South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: July 2002

July 2002

MEMORANDUM TO: Governor William J. Janklow

DATE: August 7, 2002

FROM: Patricia Van Gerpen

SUBJECT: Tourism’s July Monthly Status Report

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


Governor's Conference on Tourism
Rural Tourism Development
Public Relations
Group Tour
Film Office
Information Centers
Travel Shows

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

Staff Update
Great Events

Department Funding


Determined individual and committee assignments for speakers, session topics, meals, decorations, sponsors, registration, and print materials.  The 2003 Governor’s Conference on Tourism is January 22 and 23 at the Ramkota RiverCentre in Pierre.

Have posted nomination forms for the two annual tourism awards, the Ben Black Elk Award and the A.H. Pankow Award, on  The forms can be downloaded and faxed to Tourism or copied to the message box of e-mails for completion and forwarding to Tourism.  Submission deadline is August 27.  Tourism industry members are encouraged to submit nominations. 

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Discussed conducting farm/ranch vacation workshops at South Dakota State University with SDSU representatives.  Also contacted a representative with the Corn Palace CVB about conducting a farm/ranch workshop at Dakota Fest in Mitchell.

Fulfilled requests for the Tourism Assistance Directory and the Farm/Ranch Vacation Resource Guide.

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Participated in conference calls with Mount Rushmore National Memorial Society and National Park Service representatives regarding the Mount Rushmore Independence Day Celebration.  Wrote and helped distribute press releases regarding the celebration.  Coordinated the satellite uplink of the show.  Shot live camera during the display.  Coordinated tracking of laser show satellite feed.  Stations carrying the show included ABC National News, CNN National News, MSNBC National News, CSPAN National News, and Fox National News, as well as numerous broadcast affiliates for CBS, FOX, ABC, and NBC in markets throughout the United States. 

Wrote and distributed press releases and video releases to in-state and regional markets regarding the Grizzly Gulch fire and stressing that businesses were open for visitors. 

Compressed video and added web links, iPIX and digital photos, and daily updates to the consumer web site.  Sent e-mail blasts to the media, consumer database, and industry database.  Interviewed by Rapid City Journal, KELO, and KDLT in regard to the fire.  Interviewed visitors and industry employees on the fire, stressing that visitor businesses remained open.  Updated web site to include fire and Independence Day Celebration releases.

Interviewed by Argus Leader, WGMC radio in Atlanta, KELO TV, Rapid City Journal, Mitchell Daily Republic, Mobridge Tribune, Sympatico magazine, Vitality magazine, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, and Minnesota Public Radio on a variety of visitor related stories.

Scheduled satellite feeds for Lewis and Clark Heritage Days in Elk Point in August 2002, Capitol Christmas in Pierre in November and December 2002, and Ft. Sisseton Historical Festival in Lake City in June 2003.

Reviewed photos and cutlines for the photo CD-ROM project.

Submitted proposed invitation lists for journalists for Roundup and Hunt.

Researched journalist contacts in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas, and Denver for consideration in the 2003 media blitz campaign to be done jointly with Wyoming Tourism. 

Provided information on South Dakota dining choices to Grand Forks Herald.  Interviewed by and assisted for a CNN story about family attractions throughout South Dakota.  Interviewed by a media contact in regard to research studies in which the Department of Tourism takes part.  This is for their bi-monthly trade publication.  Assisted and interviewed by a representative of the Travel Channel in regard to wealthy traveler opportunities in South Dakota.  A show is planned for later this year.  Interviewed by and provided information to Time magazine on celebrities and unique museums in South Dakota.  Assisted a journalist for Family Travel Times in finding attractions in South Dakota for a story in the magazine.  This journalist will spend four weeks in South Dakota researching sites.

Fulfilled requests by Scenic Tours of North America, Ontario; GRIT magazine, Kansas; Midwest Living; Good Morning America; Clark and Co., Washington; HT Enterprises, Wisconsin; and Argus Leader

Worked with lodging properties in western South Dakota for prize package for the winner of a contest and promotion on Newsradio in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence include Midwest Living (825,278) with ad equivalence of $50,790; Family Fun (1,550,000) with ad equivalence of $148,550; Parents magazine (2,200,000) with ad equivalence of $98,450; Sioux Falls Argus Leader (73,167) two articles with ad equivalence of $657; Rapid City Journal (35,465) with ad equivalence of $1,460; and Aberdeen American News (18,000) with ad equivalence of $153.  Total ad equivalence value: $300,060.

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Sent proof copies to 220 partners in the Group Tour Planning Guide for their approval/changes.  Worked on other entries, edits, divider pages and covers, and formatting.

