South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: August 2002

August 2002

MEMORANDUM TO: Governor William J. Janklow

DATE: September 9, 2002

FROM: Patricia Van Gerpen

SUBJECT: Tourism’s August Monthly Status Report

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


Governor's Conference on Tourism
Education Seminar for Travel Directors
Public Relations
Group Tour
Film Office
Information Centers
Travel Shows


Occupancy Data
Lewis and Clark Promotions
Native American Tourism
Travel News Television
World Wide Web
State Fair
Governor's Buffalo Roundup and Governor's Invitational Pheasant Hunt

Great Events
Department Funding


Held committee meeting to review materials/videos of potential speakers.  Drafted timeline with staff responsibilities, as well as a tentative agenda for the conference.  Began to secure speakers.

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The Department of Tourism was awarded a Mercury Award by the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA), in recognition of the quality of Tourism’s publication, "A Guide to the Great Sioux Nation."  The Mercury Award recognizes excellence and creative accomplishment in travel promotion.  It also recognizes the development of exciting destination promotion programs and activities.  Sixteen Mercury Awards were presented by TIA this year.  "A Guide to the Great Sioux Nation" won the category of visitor's guide, non-advertising supported.  The award, given annually by TIA and the National Council of State Travel Directors, is an advertising and marketing competition involving all 50 states.  This print piece was created in cooperation with all nine tribal governments.  All tribes and the department distribute the piece.

Tourism previously won Mercury Awards in 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, and 1988.

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Kept web site updated with forest fire information and set up links to official sites.

Interviewed by Argus Leader, Rapid City Journal, Mobridge Tribune, Custer Chronicle, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Minnesota Public Radio, and Minneapolis/St.Paul magazine.  Plan to host a writer from Minneapolis/St. Paul magazine in September to biking/hiking trails.  Was a guest on an afternoon radio show in Brookings to talk about Tourism in general, and the Sturgis Rally in particular.

Assisted a writer from Family Travel Times with travel arrangements throughout South Dakota.

Worked on plans for a New York media blitz.  Met with Wyoming Tourism and 4-Parks representatives in regard to 2003 blitzes.

Provided information to People magazine on celebrity museums in the state.

Discussed theme/focus of the 2003 National Tourism Week celebration and other projects statewide.

Worked with Good Morning America (GMA) on production of their show in South Dakota, which focused on the entire state.  It was anchored by Lara Spencer.  Provided GMA with facts, figures, and videos.  Traveled with their staff throughout the week to Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, Deadwood, Sturgis, Custer State Park, Badlands National Park, and Wall Drug Store.  Non-travel destinations in the segment included Corn Palace, Storybook Land, various Sioux Falls attractions and businesses, and Lewis and Clark.  The show is scheduled to air September 13.

Worked with Great Finds TV program, Chicago, on upcoming show on unique/little-known attractions in South Dakota.

Made travel arrangements for a travel editor with Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, New York, for an article that will focus on landscape, culture, heritage, and attractions. 

Made several revisions to the press CD-ROM and sent it out for replication.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence include Rapid City Journal (35,465) three articles for ad equivalence of $1,388; Argus Leader (73,167) four articles for ad equivalence of $2,262; Aberdeen American News (18,000) for ad equivalence of $122; Pierre Capital Journal (4,864) for ad equivalence of $28; In Style (1.7 million) with ad equivalence of $20,700; Los Angeles Times (1.4 million) with ad equivalence of $238,470; Minneapolis Star Tribune (410,564) with ad equivalence of $50,400; and Midwest Living (825,278) with ad equivalence of $8,210.  Total ad equivalence is $321,580.

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Continued to update partner pages, per returned proofs, for the Group Tour Planning Guide.  Made changes to divider pages and covers.  Worked on final copy for two other sections.

Sent Travel Trade newsletter to 698 international journalists.  The newsletter is mailed three times a year to domestic and international tour operators and journalists.

Held pre-caucus meeting in Pierre for the South Dakota members of the National Tour Association (NTA) and American Bus Association (ABA) to discuss the upcoming national conferences/marketplaces.

Fulfilled requests for information from Visitors Guide Publications, Washington; Bettner Tours, New Jersey; America 4 You, California; Shebby Lee Tours, South Dakota; Paule Seux, Escales Cable Channel, and BMI Trading Inc, France; Ontour magazine, Germany; Christine Green and Media Cell, United Kingdom; The Exploration Tourism Agency “Sarmizegetusa,” Romania; Hit the Road Jack (film crew) and Marini Caldarelli, Italy; and Jennifer Earnshaw, Australia.

