South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: March 2002

March 2002

MEMORANDUM TO: Governor William J. Janklow

DATE: April 2, 2002

FROM: Patricia Van Gerpen

SUBJECT: Tourism’s March Monthly Status Report

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


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
Mount Rushmore Independence Day Celebration
Great Events
Department Funding


Designed a variety of logos for Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway signage and promotional materials and submitted to our contact at the Forest Service for their consideration.

Prepared mailing for the Laura Ingalls Wilderís (LIW) Little Ambassador Contest, with labels from the Department of Education and Cultural Affairs. The LIW Memorial Society will judge the contest.

Fulfilled requests for the Farm and Ranch Vacation Directory. Have scheduled site visits at farm and ranch stay businesses and bed and breakfast establishments in April.

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Organized and attended Chicago and Minneapolis-area Media Blitzes with the Wyoming Division of Tourism. Staff was accompanied by representatives from Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Crazy Horse Memorial. Contacted media outlets in Chicago and met with the publisher of the Chicago Defender newspaper, editorial staff of Rand McNally, and staff of the Great Finds television series. Hosted reception in Chicago with Wyoming, which was attended by 15 groups, including Midwest Outdoors, Midwest Living, Leisure Group Travel magazine, Journal & Topics newspaper, Arthur Frommerís Budget Travel, Bus Tours magazine, and National Geographic Traveler. In Minneapolis, interviews took place with WCCO/KCCO radio and KSTP radio, and we met with staff from Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine, Minnesota Snowmobiling, Ron Schara Enterprises, and AAAís Home & Away magazine. Hosted reception with Wyoming, which was attended by 12 groups, including City Sledder, Midwest Outdoors, Wildlife Art magazine, Minnesota Monthly, St. Paul Pioneer Press, SnowGoer, Snowweek, and Midwest Game and Fish. Both receptions were also attended by freelancers who work for a variety of publications.

Was interviewed by Destinations publication, California; Prairie Business magazine, North Dakota; and City Sledder, Minnesota.

Reviewed material for Travelweek. They are working on producing a manual called "USA Manual" for Canadian travel agents. It is a new publication in a series of manuals they produce.

Worked on a National Tourism Week campaign with in-state Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVB). Met to discuss advertising concepts for the campaign, design of custom-made fast fact cards and newspaper ads for each CVB.

Proofed article on the Black Hills for publication in the AAA Midwest Traveler, per request of publisher.

Worked with officials of the Governorís Office, the Travel Industry Association of America, and the local Post Office to plan a dedication ceremony in April at the Capitol Rotunda to unveil the new South Dakota postage stamp. Federal postal officials helped implement a program to encourage travel across America by designing a new stamp for each state. Staff will attend the ceremony and assist Lt. Gov. Carole Hillard, who will speak.

Interviewed and selected public relations intern.

Fulfilled requests for information from Galixo Calendars, Utah; American Historic Inns, California; Great Finds, Illinois; KSTP Radio, Minnesota; Prairie Business magazine, North Dakota; and National Geographic Society, Washington, DC.

Press hit with circulation and estimated ad equivalence includes Sioux Falls Argus Leader (73,167) with ad equivalence of $3,212.

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Completed follow-up to 95 tour companies with whom South Dakota delegates met at the American Bus Association (ABA) conference in Florida. The leads from these appointments were sent to the 63 ABA and National Tour Association (NTA) members in South Dakota.

Worked on "Wagons West! Circle Tour" familiarization tour, which will take place from May 2-8. So far, there are 14 participants representing eight companies from Texas, Maine, Oregon, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Alberta, Canada.

Sent group/consumer ad campaign mailing to 735 tour companies in our target market. Packet included the Giant Step booklet and how it will be used, advertising campaign with map, and names of those consumers who indicated an interest in tours to South Dakota, which were obtained from the fall Giant Step insert coupon.

Sent letters and forms to nearly 2,300 South Dakota businesses in order to update listings for the 2003-2004 Group Tour Planning Guide. The guide also includes itineraries and general travel information. The guide is distributed to domestic and international group tour operators.

Sent motorcoach regulations letter to 3,285 domestic tour companies on the Departmentís database. Assisted by staff members of the South Dakota Highway Patrol with this project.

Assisted in making arrangements for group leader fam with Joy Tour and Travel, Ohio. Great American Tour Company is escorting and arranging most of the tour.

Fulfilled special requests from AmericaTours West, Grayline of the Black Hills, and Brandon Flannigan, South Dakota.