Finalized design of postcard that will be sent to 650 tour operators attending the National Tour Association (NTA) convention.  The postcard listed South Dakota suppliers who are attending NTA.  Researched and requested 60 appointments with NTA tour operators for annual convention.  The American Bus Association (ABA) postcard mailing will be sent to 1,400 companies that will be attending the ABA convention.  The postcard lists the South Dakota suppliers who will be at ABA. 

Updated and revised 2-Nation Signature Tour that includes itineraries for the partners of Minnesota, North Dakota, Manitoba, and South Dakota.

Sent requested information to Travel Industry Association of America’s public relations directory, “See America,” which will include a listing for South Dakota.   

Completed follow-up for 55 tour operators and journalists who had appointments with representatives at the Rocky Mountain International (RMI) booth during TIA Pow Wow tradeshow, as well as to the 76 who had appointments with representatives at the South Dakota booth. 

Fulfilled request from journalists from France for an article to be published in 4-Wheel Drive magazine in October.  Contacted Custer State Park regarding information on buffalo.  Provided information on the Jeep Jamboree.  Contacted Indian Affairs and the Department of Education and Cultural Affairs for pen pal contacts at reservation schools for French students. 

Answered questions from properties that want to bid on the spring 2003 RMI Roundup in South Dakota.

Fulfilled requests for information from tour operators in California, South Carolina, and Michigan; Dan Dipert Tours, Texas; Brennan Tours, Washington; Oregon West Excursions, Oregon; Bone County Health, Nebraska; Peterson Bus Service, Minnesota; Educational Tours, Illinois; Rocky Mountain Holiday Tours, Colorado; Country Heritage Tours, Inc., Missouri; Joy Tour and Travel, Ohio; RAC Marketing, South Dakota; Freedom Tours, Superior Holidays, Gold Medal Travel, and Marl Wooton, United Kingdom; Jetsave, Canada; Gazelle World Wave, Belgium; Julia O’Reilly, Australia; American Travel Service, Norway; UVET, Italy; and American History Tours, Germany. 

Completed follow-up to hosts of journalists with e Loughi and Camper/Caravan magazines in Italy, who were in the state researching for stories.

Continued working on itinerary details for two German journalists for a trip to South Dakota in August. 

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Responded to requests for travel information from AAA/CAA offices and independent travel agencies from the following states:  Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and South Dakota.

Continued working on AAA fall familiarization tour in September, “It’s America.”    

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Updated reference sections of the Hunting and Fishing Guide, which will be reprinted.

Worked with the Great Lakes of South Dakota Association to write and distribute a press release regarding good fishing results in the Missouri River reservoirs despite low water levels.

Began working with representatives from the city of Mobridge on the July 2003 Professional Walleye Trail fishing tournament.

Hosted Mike Faw, a freelancer writing for Shooting Sportsman, on a prairie dog hunt in the Winner area. 

Began planning for a late-season pheasant hunt hosting in Winner to be in December. 

Began working with a representative with Prairie Sky guest ranch on the hosting of two ESPN shows this fall.  One show will be upland hunting, and the other one on waterfowl.

Provided information to author M.D. Johnson for a book on small game hunting and lined up a dove hunting trip for him and a photographer for September.  Provided information to author Tom Gruenwald for a book entitled Ice Fishing Guide.  He was specifically looking for information on ice fishing for trout, as well as photos.

Worked with a representative of Metro Networks in Denver on upcoming radio broadcasts.

Worked with “Vacations on the Fly” television program for an upcoming show to be filmed in the Black Hills.

Discussed Pheasants Forever National Convention and the opportunities for the Department of Tourism with representatives of Pheasants Forever and the Department of Game, Fish and Parks.

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Completed final edits on the Film/Video Production Guide, and submitted it to the printer. 

Contacted by film studio representatives regarding several aspects of an upcoming feature film. Assisted them in finding people to handle casting and other details.  A meeting is being set up with other state agencies to discuss some specific assistance needed for this project.

Contacted several filmmakers regarding the Micheaux Festival in Gregory in an effort to get more local filmmakers involved.

Contacted by a film researcher in Hawaii regarding filming contacts in South Dakota.   

Contacted by a filmmaker in New York regarding a project surrounding the Sturgis Rally, plus other stories across South Dakota.  They are looking for camera crews and interesting stories.