Sent itinerary to two German journalists with Mitteldeutsche Zeitung.  Prepared and sent itinerary to Freedom Magazine, United Kingdom, for writer and photographer who were in the state researching an article on the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and Badlands National Park for Chrysler and Jeep magazine (circulation 450,000).  Prepared and sent itinerary to a German journalist with Sueddeutsche Zeitung (circulation 450,000 daily and 700,000 weekends), who was in South Dakota researching an article on the Lewis and Clark Trail.   

Completed arrangements for a writer from Germany with Fuldaer Zeitung (circulation 50,000) for a September trip.  He will be researching an article on the Black Hills, Badlands National Park, Wind Cave National Park, and Jewel Cave National Park, as well as hiking, biking, rafting, rodeos, and pow wows.  Completed itinerary for an Italian journalist for a September trip.  He will be riding on the Mickelson Trail Trek, and he is interested in obtaining information on The Mammoth Site, 1880 Train, gold mining, historic hotels, B&Bs, ranches, and Native American museums.

Updated and revised 2 Nation Tours itineraries for Signature, Wildlife/Nature, Gardens and Wineries, Lewis and Clark, History, American Indian, and Heritage tours.  Partners are Minnesota, North Dakota, Manitoba, and South Dakota.  Reviewed tour operator lists to target market for 2 Nation Tours promotion and sent recommendations to Minnesota Tourism.  Met with partners on the 2 Nation Tours program/campaign to review itineraries, lists of tour operators to target, logo, notebook design, and events.  Designed binder/notebook for partners to review – proposed as the format for the itineraries from each partner.

Participated in discussions with partners in the Rocky Mountain International consortium about the possibility of participating in a promotion in Scandinavia.

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Fulfilled requests for Vacation Guides from AAA/CAA offices and independent travel agencies in the following locations: Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Winnipeg, Canada.  Fulfilled special requests from an ad in Home & Away magazine to other AAA/CAA offices for over 4,300 Vacation Guides.

Have registered four AAA travel counselors from Kentucky, Ohio, and Ontario, Canada, for the “It’s America,” fam tour in September which will start in Sioux Falls and end in Rapid City.  Tentative city and tour highlights will include: Sioux Falls, Yankton, Mitchell, Chamberlain, Lewis and Clark Information Center, Badlands National Park, Wall Drug Store, Wall, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, Lead, and Deadwood.

Researched options for AAA sales blitzes in Nebraska and Iowa.

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Sent approximately 275 letters to adventure travel providers in the state seeking updated and new listings for the Adventure Travel Guide.  Listings are free, and the booklet is produced in-house.  Will make follow-up calls. 

Submitted media invitation lists for the Governor’s Buffalo Roundup and the Governor’s Invitational Pheasant Hunt.

Met with two birders from Aberdeen who will accompany Tourism staff on its upcoming birding fam.  Sent personalized letters and itinerary to 20 selected media/outdoor writers for the birding fam scheduled for May 2003. 

Met with staff at the Department of Game, Fish and Parks to discuss co-op possibilities and the upcoming Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers conference in Sioux Falls. 

Met with a representative of the South Dakota Professional Guides Association about upcoming projects, including their annual guide.

Fulfilled requests for information for freelance writers from Utah, Montana, Minnesota, and Oregon.  Fulfilled requests for information from Coleman Outernet, a web site devoted to outdoor recreation.

Interviewed by Woods and Waters magazine and provided them with requested information and photos on waterfowl.  The magazine covers all types of hunting.

Discussed waterfowl hunting seminar with a representative of Outland Sports.

Planned filming schedule for Birding Dog Journal and Water Dog Journal, TV shows on ESPN, for their location shoot with Prairie Sky Guest Ranch.  Lined up hunting location during grouse opener for Gary Howey’s TV show, The Outdoorsman.  Lined up hunt for a writer with Wildfowl magazine for an article that will feature South Dakota’s many November huntable species.

Set up Pheasants Forever/Tourism hunt for this fall near Aberdeen.  Will host five to six writers on a trip focusing on the importance of habitat and the great number of birds in South Dakota.  Made plans to sponsor and attend National Pheasant Fest and Convention in January in Minnesota. 

Worked with George Bayless on his upcoming “50 days, 50 states” fishing trip when he will be in Mobridge in September.  Contacted outdoor writers in South Dakota about his trip.

Began compiling media invitation list for July 2003 Professional Walleye Trail fishing tournament in Mobridge.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence include Sioux Falls Argus Leader (73,167) with ad equivalence of $657.

