Howard Conference Center Touted as Model Closing Its Doors
HOWARD, S.D. (AP) - A conference and training center in the eastern South Dakota town of Howard is closing because of financial problems, one year after opening with much fanfare.
The $6.5 million Maroney Commons facility was funded largely through loans, including a $3.2 million loan through the federal Agriculture Department. It utilizes green energy, including geothermal, solar and wind. When it opened, U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson said it could serve as a model for other rural communities.
The facility has a hotel, restaurant, fitness center, and meeting and training space. It touts itself as "a place for leaders from small towns to design and build 21st century rural communities."
Spokeswoman Kathy Callies tells The Daily Republic newspaper that what happens to the building now depends on the lenders.