South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: April 2002

April 2002

MEMORANDUM TO: Governor William J. Janklow

DATE: May 7, 2002

FROM: Patricia Van Gerpen

SUBJECT: Tourism’s April Monthly Status Report

You may download and print the entire April report in Adobe Acrobat (PDF).


Public Relations
Group Tour
Film Office
Information Centers
Lewis and Clark Promotions
Native American Tourism
Travel News Television
World Wide Web
Target Market Advertising
Governor's Tourism Advisory Board
Mount Rushmore Independence Day Celebration
Great Events
Department Funding


Visited various ranches and resorts throughout South Dakota to talk with owners/operators on Tourism’s cooperative marketing programs: The Brink Outfit, Union Center; Hisega Lodge, Rapid City; Howell Ranch, Belle Fourche; Secret Garden B&B, Spearfish; Allen Ranch, Hot Springs; Cassen’s Wishbone Ranch, Edgemont; Country Charm Cabins and Corrals, Pringle; Tumbleweed Lodge, Harrold; and MoRest, Mobridge.

Interviewed by WCCO radio in Minneapolis and the Radio Garage program in Brookings regarding family vacations in South Dakota. Promoted the web site, online packages, and activities for families.

Shot live video/audio footage throughout April for commercials/PSAs, which will run for/during National Tourism Week, May 4-12. Sent Fast Fact cards and newspaper ads to all nine partner CVBs to be proofed. Interviewed by a Brookings radio station regarding National Tourism Week.

Provided information on South Dakota’s romantic places for an upcoming InStyle magazine issue.

Interviewed by Family Fun Adventure magazine on Wind Cave National Park and Jewel Cave National Monument. Sent slides of the attractions.

Arranged lodging and admission to the Junior National Hereford Show in Sioux Falls for a writer/producer of National Public Radio.

Fulfilled requests from Home & Away magazine; a freelance travel writer from Chicago; Complete Video Productions, Kansas; and Rapid City CVB.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence include Capitol Journal (4,864) with ad equivalence of $308, Rapid City Journal (35,465) with ad equivalence of $248; and the Minneapolis Star Tribune (Sunday – 673,528) two articles with ad equivalence of $27,662.

[back to top]


Completed coordination for the "Wagons West! Circle Tour" in eastern South

Dakota set for May, for 15 participants representing nine companies from Texas,

Maine, Oregon, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Alberta, Canada. They will be hosted in Sioux Falls, Mitchell, Huron, Aberdeen, Roslyn, Lake City, De Smet, Brookings, Madison, and Flandreau.

Continued to work on the update for the Group Tour Planning Guide. Completed survey calls to tour operators regarding the layout of the guide.

Sent leads from spring international shows to 611 South Dakota suppliers. Sent letters and packets to 80 Italian tour operators and journalists, as partial follow-up to shows.

Forwarded request from America 4 You, California, for ranch information.

Sent brochures to appropriate contacts/suppliers for a consumer show.

Worked on events and agriculture sites for itineraries for the 2Nation campaign, a co-op effort with Minnesota, North Dakota, and Manitoba tourism offices. The next meeting is in May.

Attended the Rocky Mountain International (RMI) Roundup in Whitefish, Montana, and met with 32 tour operators and the five country representatives for RMI. South Dakota’s industry representatives were from: Alex Johnson Hotel, The Journey Museum, Mount Rushmore Black Hills Gold Outlet, and Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau, Rapid City; Allen Ranch, Hot Springs; Crazy Horse Memorial; Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Eagle Butte; and the Department of Tourism.

Sent requested information to Crossroads Tours and Big Money Tours, Kansas; Anderson Coach & Travel, Group Tours, Curran Travel, and Paragon Tours, Pennsylvania; TBI Tours, Illinois; Affordable Escapes Travel Co., Louisiana; Badger Tour and Travel, Wisconsin; Royale Tours, Arizona; Judy’s Travel Center, New York; four requests from Travel Trade Newsletter; Minn Dakota Coaches, Inc., Minnesota; General Tours, New Hampshire; Mike Kuchera’s Wild West Adventures, South Dakota; Pascale Smorag, France; ROC vzw, Belgium; Sunday Times and Fish the World, United Kingdom; Ontour Magazine, Germany; and Foril, Italy.