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Proofed copy of the 2002-03 South Dakota Film/Video Directory.  Compiled a mailing list for the new film production guides of more than 300 contacts in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia.

Called 12 different states to request their current film production guide to update our files.

Put together a photo file of Lake Oahe, documenting low water levels.  Worked on updating Badlands photo files by scanning to digital.   

Placed full page ad in LA 411 magazine.

Sent film directories to 615 Music, Tennessee; Dreamkeepers, New Mexico; and Renn Reed, South Dakota.  Faxed list of production assistants in the Sioux Falls area to Dirtroad Productions.

Hosted a second unit film crew for the ABC TV mini-series DreamKeepers.  The crew, lead by executive producer Ron McCloud, shot in the Badlands, Pine Ridge, and Mount Rushmore National Memorial.  They were unable to shoot at Bear Butte, as all helicopters were busy fighting the fire.  They are planning on returning in September to shoot the Bear Butte sequence.

Worked with filmmaker Eddie Yaroch on arranging the premiere of his film Class President.  Worked with filmmakers Chris Eyre and John Kilik on the premiere of Skins.

Worked with Disney location manager on preparations for their upcoming feature film shoot.  Worked with Department of Transportation and the Highway Patrol to arrange a meeting.  Will assist in setting up production offices in Rapid and Hot Springs.  Contacted by a car rental company regarding working with Disney on transportation.

Contacted by a representative of a film house in Minneapolis which scouted South Dakota for an upcoming small budget feature film. Will meet with the representative and assist with more in-depth scouts.

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The car count at the Information Centers for the month of July was up 15.3 percent over July 2001.  For Canadian visitors, the count was down 2.7 percent.  The count for all other international visitors was down 5.9 percent.  There were 163 motorcoaches/buses at the Information Centers, and 22 of these were international.  

For June, Travel Tape and CD rentals were up 37.7 percent over June 2001.

Continually updated the Information Center staff with faxed information regarding the Battle Creek fire.  

To date, we have received 1,511 comment cards.  Following are samples of comments by visitors: 

“The staff and facility was the best we’ve been to so far.  Particularly this one, but I was impressed by The Dakotas in general.  Beautiful scenery, friendly people, clean places to rest and stretch made our trip that much more enjoyable.  Keep up the good work.”  Auburn, Washington

“Kathy was wonderful.  She gave us a lot of information and possible routes to take.  It was a great pleasure to visit your service area.”  Cortland Manor, New York

Compiled and distributed Information Center Newsletter from submissions sent by each Center.

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Evaluated travel-related businesses’ comment cards and nomination forms for the Governor’s Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Hospitality.  For 2002, there are 533 individuals/businesses that have received the Governor’s Certificate, 217 have received the foil star for a second recognition, and 107 have received a gold lapel pin for a third recognition.

Sent Great Service Star applications to 1,950 members of the travel industry.  Returned applications will be considered for the George S. Mickelson Great Service Star Award to be presented at the 2003 Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

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Will send letters regarding the 2003 travel show co-op program in late September.  The total number of partners is 40, and the co-op is first-come, first-served.  The shows include Chicagoland Outdoor Show, Chicago, January 15-19; International Sportsmen Show, Denver, January 23-26; Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; February 8-16; Northwest Sportshow, Minneapolis, March 4-9; and Milwaukee Sentinel Sports Show, Milwaukee, March 14-23.

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Total FY2003 Inquiries through 09-01-2002: 

Mail: 17,048
Internet (e-mail): 16,316
Phone:   5,591
Total: 38,955

Total FY2002 Inquiries through 09-01-2001:

Mail: 12,273
Internet (e-mail): 6,681
Phone:   5,286
Total: 24,240

This is an overall increase in inquiries of 60.7 percent over FY2002.  (This does not include hits/visits to Tourism’s Web site.)

Calculated number of page views at 463,062 on Tourism’s web site for the period of August 1-31, 2002, (four days missing) for a daily average of 17,150 over a 27-day period.  This compares to calculated page views of 350,970 for the period of August 2-31, 2001, for a daily average of 11,699 over a 30-day period.  This is an increase in daily average of page views of 46.6 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.