Contacted by Linn Productions, Rapid City, regarding the second Annual ReWind International Media Festival in Rapid City.  The ReWind Festival showcased low-budget films, documentaries, and short projects from around the world.  This year, over 40 filmmakers were in Rapid City for a week to learn more about filmmaking, make films, and compete in the festival.  Staff attended the festival and met one-on-one with nearly every person to discuss independent filmmaking, location shooting, permitting, and many other aspects of filmmaking.   

Contacted by a TV production representative regarding a shoot in Deadwood for a feature.   

Sent Production Guides to Paramount, Mendelsohn Law Office, Inc., ERA, and DNA, California; The Media Group, Ohio; Midwest Markee magazine, Florida; LCA Productions, Texas; Ruckus Film, Tennessee; Creative Film Management and Epoch Films, New York; Jaymie Knight, Iowa; and MPGH Agency, Virginia.

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Kept staff at Information Centers continuously updated on the status of fires and road closings/openings.

Car count for the month of June was up 25.4 percent over June 2001.  This is the highest June car count since the state began keeping records in 1984.  Car count for Canadian visitors was up 9.7 percent over June 2001, and the count for all other international visitors was down 9 percent over June 2001.  There were 122 motorcoaches/buses at the Centers, and 21 were international. 

For June, Travel Tape and CD rentals were up 47.6 percent over June 2001. 

Greeted and served lemonade to the individuals on the Lewis and Clark (L&C) Harley Davidson Tour at the L&C Information Center in Chamberlain.  The motorcycle riders are following the Trail from St. Louis to Oregon. 

Have received 1,301 comment cards from visitors who’ve stopped at the Centers. 

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Evaluated travel-related businesses’ comment cards and nomination forms for the Governor’s Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Hospitality.  To date, 391 individuals/businesses have received the Governor’s Certificates, 169 have received the foil star for a second recognition, and 87 have received a gold lapel pin for a third recognition.

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Completed a summary of survey responses submitted by 2002 travel show co-op partners. 

Compiled visitation statistics obtained from attractions and Information Center registrations for the “Top 20 States Visitation for 2001” report for the travel show co-op meetings.  Coordinated travel show co-op meetings in Rapid City, Sioux Fall, Watertown, and Pierre with a total of 18 partners attending.

Will send Travel Show Co-op registration flyers to potential partners in September.

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Total FY2002 Inquiries through 08-01-2002: 

Mail: 9,950
Internet (e-mail): 11,356
Phone:   3,641
Total: 24,947

Total FY2001 Inquiries through 08-01-2001:

Mail: 5,999
Internet (e-mail): 3,742
Phone:   3,119
Total: 12,860

This is an overall increase in inquiries of 94 percent over FY2002.  (This does not include hits/visits to Tourism’s Web site.)

Calculated number of page views at 852,193 on Tourism’s web site for the period of July 1-31, 2002, (missing one day) for a daily average of 28,406 over a 30-day period.  This compares to calculated page views of 496,818 for the period of July 1-31, 2001, for a daily average of 16,026 over a 31-day period.  This is an increase in daily average of page views of 77.3 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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Worked with the South Dakota Arts Council and the Humanities Council to discuss their involvement on the arts sub-committee for the Signature Event “Oceti Sakowin Experience: Remembering and Educating.”

Reviewed the Lewis and Clark (L&C) Minutes prior to airing them on the Public Broadcasting System.  Showed them to the group that attended the statewide meeting in Lower Brule.

Coordinated a meeting to discuss the production of L&C informational ads to run on local television next spring.

Met with a representative from Mobridge to discuss developing visitor packages.

Visited with a L&C re-enactor group about using a trip for photo and video opportunities.  They will leave Pickstown on September 14 and be in Fort Pierre by September 23. 

Attended a meeting with National Park Service (NPS) representatives, as well as L&C contacts from Iowa and Nebraska to determine the route for Corps II – the NPS’s main L&C traveling exhibit.  Visited with a contact at Fort Randall Casino about the smaller Corps II exhibit being set up at their pow wow grounds.

Attended L&C committee meeting in South Sioux City.

Fulfilled request from a group in St. Louis for an educational display.  Fulfilled request for L&C Trail maps/brochures.  Sent information to a possible new business on the L&C Trail.

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Received updates from two tribes for their listings in the Guide to Indian Reservations and Art booklet that is being updated for reprinting.

Attended the Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates (ATTA) meeting in Pierre.  Lower Brule, Crow Creek, Yankton, Oglala, Rosebud, Cheyenne River and Standing Rock tribes were represented.

Scheduled appointment with representatives of the Chamber at Pine Ridge to discuss tourism opportunities.

Will attend the grand opening of the Circle of Tipis at Oacoma in August.