[back to top]


Sent certificates of training to the 31 participants of the AAA Minnesota/Iowa seminar.

Fulfilled requests for information from AAA offices and independent travel agencies in Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

[back to top]


Arranged lodging and activities for the editor of Outdoor News, for turkey hunt near Hill City to be included in five stories.

Lined up a fly-fishing trip for Northland Adventures television show, based in Wisconsin. They filmed in late April.

Hosted a writer with the Aberdeen American News on a spring goose hunt and bird watching outing.

Set up Fishing Hotline for 2002 with updates to be supplied at least weekly by the Glacial Lakes and Prairies Association and the Great Lakes of South Dakota Association.

Mailed Spring 2002 Outdoor News packet to outdoor editors and writers.

Placed fishing ads in May/June and July/August issues of Sporting Classics and May/June issue of Walleye Insider.

Received over 1,900 responses from the fishing direct mail piece sent to 13,000 anglers in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Illinois. This is about a 14.6 percent return on the mailing at this time. Responses received by May 4 will be eligible for a drawing for a South Dakota fishing vacation.

[back to top]


Worked on finalizing listings/other details for the 2002-2003 Film Office Production Guide.

Continued working on final details for the film office web site.

Attended the Association of Film Commissioners International’s (AFCI) Locations Trade Show in Santa Monica. The trade show returned to Santa Monica for the first time in seven years. The Northern Plains and Rockies Consortium (consisting of South Dakota, North Dakota, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming) partnered in an "Old West" town booth, which won first prize in the "Most Creative Booth" category – the seventh straight year that the booth has won a prize. The booth configuration has helped grab the attention of industry prospects and media. More than 3,000 production industry representatives and over 150 AFCI-member film commissions or offices participated in the three-day show. Went to pre-arranged meetings to discuss future projects. Began follow-up from the show.

Coordinated a locations scout with a location manager for a feature film. Helped arrange a scout for the executive producer and the director. They are scouting specific ranches. Sent photo files to the studio’s art department.

Contacted by a production designer for another feature film, looking for railroad tracks, trestles, and a period train. Added to information previously sent. They hope to schedule a scout soon.

Contacted by five film companies in California for information regarding commercial shoots.

Sent Production Guide packets to film houses in New York, California, and Maryland.

Conducted an interview with Screen Magazine, an industry publication focusing on commercial shooting.

[back to top]


Sent letters to 77 people for the seasonal travel counselor positions at the Information Centers, along with the itinerary of their fam tour. Sent regret letters to those applicants who were not hired.

Continued to work on details of the Information Center Training Tour, May 2 –10: made arrangements with individuals from chambers, CVBs, attractions, and hotel/motels that will be visited and sent confirmation letters to tour hosts. Stops include Pierre, Lower Brule, Gregory, Platte, Chamberlain, Yankton, Elk Point, Vermillion, Sioux Falls, Freeman, Keystone, Lead, Wall, Greenwood, Keystone, Deadwood, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and Crazy Horse Memorial. Other stops include Mitchell and Rapid City for the Eastern Lit Swap and Western Lit Swap respectively.

Centers will open on May 18 with the exception of New Effington, which will open on May 25.

[back to top]


Evaluated travel-related businesses’ comment cards and nomination forms. To date, 128 individuals/businesses have received the Governor’s Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Hospitality, 27 have received a gold foil star for a second recognition, and four have received a gold lapel pin for a third recognition.

Coordinated the Spring Fling Management Training seminar titled "Art of Supervising, " which was attended by 100 people. The speaker was Julie Burch. Seminar topics included supervising methods, keeping employees motivated, and practical ways to solve problems when they arise.