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South Dakota Tourism Research - Motel Occupancy
Region July 2002 July 2001 Difference
1 Southeast 80.2% 76.9% 3.3%
2 Northeast 67.1% 61.7% 5.3%
3 Southcentral 60.2% 57.8% 2.4%
4 Northcentral 72.8% 75.0% -2.1%
5 Western SD, 
Black Hills Area
84.3% 80.3% 4.1%
Statewide Avg. 79.3% 75.4% 3.9%

South Dakota Tourism Research - Campground Occupancy
Region July 2002 July 2001 Difference
1 Southeast 48.3% 51.8% -3.5%
2 Northeast 51.2% 49.6% 1.6%
3 Southcentral 58.0% 59.9% -1.9%
4 Northcentral 36.7% 43.0% -6.3%
5 Western SD, 
Black Hills Area
67.9% 65.5% 2.5%
Statewide Avg. 60.2% 59.9% 0.4%

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Attended the Signature Event, “Oceti Sakowin Experience: Remembering and Educating,” Arts Committee meeting in Chamberlain.  It was attended by representatives from Chamberlain, Cedar Shore, Lower Brule, Cheyenne River, Akta Lakota Museum, the Humanities, and Tourism.  Since then, we have contacted several other individuals about taking part in the planning of the arts portion of this event.  All are interested.  We hope to have the next arts subcommittee meeting in November. 

Held the Corps of Rediscovery statewide meeting in Lower Brule. About 50 people attended.  Otis Half Moon, National Park Service, was our guest speaker.  The next meeting will be at Bob’s Steakhouse on November 16.  Worked on dates and locations for the 2003 meeting schedule.

Attended the National Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation Annual Meeting.  The Bicentennial will officially kick-off at Monticello in January 2003.  Tourism will help sponsor a reception and have an exhibitor booth.  The Chamberlain Chamber and the Akta Lakota Museum have offered to help work in the booth.  Held a Signature Event brainstorming session to gather ideas for the informational brochures which will be distributed at the Monticello event.

Spoke to the Pollock Lewis and Clark (L&C) committee and to their economic development group.  They are interested in re-enacting the court martial that took place near Pollock in 1804.  The group from St. Charles, Missouri, is willing to be part of that.  Wrote contracts for the St. Charles group and the Native Americans to do a photo/video shoot in Vermillion. 

Spoke to the Sioux Falls CVB about the L&C Bicentennial and the Signature Event.  Met with representatives from the Sioux Falls CVB and the Washington Pavilion about Bicentennial opportunities in Sioux Falls. 

Spent time with a representative of Camera One from Seattle, who is filming the official federal government L&C movie.  He will be back the last two weeks of September to do more filming.

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Continued to work on updating listings in the Guide to Indian Reservations and Art.  The booklet has information on each of the nine tribes, services on each reservation, and the location of Indian art that is for sale and/or on display throughout the state.

Attended the Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates (ATTA) meeting at Fort Randall.  Tribal representatives were from Lower Brule, Yankton, Oglala, and Cheyenne River. 

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Fulfilled requests for slides from Department of Game, Fish and Parks, State Publishing, and Comprehensive Media Group, Pierre; South Dakota magazine, Yankton; Rapid Net and Western Souvenirs, Rapid City; EROS Data Center, Sioux Falls; South Dakota Wildlife Federation, Colome; Bramec Corp., N. Sioux City; Las Vegas Review Journal, Nevada; freelancer Lynn Stone, Illinois; freelancer Kim Parrish, Kansas; Woods and Water magazine, Massachusetts; author Robert LaFrankie, Pennsylvania; USA Today, Virginia; Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, New York; Axiam Press, Utah; Cabela’s catalog, Nebraska; and freelancer John Flenning, Australia.

Fulfilled requests for video footage from KSFY-TV, Sioux Falls; and Aprenda A Vijar, a travel channel show in Puerto Rico.

Made changes to the Lewis and Clark Minutes spots, which are being broadcast by South Dakota Public TV as part of a partnership project.

Set-up and shot live footage for the department and for a satellite feed of Gass election reenactment at the Lewis and Clark Heritage Days in Elk Point.  Compressed a clip for use on the web.

Reedited new video for use as “image” video for South Dakota for use by staff for the department’s various programs. 

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Contacted individuals to be interviewed and filmed for the 2003 TNT video, produced in-house by Tourism.  The video is shown on lodging properties’ in-house cable systems and city cable systems.

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Met with regional directors to determine new design standards for the South Dakota Vacation Guide.  Discussed file formatting for plate-to-press printing for the Guide.  Selected photos and completed redesign of Southeast regions’ city ads and routed for final approval.  Selected photos for Glacial Lakes and Prairies and Great Lakes’ city ads.  Because of Tourism’s rebate program and ad standards, all partners agreed that Tourism be the designer for all city ads in the Vacation Guide.  City ads designed by others will not qualify for the rebate.

