Sportsman’s Classic targets avid hunters

Jesse Batson

Jesse Batson

The Swiftel Center will host the first South Da-kota Sportsman’s Classic on Feb. 17, 18 and 19.

Co-founder Steve Bachar wants to make the event innovative and entertaining through a combination of seminars, displays and contests.

“One of our goals is to provide a true entertainment venue that focuses on hunting,” said Bachar, who started planning the event last April.

In an effort to bring that innovation to the show, one of the main features of the Sportsman’s Classic is Monster Mountain, a 50-by-50-by-20-foot mountain complete with waterfalls and ponds. It will be the centerpiece for the event.

“I have never seen anything like that out of any of the shows I’ve gone to,” said Bachar.

The show will also feature some regular staples, like a big buck contest, a banquet and seminars.

Bachar went out of his way to contact nationally recognized figures to attend the event, such as David Blanton of Team RealTree. He will be the keynote speaker for Saturday’s banquet.

In order to separate themselves from other outdoors shows, Bachar narrowed the focus so that the event would appeal only to hunters.

Bachar’s desire to make the event innovative stems from the failure of other outdoors shows.

“There was an outdoors show at the Swiftel Center the last several years and that show, for various reasons, did not make it,” said Bachar.

Putting his business degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse to use, Bachar planned an extensive marketing campaign for the event, advertising on radio, TV and print across five states. Bachar hopes the advertising pays off in the form of large attendance numbers.

“Our target goal has been 10,000,” said Bachar.

The goal is aggressive, Bachar admits, but he hopes realistic after all the promotion put into the event.