Will send information on the front-line training seminars, which have tentative dates of June 3-7 in Watertown, Rapid City, Custer, and Deadwood. Gina McAndrew will be the presenter.

[back to top]


Total FY2002 Inquiries through 05-01-2002: 

Mail: 50,416
Internet (e-mail): 51,116
Phone:   35,354
Total: 136,886

Total FY2001 Inquiries through 05-01-2001:

Mail: 68,467
Internet (e-mail): 34,380
Phone:   63,030
Total: 165,877


This is an overall decrease in inquiries of 17.5 percent over FY2001. (This does not include hits/visits to Tourism’s Web site.)

Correction for March: Calculated number of page views at 456,618 on Tourism’s web site for the period of March 1-31, 2002, (missing March 20 and 25) for a daily average of 15,745 over a 29-day period. This compares to calculated page views of 422,123 for the period of February 25 through March 24, 2001, for a daily average of 15,076 over a 28-day period. This is an increase in daily average of page views of 4.4 percent over a comparable time period in 2001, rather than the decrease of 0.2 percent as reported previously.

Calculated number of page views at 534,522 on Tourism’s web site for the period of April 1-30, 2002, (missing April 12, 27, and 28) for a daily average of 19,797 over a 27-day period. This compares to calculated page views of 591,825 for the period of March 25 through April 28, 2001, for a daily average of 17,407 over a 34-day period. This is an increase in daily average of page views of 13.7 percent over a comparable time period in 2001. "Page views" represents the number of times each and every page within the web site is accessed.

[back to top]


Reviewed the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Minutes video segments that Pubic Broadcasting System (PBS) is producing and which this Department is sponsoring. Will continue to work with them on this project.

South Dakota groups submitted grant requests to the National Park Service for 28 Lewis and Clark projects, and 10 received some funding. A total of $290,000 for South Dakota projects was granted out of $3,104,135 in requests. The National Park Service awarded $5 million this go-round.

Attended the National Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Council meetings in Lewiston, Idaho, which included the Circle of State Advisors (COSA) meeting, the Signature Event committee meeting, and educational workshops. A subcommittee of Midwest trail states was formed, which includes Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota. A meeting is scheduled for May to discuss how we can work together to promote this part of the Lewis and Clark Trail.

The statewide South Dakota Corps of Rediscovery meeting was held in Springfield, with about 30 people in attendance. The major portion of the meeting was led by Midori Raymore, National Park Service, who talked about the grant program and the Corps of Discovery II project. The next statewide meeting will be in Lower Brule on July 24.

Submitted registration for exhibitors for participation in the Monticello Signature Event, which will be next January, the kickoff event for the national Lewis and Clark Bicentennial.

Judged 44 Lewis and Clark Essay Contest entries received from fourth graders. The winner and four runners-up were chosen and will be notified. The winning essay will be broadcast on South Dakota Public Radio, published in the winner’s local newspaper, and placed on and

The Discovery Center in Pierre will conduct two Lewis and Clark Teacher Workshops in 2002 at Platte/Pickstown and Pierre. These will be hands-on, river kayaking workshops so teachers can have the true Lewis and Clark experience. The Discovery Center offers monthly educational programs for area schools. We are discussing ways we can reach more schools, and have been working on this project with the Department of Education and Cultural Affairs.

Coordinated the Step-on Guide workshop in Eagle Butte with 14 people in attendance.

[back to top]


Attended an Okiciapiye (Scenic Byway) meeting in Chamberlain. Funding was not granted for the inaugural event, so it has been postponed until 2003.

Attended the Department of Transportation Commission meeting to encourage their approval of the extension to the Native American Scenic Byway. The extension was approved, and they now need to apply for national designation.

Contacted the National Lewis and Clark Signature Event committee in Lewiston, Idaho. They approved the designation of a South Dakota Tribal Signature event. We will continue working with the tribes in planning for this event which will be held in 2004.

