About a year ago, Mitchell residents passed a $10 million bond issue to pay for a Missouri River pipeline hookup to supply water to a southern addition to the town. The city spent another $3.5 million on area roads and sewer lines.
Soon Cabela, a major outdoor sports and clothing retailer, opened a store in the southern addition. Then Wal-Mart put in its first South Dakota "superstore" near Cabela's. Two hotels and a restaurant located nearby. Next summer, Menards is planning to build a 200,000-square-foot store just west of Wal-Mart. And the Mitchell Technical School is putting up two buildings near the growing retail area, with plans to move the entire campus there in coming years.
Local officials say the retail center is the beginning of an "economic renaissance" for Mitchell. But not all are happy. The long-standing retail area in Mitchell's north end has seen business suffer with the southern expansion.