Sent requested information to Connecticut Tours, Ltd., Connecticut; Curran Travel and Hospitality Tours & Travel, Inc., Pennsylvania; Union Bank, Michigan; AAA Travel, Carefree Travel, and Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Minnesota; American Coach Tours Inc., Tennessee; Norwegian Cultural Tours, North Dakota; Rymanís Publications, Nebraska; ATI (Americantours International) and Your Man Tours, Inc., California; Trips Unlimited, Inc., Louisiana; United Community Bank and First National Bank, Georgia; First National Bank of Central Alabama, Alabama; Park National Bank, Ohio; FQCC, Quebec, Canada; La Maison Des Etats-Unis, France; ECU Travel and American Travel House, Belgium; and Resycom, Germany.

Sent information on the TIA International Pow Wow in Louisiana to South Dakota delegates, who can meet one-on-one with international tour operators and journalists who attend this conference.

Notified ranches regarding the number of tour operators and receptive operators who are looking for new ranch product and who will be attending Rocky Mountain International (RMI) Roundup in Montana. So far, South Dakota has seven suppliers registered for the Roundup.

Held training seminars in the United Kingdom through the RMI partnership for nearly 100 staff at the following companies: Travelcare, Jetset, Travel 2/4, Valley Vacations, Travelbag, North American Travel Service, Travelbag/Leeds, Wallace Arnold Tours, Travelbag/Nottingham, Complete North America, Travelpack/Eccles, and First Class Holidays. Attended ITB Trade Show in Berlin with other RMI states and met with journalists, tour operators, and travel agents.

Sent fall Travel Trade newsletter to 628 international journalists, which included highlights of the Buffalo Roundup, Spirit Mound, Black Hills Pow Wow, Mickelson Trail, Crazy Horse Memorial, a fam trip, and "hauntings" throughout the state.

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Conducted AAA seminars for 18 attendees in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and 27 attendees in Burnsville, Minnesota. These travel counselors represent a club membership of 935,000.

For the month of March, we fulfilled requests from 17 AAA/CAA offices and independent travel agencies in Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Washington, and Manitoba, Canada.

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Met with a representative of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW) and an organizer of their conference in Sioux Falls in September to discuss how the Department can assist in planning the conference. Wrote stories for Horizons, the official AGLOW publication.

Researched and wrote stories for fall edition of Outdoor News, which is sent to nearly 3,000 outdoor writers and editors. Packet contains story ideas, ready-to-publish photos, and timely stories. Outdoor News is also available electronically for those writers who request it.

Planned trip for a writer for Northland Adventures for fly fishing in the Black Hills in April.

Discussed South Dakota story ideas with Ron Schara for television program, "Backroads with Ron and Raven," which is broadcast on ESPN2.

Mailed nearly 13,000 fishing postcards to anglers in our target market states of Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Colorado. The postcard has a tear-off card that can be returned for a fishing packet and entry into a drawing for a fishing vacation in South Dakota. Fishing ad will appear in Sporting Classics and In-Fisherman magazines.

Fulfilled requests for information from Northland Adventures, Wisconsin, and The Outdoor Channel, California.

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Made preparations for the upcoming Association of Film Commissioners International Locations Expo in April in California. Sent e-mail and mail invitations to targeted contacts in the Los Angeles area.

Was interviewed by the Sioux Falls Argus Leader and the Yankton Press and Dakotan regarding filming in South Dakota, the Oscars, and the history of the film office.

Contacted by an independent filmmaker from Los Angeles regarding a project that is scheduled to film in South Dakota this summer. Planning a scout for late April or early May.

Contacted by a representative from a Los Angeles production company. She is working with a writer who wants to stay and work at a ranch this spring. Sent information on several ranches.

Contacted by a representative with a film project. Have rescheduled a scout with them in the Badlands and at Pine Ridge in April.

Contacted by a representative for a film project from California. He is planning a scout for this feature in mid-April. Sent several photo files and contact information on ranches and locations.

Contacted by a representative from the Food Network regarding a show they filmed in Sturgis two years ago. Sent requested information. Show is scheduled to be broadcast in May.

Contacted by Media Circus, a film industry magazine, regarding a future article on film offices that co-op on advertising campaigns and marketing projects. The article will focus primarily on the Northern Plains and Rockies Consortium that South Dakota has with the states of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota.

Worked on creating film office postcards that are sent three times a year to selected directors and location managers.

Finalized list of advertisers for the 2002-2003 Film Production Guide. Ad revenue will be up slightly from the previous guide. Finished writing captions for pictures, and continued to confirm and update listings. Directories are scheduled to be in-house in May.