[back to top]


Fulfilled photo requests from South Dakota Rural Electric Association, State Bar Association, State Publishing, Comprehensive Media Group, BankWest, and Corps of Engineers, Pierre; Sierra Club and Rushmore Photo and Gifts, Rapid City; Madison Daily Leader, Madison; Midwest Seed Services, Brookings; Golden Spike Inn, Hill City; Yankton Chamber of Commerce and South Dakota magazine, Yankton; State Farm Insurance, Minnesota; Let’s Travel Again, Maine; Family Fun magazine, Massachusetts; AmericInn, Wisconsin; and FarCountry Press, Montana.

Sent video footage to CBS TV/Price is Right to go along with a South Dakota package being offered on the show; Reunion Productions, Massachusetts; Grand Prix Productions and LMNO Cable Group, California; and Mark St. Pierre, South Dakota;

Reinstalled web camera at Mount Rushmore after receiving new lens, hard drive, and software.

[back to top]


Began editing video and adding music, based on script. Theme is "Great Stories in South Dakota" with segments about places, traditions, and events. Sent notification to potential partners of program, which includes lodging properties with in-house channels, cities with local cable channels, and cable companies. Each partner will receive the video and tent cards in May.

[back to top]


Have 390 partners in the new web program, and 43 chose to have the 360-degree photo added to their listing on the Visitor Services Directory. All partners will receive a free booking or reservation link, an e-mail link, and a link to their own web site with their free listing.

Continued to promote partners’ online vacation packages via magazine ads, newspaper ads, banner ads, and Travelsmart e-mail blasts to nearly 60,000 subscribers. There are 47 packages that appear on and on

Tested online "Request for Information Form" that will be implemented May 1. The form captures names and addresses and sends that information to the call center, without having to be routed through the Tourism office.

[back to top]


Sent copies of magazines that contain the Giant Step booklet to appropriate partners: April issue of Better Homes and Gardens, May issue of Country Home, and May/June issue of Midwest Living. The other two magazines in this 2002 co-op program are Ladies Home Journal and More – yet to run the booklet. The Great Getaways newspaper inserts were first placed the end of April in the Des Moines Register and Winnipeg Free Press, with the last placement on June 2. This promotion runs in 17 newspapers for a total circulation of 1.1 million.

Monitored initial results from the online opt-in form on the South Dakota/Wyoming portal page for the co-op partnership that involves Xanterra Parks and Resorts (formerly AmFac) and which showcases Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone.

[back to top]


Sent Fall Travel Trade to nearly 7,000 domestic and international travel writers and tour operators. Newsletter contains information on fams, new things to do and see in the state, legends and lore, events, and attractions.

Received 3,000 copies of the updated Escort Notes, which is used primarily for leaders of group tours. It is produced in-house.

[back to top]


Compiled Web survey report for first quarter of 2002. From those who completed the online survey, prize packages were sent to winners from Wymore, Nebraska, and Skreia, Norway. Some results from the 1,328 web users who responded to the web survey follows:

49 percent had been to South Dakota before

92 percent said they are planning a trip to South Dakota in the upcoming year

70 percent said answered all of their travel questions

96 percent said they would recommend the site to another traveler

50 percent were referred to by a search engine

72 percent indicated it was their first time visiting

61 percent of the respondents are female; 36 percent are male; 3 percent declined to answer

72 percent are married

53 percent have children under 18 living at home

                    53 percent of the respondents are from the target 
                    states of Minnesota (158), Wisconsin

(125), Illinois (102), Iowa (93), Missouri (48), Nebraska (47), Texas (44), Indiana

(41), Colorado (28), and North Dakota (20).

(Top out-of-target-market states included Michigan with 55 respondents and Ohio
with 40 respondents.)

Updated survey question #6 to ask the consumer to specify the search engine they used to obtain Tourism’s web address.