Fulfilled requests for the Guide to the Great Sioux Nation and the Guide to Indian Reservations and Art.

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Fulfilled requests for photos/slides from State Publishing, Department of Agriculture, Department of Game, Fish and Parks, and South Dakota Rural Electric Association, Pierre; Ramkota Companies and Outdoor Campus, Sioux Falls; South Dakota magazine and Southeast South Dakota Tourism Association, Yankton; GVSD Design Company, Western Souvenirs, Graphic Art and Creative Services, and Rushmore Mall, Rapid City; GF Advertising, Mitchell; Custer State Park; Outlaw Graphics, Brookings; Crossroads Hotel, Huron; Custer Chronicle; Szatan and Associates, Illinois; Lewis and Clark Bicentennial National Council, Oregon; Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, California; CNN Edit Services, Maryland; Brule Lodge, Terra Maps and Graphics, Krause Publications, and Worldwide Country Tours, Wisconsin; North Star Publishing, Minnesota; RT Images, Pennsylvania; Jane Wilkinson, Missouri; and Snow West magazine, Idaho.

Fulfilled requests for video footage for South Dakota International Business Institute.  Sent the 2000 and 2001 Mount Rushmore fireworks videos to Mount Rushmore National Memorial Historical Society to be used at the White House Visitors Center in Washington, DC.

Removed web camera at Mount Rushmore as it was struck by lightning.  Replaced hard drive and software.  Researched potential new locations for the camera at the Memorial, as well as new technology.

Reviewed ideas and themes for a new image/promotional video for use in a variety of presentations and programs and to fulfill special requests.  Footage from non-profit events and attractions will be included in the video.

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Developed a list of subject ideas and shooting schedule for the 2003 video.

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On’s Visitors Service Directory (VSD), 425 listings were updated, 203 were added, and 155 were removed.  Cross-referenced the Bed and Breakfast Guides with the VSD and added/corrected as needed.  There are 4,360 entries on VSD at this time.  Added new iPIX images to those requesting/paying for this option.  Updated “The Bone Zone” to match the newest print version of the Greenhorn’s Guide to Archaeology and Paleontology. 

Sent forms for 2003 Calendar of Events entries to pertinent entities and organizations in the state.  Event information will be placed on a searchable database on

Added meta tags to’s Lewis and Clark homepage to receive better exposure via search engines.

Created a “Wildfire Update” page with digital photos.  Updated copy daily and modified hyperlinks as needed.  Sent Travelsmart e-mail and a media e-mail to keep people updated on the situation.   

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Compiled Web survey report for second quarter of 2002.  Prize winners were drawn from the 1,510 who completed the online survey.  Prizes were sent to winners from Somerville, Massachusetts, and St. Louis, Missouri.  Web survey results include:

  • 51 percent had been to South Dakota before

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

  • 72 percent said answered all of their travel questions

  • 95 percent said they would recommend the site to another traveler

  • 34 percent were referred to by a search engine

  • 72 percent indicated it was their first time visiting

  • 62 percent of the respondents are female;
                34 percent  are male; 4 percent declined to answer

  • 72 percent are married

  • 48 percent have children under 18 living at home

  • 53 percent of the respondents are from the
                target states of Minnesota (172), Wisconsin (125),

  • Iowa (106), Illinois (98), Missouri (63),
                Nebraska (62), Texas (54), Colorado (28),

  • Indiana (29), and North Dakota (20).

(Top out-of-target-market states included California with 53 respondents, Michigan with 48 respondents, and Ohio with 47 respondents.)

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Drop dates and distribution for the shoulder season Giant Step newspaper insert include Minneapolis Star Tribune, Des Moines Register, Omaha World Herald, and Sioux Falls Argus Leader on September 8 and the Denver Post on September 15.  Distribution and drop dates for the Great Getaways include Winnipeg Free Press in Manitoba and Worthington Globe, Marshall Independent, and West Central Reminder in Minnesota on September 8; and Des Moines Register, Omaha World Herald, and Sioux Falls Argus Leader on September 15.

Sent survey to lodging and attraction partners in the 2002 Spring Giant Step.  Will send notification of partner meetings, scheduled for August 28 and September 6 to discuss 2003 campaigns.

Added new vacation packages to and removed those that had expired, which totals 39 packages on and also on 

Redesigned online vacation package newspaper ads to include fire updates in the Black Hills, and sent to four of the newspapers in which we have standing order ads.  Other July ads promoted dinner and movie packages, farm stays, and fishing. 

Placed autumn online ad to run in the September/October issues of Midwest Living and National Parks magazines.