Sent Film Production Guide packets to Wilhelm Sholz Photography, New York; Idea Network, California; and Dickson Media, Maryland.

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Continued to contact potential hosts for the Information Center training tour: motels, chambers, CVBs, and attractions. The tour is scheduled from May 2-10. Stops include Pierre, Lower Brule, Platte, Chamberlain, Gregory, Greenwood, Yankton, Vermillion, Elk Point, Sioux Falls, Mitchell, Wall, Lead, Rapid City, Keystone, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, and Deadwood.

Conducted interviews for new applicants for Information Center travel counselors and held phone interviews with seasoned travel counselors. Researched uniforms, and began working on follow-up correspondence.

Sent approximately 1,100 poster program letters to communities, businesses, and events. The program has display space at eight Centers. To date, we have 49 poster partners with space still available at Wilmot, Salem east bound and Wasta east bound.

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Fulfilled information requests for the Great Service Star program.

Evaluated travel-related businessesí comment cards and nomination forms for the Governorís Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Hospitality. For 2002, we currently have 81 individuals/businesses that have received recognition for hospitality with the Governorís Certificate, 11 have received a gold foil star for a second recognition, and one has received a gold lapel pin.

Sent registration flyers to 2,000 tourism industry members for the management training seminar, "Art of Supervising," which will be held on April 23 at the Best Western Ramkota in Pierre. The speaker is Julie Burch from Fred Pryor Seminars. Added information and registration form to

Researched speakers for the front-line training seminars. Tentative dates are June 3-7 with locations in Watertown, Rapid City, Custer, and Deadwood.

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Sent travel show information to co-op partners working the Milwaukee and Minneapolis travel shows.

At the Milwaukee show, there was an equal interest in vacationing, fishing, and hunting.

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Total FY2002 Inquiries through 04-01-2002: 

Mail: 37,289
Internet (e-mail): 38,941
Phone:   18,848
Total: 95,078

Total FY2001 Inquiries through 04-01-2001:

Mail: 45,831
Internet (e-mail): 27,915
Phone:   36,995
Total: 110,741

This is an overall decrease in inquiries of 14.1 percent over FY2001. (This does not include hits/visits to Tourismís Web site.)

Calculated number of page views at 436,280 on Tourismís web site for the period of March 1-31, 2002, (missing March 20&25) for a daily average of 15,044 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 a decrease in daily average of page views of 0.2 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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Completed arrangements for the Step-on Guide workshop in Vermillion. Cy Maus conducted the workshop, and 18 people attended. The next workshop will be in Eagle Butte in April.

Will assist Daphne Richards Cook in presenting plans for South Dakotaís signature event when attending the National Council meeting in April in Idaho. Have worked with the Yankton Sioux Tribe, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe on this signature event. All plan to take part in the event. All other tribes will also be invited to participate.

A new South Dakota Lewis and Clark (L&C) Chapter was formed in Pierre called "Encounters on the Prairie." They are using the tipi logo, which Tourism designed for the National Foundation meeting held in Pierre in August 2000, as this group grew from that meeting.

Received word from Barnes and Noble that they were pleased with the book signing event for Dr. James Ronda, and that they would be interested in doing another such event.

Mailed Corps II applications, a National Park Service project, to eleven communities along the Trail.

Began preparations for the next statewide L&C meeting, which will be held April 20 in Springfield.

Have received 22 entries, so far, for the L&C Essay Contest.

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Attended a Native American Scenic Byway (Okiciapye) meeting in Fort Randall. Plans continue for the inaugural event, which is to be held in June if the grant from the National Park Service is received. The next meeting will be held in Chamberlain on April 25.

Met with a representative of the Fort Randall Casino and discussed upcoming Lewis and Clark events. The Yankton Sioux Tribe is interested in being involved in the bicentennial commemoration.

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Fulfilled photo requests to South Dakota Rural Electric Association, State Bar Association, State Publishing, freelancer Neal Hoyme, Corps of Engineers, and Department of Game, Fish and Parks, Pierre; Sierra Club, Culey Marketing, Black Hills, Badlands and Lakes, Rapid Net, and Technology in Education, Rapid City; Old Courthouse Museum, AAA South Dakota, United States Department of Agriculture, and USD School of Medicine, Sioux Falls; Dan Grigg Images, Mitchell; U.S. Geological Survey, Huron; Art and Antique Gallery, Tyndall; Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers, Illinois; Prairie Business magazine, North Dakota; Arizona Foothills magazine, Arizona; Yeshiva University, New York; Best Faces magazine and Prairie Rose Studio, Texas; AAA Magazine, Pennsylvania; Rite-way Publishing, Idaho; freelancer Brian Reed; and Courier magazine, Kentucky.

