increase quality of life and promote the Vermillion area.

     Amende stated that although graduation does not have the same effect as an event like D-Days, the increase in visitors is still very exciting for businesses’.

     “I don’t have numbers for how many visitors we get compared to D-Days, but I do know that the effect both events have on Vermillion is comparable,” Amende said. “You know how there’s a vibe on campus during these times of year, like everyone’s full of energy all of a sudden and really excited that something big is happening? The business community gets that too.

     Other times in the year that Vermillion sees a large boom in visitors would include the Dakota Farm Show, Wacipi, Special Olympics State Summer Games, South Dakota Shakespeare Festival, South Dakota Open Pro-Am Golf Tournament, Clay County Fair, Ribs, Rods, & Rock n’ Roll and the Standstill Parade of Lights. Vermillion also hosts high school sports championships like the South Dakota High School Football Championships and various Legion Baseball tournaments.

     Amende says that the number of visitors typically skyrockets two or three days before graduation, and although it is still a little ways out, Amende says businesses are already getting ready. 

     Commencement will be Saturday, May 4 at 9:30 a.m. in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.