Unique qualities rank Brookings as top small town

Macy Pekas Reporter

Earlier this summer, livability.com ranked Brookings, SD No. 5 as one of the top ten best small towns to live in. Brookings earned its place based on population, economic development and growth, and the character of the community. 

“I’m very excited that [our town] was recognized as one of the best small towns to live in,” Brookings Mayor Tim Reed said. “The award recognizes all of the hard work people do in this community to make it great.”

Jamison Lamp, a member of Brookings Chamber of Commerce, said that in his opinion, the aspect that sealed the deal for our town was the variety of people and personalities that reside here. 

“In our ‘small town’ of  22,056, we experience such a great mix of college students, young professionals, families, active retirees and alumni,” Lamp said. “We live, work, and enjoy the same great community and camaraderie. The mix provides constant energy and continued innovation to help Brookings grow.”

Some recently opened businesses, such as local dining options,  are what make Brookings more diverse. Choco Latte, Nick’s Hamburger Shop or the option for a slice of George’s Pizza after a late night venture downtown are among this list.

Brookings has establishments that provide the youth and young adults of this town with a many learning experiences. Ranging from The Children’s Museum to Brookings’ very own university. In fact, the university was considered an important part of the community by the organizations that voted Brookings No. 5.

Even though Brookings was just added to this list, it has been a popular place for the retiring community for quite a while. Jacks sporting events and other events centered around campus have lured retirees, but locals have said that other factors of the community contributed to their decision.

Resident Bill Scheffield likes the quiet atmosphere Brookings offers and that he can travel easily through the town. 

“It is a good place to visit with other retired folks and have a cup of coffee and there is not a lot of crime here,” Scheffield said.

According to the website areavibes.com, Brookings is 99.5 percent safer than any other city in the U.S. The crime index is also 89 percent lower than the entire state of South Dakota.

Nesta Schoorehoreen, a retiree in Brookings, likes the town for the more social aspects it offers its residents. 

“I have lived here for 30 years, and first retired this past June. Most of my friends live here; we have excellent dining places, the Swiftel Center, and SDSU entertainment. I’d not think of retiring any other place,” Schoorehoreen said.