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Installed new web cam at Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

There are 44 vacation packages listed on at this time.  Packages can be added any time and deleted as the offers expire on  Magazine ads promoting online packages are currently running or scheduled to run in the following:  July/August issue of AAA Home & Away; July/August and September/October issues of Midwest Living; and September/October issue of National Parks.  Other ads include Tourism’s Travelsmart messages and in several newspapers on a weekly basis.  Added packages to site as well.

Added iPIX images to seven partners’ Visitor Services Directory listings. 

Added links from’s homepage for updated information on the fire and Sturgis Rally and Races.  Added other links to other pages within Tourism’s pages to Kid Zone and History and Heritage.  Worked on additions and updates to the Calendar of Events section, the Visitor Services Directory, Great Events, and Fuel Facts.

Added application form for Adventure Travel Guide to, Tourism’s industry site.  Updated for the “Photo Gallery” to indicate the availability of high quality (300 dpi, TIFF) versions of the existing photos.  There are now both medium quality and high quality versions offered.

Added meta tags to sections of to be listed on search engine queries.  Rewrote description on to better reflect department’s information and services.

Purchased RealSystem Producer software to convert video clips and compress them for use on the department’s various web sites.

Designed a “Back to School” themed e-mail for the August Travelsmart.  Uploaded 8,000 new addresses.  List contains approximately 77,000 addresses.

Designed an e-mail to be sent to media outlets announcing the satellite feed for the Lewis and Clark Heritage Days in Elk Point.  Designed a corresponding page on 

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Sent prizes to the four winners from registrations at Tourism’s booth at the State Fair.  They were from Clear Lake, New Effington, Salem, and De Smet.  Sent thank-you notes to Xanterra concessionaires at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Redlin Art Center, Washington Pavilion, Holiday Inn Express in Sioux Falls, and Best Western Ramkota and Dakota Adventures in Pierre for donating the prizes.

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Governor’s Buffalo Roundup and Governor’s Invitational Pheasant Hunt

Continued working on details of both events.  Invitations for the Roundup were mailed August 30.  Invitations to the Hunt are scheduled to be mailed by September 16. 

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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: Sent evaluation forms to organizers and businesses in Hill City.

Crystal Springs Ranch Rodeo, June 28-30, Clear Lake: Contacted event organizers to obtain their evaluation forms on the event.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant, June 28-30, July 5-7, and July 12-14, De Smet: Received six evaluations from 18 that were sent to local organizers and area businesses.  Organizers reported that attendance increased by 10.9 percent over 2001.  The top states for attendance were Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois, with South Dakota first.  Attendees were also from Brazil, Canada, Finland, and Slovakia.  Organizers felt that future development of the event was positive as it is a quality event which the whole family can enjoy.  There were a variety of reports from businesses: two reported increases, two reported decreases, and one reported the highest attendance ever. 

Oscar Micheaux Film Festival, August 7-11, Gregory: Worked on compiling report from evaluation form responses from organizers and area businesses.

Frontier Days, August 16-18, White River: Sent evaluation forms to local organizers and businesses.

Lewis and Clark Heritage Days, August 17-18 and 22, Elk Point: Sent poster design to event committee.  Staff attended and helped coordinate satellite feed of the Gass election reenactment, for both the actual reenactment and a news release with interviews later in the day.  Sent evaluation forms to local organizers and businesses.

Lewis and Clark Spirit Mound Festival, August 24-25, Vermillion: Wrote copy for classified and display newspaper ads.

Mickelson Trail Trek, September 20-22, Black Hills: Sent media teasers to 23 bicycling magazines.

South Dakota Highland Festival, September 14, Scotland: Worked on media teasers.  Placed radio ads to run the first week of September on KNEN, KEFM, and KGLI in Nebraska.  Placed newspaper ads to run in Norfolk Daily News and Lincoln Journal in Nebraska and Sioux City Journal in early September.

St. Joseph Indian School Days/Pow Wow, September 27-28, Chamberlain: Designed and placed a black and white ad for the Bismarck Tribune

Black Hills Pow Wow, October 11-13, Rapid City: Sent media teasers.

Ringneck Festival, November 8-9, Huron: Worked on media teasers.

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July and August Deadwood gaming revenues for Tourism will be reported next month.  Gaming deposits to Tourism for June were $178,181, as previously reported.  The tourism tax deposited for July 2002 was up 14.7 percent at $544,512, as compared to $474,522 for July 2001.  

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