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Received the updated Greenhorn’s Guide to Archaeology and Paleontology from printer.  Guide is used to fulfill special requests and in specialty mailings.

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Decorated booth in accordance with the theme: “Celebrating the Red, White and Blue.”  Staff worked the booth throughout the week and gave away literature, tattoos, used travel tapes, posters, and pins.  Prizes were supplied by the four tourism regions, and winners will be drawn from those who signed up.  Winners of the prizes will be notified in August.

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

Completed the jury process of the artists who applied to participate in the First Lady’s Prairie Art Showcase and notified all of the artists regarding the results.  Worked on other details of both events: proposed guest lists, invitations, gifts, menus, lodging, transportation, communication, volunteers, activities, land, and entertainment.

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Nicole Nordbye has filled the Communications position, vacated by Mary Stadick Smith, who is now the Director of Marketing for the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science, Sioux Falls.  Nicole is originally from Madison and previously worked for South Dakota Public Radio and the Governor’s Office.

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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: Continued to receive essays.  Placed newspaper ads in July issues of the Bowman Finder in North Dakota and Sundance Times in Wyoming.

Wild Bill Days, June 14-16, Deadwood: Compiled report from evaluations that were returned.  Event organizers reported that attendance was 50,000, a major increase over last year’s of 15,000.  Attendance is tracked by parking estimates and hotel occupancy.  The top state’s attendees came from Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Montana, and South Dakota.  Visitors liked the re-enactors and the free concerts.  Media coverage was from KNBN-TV, Black Hills Pioneer, and the Lawrence County Centennial.  The most successful promotional tools included television ads, magazine ads, press releases, and the poster.  The poster was so well liked that it became a souvenir.  Area accommodations and local businesses reported good traffic on Main Street and attendance met expectations, with some lodging properties reporting an increase in reservations from 10 to 30 percent.  The Adams Museum reported their best June visitation since 1995. 

Crystal Springs Ranch Rodeo, June 28-30, Clear Lake: Sent evaluation forms to local event committee and area businesses.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant, June 28-30, July 5-7, and July 12-14, De Smet: Sent evaluation forms to local event committee and area businesses.

Oscar Micheaux Film Festival, August 7-11, Gregory: Sent media teasers (T-shirts and buttons along with event schedule) to six contacts in Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska.  Publicized showing of the “Class President” at the festival.  Designed and placed newspaper ads in Lawrence Journal World in Kansas, Sioux City Journal in Iowa, and Omaha Star in Nebraska.  Placed radio ads in Alliance and Grand Island, Nebraska, and Sioux City, Iowa.

Frontier Days, August 16-18, White River: Placed newspaper ads in Bismarck Tribune in North Dakota, Sioux City Journal in Iowa, and Midwest Messenger and Ainsworth Star Journal in Nebraska. 

Lewis and Clark Heritage Days, August 17-18 and 22, Elk Point: Worked with local committee on logistics to set up the satellite truck for a feed during their festival.  Placed display ad in the Sioux City Journal for two issues, and classified ads in the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Omaha World Herald for two issues each. 

Lewis and Clark Spirit Mound Festival, August 24-25, Vermillion: Have contacted local committee on several occasions regarding event details, but have not received responses.  Placed radio ads in Norfolk, Nebraska; Worthington, Minnesota; and Sioux City, Iowa.

Mickelson Trail Trek, September 20-22, Black Hills: Sent registration forms, posters, and brochures to 81 bike shops and clubs in Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.  Placed classified ads in Sioux City Journal in five issues; Omaha World Herald and Minneapolis Star Tribune in three issues each; and Denver Post in one issue.

South Dakota Highland Festival, September 14, Scotland: Drafted copy for radio ads.

St. Joseph Indian School Days/Pow Wow, September 27-28, Chamberlain: Worked on media teasers.

Black Hills Pow Wow, October 11-13, Rapid City: Worked on obtaining media teasers from local committee.

Ringneck Festival, November 8-9, Huron: Worked on media teasers.  Designed and placed newspaper ads in St. Cloud Times and Albert Lea Tribune in Minnesota, Sioux City Journal in Iowa, and Janesville Gazette and Eau Claire Leader in Wisconsin.

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for Tourism for June 2002 was up 13.9 percent at $178,181, compared to $156,393 for June 2001.  The tourism tax deposited for June 2002 was up 12.7 percent at $257,642, as compared to $228,536 for June 2001.  June 2002 deposits are the first for the 2003 fiscal year.  Revenue deposits for the Department for FY2003 are up at $435,823, as compared to $384,929 for FY2002, showing an overall increase of 13.2 percent over FY2002.

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