[back to top]


Held meetings in Brandon, Garretson, and Dell Rapids with overnights in Brandon and tours of local attractions: EROS Data Center, Palisades State Park, Christmas in the Attic, Dakota Good Times/Cookie Jar, and Jesse James Jamboree/Players, Garretson; and Rose Stone Inn and Grand Opera House in Dell Rapids. Members gave reports on tourism at the local levels, reviewed the tourism budget and ad campaigns, brainstormed on Customer Service and Lewis and Clark – per sub-committee assignments, and discussed recommendations from the 2001 Tourism Study. They agreed to focus a future Board meeting on the design standards and consumer group comments regarding the annual South Dakota Vacation Guide.

Group welcomed new Board members John Brockelsby, Rapid City; Donna Rae Petersen, Ridgeview; Jim Schade, Volga; and Frank Smith, Gettysburg. The other new member – JoAnne Bird of Bushnell – was unable to attend.

[back to top]


Contacted an entertainer regarding his participation in the Mount Rushmore Independence Day Celebration.

[back to top]


Yesterday’s Tomorrows, March 18-April 19, Madison; April 29-May 31, Chamberlain; June 10-July 7, Belle Fourche; July 22-August 23, Hill City; September 2-October 4, Deadwood; October 14-November 15, Redfield, and November 25-December 23, Pierre: Met with representative from Humanities Council regarding the essay contest. Tourism will finalize essay contest rules. Working on elements of the media kits, which will be sent in May.

Wild Bill Days, June 14-16, Deadwood: Placed information on web site. Completed poster design. Placed ad in March/April issue of Midwest Living.

Crystal Springs Ranch Rodeo, June 28-30, Clear Lake: Sent postcards to group tour companies in the Midwest regarding information on both the rodeo and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant. Will send more postcards to other requests. Placed ad in March/April issue of Midwest Living.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant, June 28-30, July 5-7, and July 12-14, De Smet: Placed ad in March/April issue of Midwest Living. (See above for postcard mailing information.)

Oscar Micheaux Film Festival, August 7-11, Gregory: Updated marketing plan. Committee is contacting celebrities for possible participation in the festival.

Frontier Days, August 16-18, White River: Completed poster design and routed for approval.

Lewis and Clark Heritage Days, August 17-18 and 22, Elk Point: Reviewed marketing plan with local committee and obtained their approval. Re-enactors from St. Charles, Missouri, will take part in the festival.

Lewis and Clark Spirit Mound Festival, August 24-25, Vermillion: Working on marketing plan. Placed ad in We Proceeded On.

Mickelson Trail Trek, September 20-22, Black Hills: Will send media kits to selected writers in May.

South Dakota Highland Festival, September 14, Scotland: Met with local committee to review marketing plan. Working on draft of an ad.

St. Joseph Indian School Days/Pow Wow, September 27-28, Chamberlain: Plan to meet with the local group in May. Proofed their poster design and asked that their chosen images be forwarded to the Department so that we could use them in ads we place. Sent media teasers to Midwest Living, AAA Home and Away, Southwest Art, Native Peoples, and The Circle. The mailing included a beaded bracelet made by students at St. Joseph’s Indian School. Sent flyer to tour operators in the target market area that expressed an interest in Native American culture.

Black Hills Pow Wow, October 11-13, Rapid City: Sent letter and flyer to doctors’ offices in the Denver area. Sent flyer to tour operators in the target market area that expressed an interest in Native American culture.

Ringneck Festival, November 8-9, Huron: Placed ad in June issue of Midwest Outdoors.

[back to top]


Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for Tourism for March 2002 was up 18.4 percent at $161,373, as compared to $135,987 for March 2001. The tourism tax deposited for March 2002 was down 5.5 percent at $141,528, as compared to $149,693 for March 2001. Revenue deposits for the Department for FY2002 are up at $5,001,981, as compared to $4,832,441 for FY2001, showing an overall increase of 3.5 percent.

[back to top]