Ramada meets its end, as Mitchell loses longtime hotel and event venue

"Our room occupancy was very, very good this year. Staffing was impossible," Ramada manager Dan Sabers said.

The Ramada Hotel and Conference Center located at 1525 W. Haves Street in Mitchell. Matt Gade / Mitchell Republic
Matt Gade

MITCHELL — A longtime Mitchell hotel has shut down.

The Ramada Hotel and Conference Center in Mitchell closed its doors for good on Sunday, according to Dan Sabers, manager of the Ramada. For more than five decades, the hotel has served as one of the most popular local venues for wedding events, banquets and birthday parties.

As Sabers put it, the closure of the Ramada will be a "huge loss for the Mitchell area."

Although occupancy was managing to stay "quite strong" in 2021, Sabers said the biggest challenge the hotel faced over the past year was finding staff. The struggles of keeping a full staff aren't unique to the Ramada. Since the pandemic, a growing number of businesses in the Mitchell area have been forced to adjust hours of operation due to a lack of staff.

"Our room occupancy was very, very good this year. Staffing was impossible," Sabers said. "We were going to have to raise salary to get staff, and they (the hotel owners) couldn't justify that."


Sabers has spent the past few days arranging refunds and contacting groups of people who had reservations for special occasions, such as weddings, booked to take place at the Ramada Conference Center, informing them the venue was no longer an option.

According to the social media post, a Facebook user wrote that a bride who had plans of hosting an event at the conference center attached to the Ramada Hotel was recently informed “by the Ramada in Mitchell that the venue is closed,” and “they (Ramda) are no longer servicing the contracts for the weddings coming up this wedding season in 2022 and 2023.” The Facebook user also noted that the Ramada is refunding the couple who was planning to host a wedding event at the conference center.

The hotel that's been a fixture on the west side of Mitchell was built as a Holiday Inn in 1968, but it changed ownership through the years and wound up as the Ramada in the past decade. The Ramada was part of the Wyndham franchise.

As for what's next for the hotel, located at 1525 W. Havens Ave., Sabers said he's been informed the hotel will transform into an apartment complex. In addition, he said the bar and restaurant will be listed for sale.

The large scale hotel was equipped with 152 rooms, an indoor pool and conference center. Prior to the pandemic, the Rebel Rooster, a bar and restaurant, was operating inside the hotel. However, the restaurant has been closed over the past year, which Sabers said was largely due to staffing issues.

While the hotel has provided special moments for newlyweds and families celebrating birthdays along the indoor pool that was recently remodeled, all of that rich history came to an end on Sunday, as a group of out-of-state owners who own the Ramada informed Sabers and the staff that the hotel and conference center was shutting down for good.

As of Tuesday, the former hotel had its doors locked and there was one vehicle in its parking lot. However, there was no signage alerting potential customers the facility is now closed.

Multiple people in Mitchell made social media posts alerting others the facility is now closed and the event center is not available for weddings or other celebrations.

Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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