By Denise DePaolo

Images by Dan Thorson Photography

It’s tough out there. Our communities feel big enough until it’s time to find love. The pool of eligible folks seems to all but disappear. But they’re out there! South Dakota is full of single, smart, good-looking people also wondering why they can never meet anyone great.

Each year, a handful of these young men and women put their romantic fate in the hands of 605 Magazine. Through a highly scientific voting process (, readers help to pair them up, then off they go. Join six brave singles as they navigate the world of blind dating in Sioux Falls.

Mike and Kayleen


Common factor: Shared hatred of Nicolas Cage.

Date location: Prairie Berry East Bank

This eatery opened in summer 2014, as an extension of Hill City-based Prairie Berry Winery. It features the brand’s South Dakota-made wines and craft beer from Miner Brewing Company. The menu consists of meticulously prepared, regionally-sourced artisan cuisine. To learn more about offerings from PBEB’s new epicurean bar, click here.


Mike Iverson

Age: 23

Hometown: Sioux Falls

Favorite TV show: Seinfeld

Favorite hobby: Writing music

Ever been on a blind date? No

Looking for someone who…”knows what they want. ‘I don’t know’ frustrates me.”


Kayleen Leonard

Age: 25

Hometown: Dell Rapids

Favorite TV show: New Girl

Favorite hobby: Anything outdoorsy

Ever been on a blind date? Yes

Looking for someone who…“will put me in my place and not let me walk all over them. There is such a thing as someone who’s too nice.”


To find out how Kayleen and Mike’s date went, click here.


Ashley and Travis


Common factor: Both are runners – Travis competes in triathlons; Ashley runs half marathons.

Date location: Sioux Falls Stampede game

The Stampede are part of the United States Hockey League. Founded in 1999, their new home ice is at the recently completed Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls. The USHL is the top level junior hockey league in the U.S., preparing players for college competition. Their highly-attended games are a favorite amongst local sports enthusiasts.


Ashley Eining

Age: 23

Hometown: O’Fallon, Mo.

Favorite TV show: Parks and Recreation

Favorite hobby: Running

Ever been on a blind date? No

Looking for someone who…”has a sense of humor and goals.”


Travis Baumtrog

Age: 26

Hometown: Medina, Minn.

Favorite TV Show: Netflix

Favorite Hobby: Fishing

Ever been on a blind date? No

Looking for someone who…“has a sense of humor. I’m pretty goofy. I could rub someone the wrong way if they’re really serious.”


To find out how Travis and Ashley’s date went, click here.


Hannah and Zack


Common factor: Both grew up on farms.

Date location: Rookie’s Comedy Club

Since 2013, Rookies has housed Sioux Falls only permanent comedy club. A popular sports bar and grill every day, Rookies holds comedy shows Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Thursday nights also feature open mic. Acts include locals and touring comics who regularly appear on Last Comic Standing and HBO specials.


Hannah Kuelbs

Age: 23

Hometown: Springfield, Minn.

Favorite TV show: Scrubs

Favorite hobby: Music/teaching piano

Ever been on a blind date: Yes

Looking for someone who…“is smart. With intelligence comes funniness. Someone who’s willing to be daring and adventurous.”


Zack Vos

Age: 26

Hometown: Clark

Favorite TV show: Breaking Bad

Favorite hobby: Video editing

Ever been on a blind date? No

Looking for someone who…“is trustworthy and intelligent, with a healthy dose of humor.”


To find out how Zack and Hannah’s date went, click here.

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