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Black Hills motels' decision to cancel school reservations raises concerns
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Black Hills motels' decision to cancel school reservations raises concerns

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Students compete at the State Track and Field Meet last weekend at Woodle Field in Sturgis.

PIERRE | Some schools with participants in this year’s state track meet found their motel reservations abruptly canceled.

Dan Swartos, executive director of the South Dakota High School Activities Association, told his board of directors on Thursday that five or six schools had their motel reservations canceled about a week before the event.

The state meets were held at Rapid City, Spearfish and Sturgis during Memorial Day weekend.

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Swartos said the rooms in the canceled reservations were then made available to the public at inflated prices. “We’ve got to find a solution to that.”

John Krogstrand, SDHSAA assistant executive director, said one school had 10 rooms, originally reserved for $80 each, canceled and then offered on the motel’s website for $900 each. “That’s not right.”

Board member Tom Culver of Avon suggested that perhaps the state track meet could be held earlier so as to miss the Memorial Day weekend when room rates in the Black Hills go up.

Swartos said a shift like that would affect the state tennis tournament as well as future scheduling for girls softball.

“The track meet itself was great,” he said.

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