Fulfilled video requests to Food Network; Leisure and Associates, Utah; and ECU/Liberty TV, Belgium.

Sent Departmentís new TV spot to obtain approval for pay-per-inquiry campaign and finalized schedule of the commercial with firm from whom weíre purchasing air time.

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Began developing a shoot schedule, based on the script.

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Tested various elements of the additions to the Visitor Services Directory, which included Book It links, iPIX photos, Great Service notations, and search options.

Added nomination forms for the annual tourism awards to the web site. Worked with the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT) to get the forms transmittable from the web.

Finalized new system for the vacation packages and linked to, which included creating a new graphic for the homepage. There are 38 vacation packages online. Added all new packages to the Travel Industry Association of Americaís web site, South Dakota now has 64 packages on this site. Will remove winter packages on April 1.

Worked on transferring full ownership of Interstate Information Center computer kiosks to our prior partner in this project, the Department of Transportation. Worked on changing the Mall of America computer kiosk to a live Internet connection, featuring our web site.

Coordinated addition of specific search engine choices to a question on the Departmentís Web Survey on The Department compiles a quarterly report, based on the surveys that are completed by consumers. This report is used to make improvements to

Worked with BIT to add an automatic transfer of data form to when consumers request a travel packet, which will be sent to the call center rather than go through Tourismís e-mail system.

Worked on several improvements related to Departmentís permission e-mail campaign, opt-in e-mail vendors, and pay-per-performance search engine services.

Revamped the South Dakota/Wyoming/Yellowstone web portal page, and informed partners that their tracking page from last year was not working. Asked BIT to set up new tracking for this campaign.

Continued to develop and sites.

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Designed full-page, four-color ads for "Itís America" campaign. Additional magazine in which this ad will be placed includes June/July issue of American Heritage.

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The Creative staff reviewed the new Vacation Guide publication, focusing on design and photography standards and suggested improvements to consider for next yearís piece.

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Attended a meeting for the celebration to discuss entertainment, invitations, and other logistics.

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Yesterdayís Tomorrows, selected dates March through December, Madison, Chamberlain, Belle Fourche, Hill City, Deadwood, Redfield, and Pierre: Added information to for the exhibit and activities in Madison. Worked on draft of essay contest rules.

Wild Bill Days, June 14-16, Deadwood: Contacted local committee to obtain the event schedule for a poster design, and completed ad design for ads in May/June issue of American Cowboy and June issue of Wild West.

Crystal Springs Ranch Rodeo, June 21-23, Clear Lake: Worked on ad design.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant, June 28-July 14, De Smet: Worked on ad design. Will place ad in travel directory section of June/July issue of Family Fun.

Oscar Micheaux Film Festival, August 7-11, Gregory: Worked with the local committee to bring in local filmmakers for a film festival. Have invited actor James Earl Jones. Worked on ad design.

Frontier Days, August 16-18, White River: Added information to

Lewis and Clark Heritage Days, August 17-18 and 22, Elk Point: Followed up with local committee on results of book signing event with Dr. James Ronda.

Lewis and Clark Spirit Mound Festival, August 24-25, Vermillion: Drafted marketing plan. Will work with their committee to outline the Departmentís role in their event.

Mickelson Trail Trek, September 20-22, Black Hills: Will attend the next committee meeting. Gathered ideas for media kits and researched writers/media to target.

South Dakota Highland Festival, September 14, Scotland: Attended local committee meeting and discussed Tourismís role in their event. Worked on ad design.

St. Joseph Indian School Days/Pow Wow, September 27-28, Chamberlain: Drafted marketing plan. Brochure and poster design to be done by local committee.

Black Hills Pow Wow, October 11-13, Rapid City: Participated in conference call with local committee. Worked on brochure and ad development. Committee will supply artwork. Designed flyer to be mailed to tour operators in April. Ad space to be shared with St. Joseph Powwow, and ads will be placed in the June issue of Southwest Art, July/August issue of Native Peoples, and September issue of Home & Away.

Ringneck Festival, November 8-9, Huron: Will attend next committee meeting.

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for Tourism for February 2002 was up 24.7 percent at $137,239, as compared to $110,087 for February 2001. The tourism tax deposited for February 2002 was down 2.9 percent at $137,616, as compared to $141,681 for February 2001. Revenue deposits for the Department for FY2002 are up at $4,694,080, as compared to $4,546,761 for FY2001, showing an overall increase of 3.2 percent.

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