South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: August 2003

August 2003

   MEMORANDUM TO: John Calvin

   DATE: Sept. 8, 2003

   FROM: Patricia Van Gerpen

   SUBJECT: Tourism’s August Monthly Status Report

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


Regional Tourism Summits
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 Development
Travel Market Advertising

Travel News Television
World Wide Web
Governor's Buffalo Roundup and Governor's Invitational Pheasant Hunt
Great Events
Department Funding


Coordinated Regional Summits with Lawrence and Schiller Advertising Agency.  Summits were held in Sioux Falls, Watertown, Pierre, and Rapid City.  Members of the visitor industry, as well as those involved with History, Arts, and Tribal Affairs, were encouraged to attend.  Attendees were divided into small groups for suggestions on Promotions and Advertising, Media Purchases, Vacation Packaging, and Inquiry and Sales Tracking.  Information gathered at each of the Summits will be placed on in mid-September, with a link on

Information on the shoulder season campaign was presented at each of the four Summits, as developed with Lawrence and Schiller.  The focus of the campaign is on vacation packages.  Elements of the campaign include cable TV buys, display ads in travel sections of Sunday newspapers, direct mail, Internet tie-ins, e-mail blasts, “You’re always welcome” letters, South Dakota Road Trip TV show, Giant Step magazine insert, Great Getaways newspaper insert, and radio promotion.  This year’s campaign will reach more geographic markets and more niche audiences, with double the investment of 2002’s campaign.  All advertising tools tout vacation packages, and will direct consumers to and package partners’ web sites and phone numbers.

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Held brainstorming session to discuss theme, session topics, timeline, and speakers.  Drafted committee assignments.  Contacted potential speakers and will review their materials.

Updated nomination forms for the two annual Tourism awards: Ben Black Elk and A.H. Pankow.  The nomination forms can be downloaded from and returned to Tourism by October 16.

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Presented information on fall travel to Christian Women’s Group in Selby.  Distributed travel materials.

Have been invited by the North Central and Dakota Central RC&D offices to present information about agri-tourism at upcoming council meetings in Onida in September and Miller in November.

Notified by the South Dakota Value Added Conference committee that the presentation on Agri-Tourism will be saved as a topic for the 2005 conference. 

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Mailed Buffalo Roundup Press Hosting invitations to selected journalists.  Drafted customized itineraries for Las Vegas Journal and freelance writers.  Contacted Good Morning America regarding Roundup.  Drafted schedule of satellite feed and researched list of media to inform – will send first e-mail in early September.  Made updates to the corresponding pages on

Hosted a Washington Times journalist on a trip across South Dakota.  Story was published in August.

Interviewed and/or provided information to: Washington Times, Minneapolis Star Tribune, American Cowboy, Meetings East, Meade County Times, Travel News Service, Mobil Motorist, KELO Television, KOTA Radio, WQQW in Wisconsin, Motorcoach magazine, Federal Reserve Bank, Redbook, South Dakota Public Radio, and freelance writers from Wyoming, California, Tennessee, Ohio, Florida, and South Dakota.

Became a member of, a web site devoted to journalists looking for story information.

Discussed promotional opportunities pertaining to the Lewis and Clark Trail with Trailside Adventures on The Learning Channel.

Held brainstorming on ideas/theme for a new image video to be used with Tourism’s programs and special requests.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence: Capital Journal (4,636) for ad equivalence of $112; Rapid City Journal (35,465) for ad equivalence of $3,175; Aberdeen American News (18,000) for ad equivalence of $367; and KELO interview.  Total ad equivalence of $3,654. 

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In fiscal year 2003, we hosted 50 international press, 67 international tour operators, and 43 domestic tour operators.

Sent group tour information on niche market to attraction owner in-state, and touring information to another South Dakotan, per requests.

Invited South Dakota’s American Bus Association (ABA) and National Tour Association (NTA) members to a Group Tour Pre-Caucus meeting in Pierre.  Ordered video and pre-caucus materials, and NTA was contacted regarding caucus date so a call could be made during the meeting if there were questions regarding the new format at the annual convention.  Provided information for Motorcoach Marketer (ABA) updates.

Designed a 4-color, multi-page group tour co-op ad/insert to run in the November/December issue of Packaged Travel Insider and December issue of Destinations magazine.  Ordered an extra 4,000 inserts to mail to group tour operators on Tourism’s database.

Mailed Travel Trade to 826 tour operators and journalists.

Participated in conference call for 2Nations Tours program to discuss familiarization tour dates, press, and future promotion.

Contacted South Dakota suppliers regarding NEC, Japan, fam in September for three people, hosted by Osamu Hoshino.

Completed follow-up to 26 Rocky Mountain International (RMI) Roundup tour operators who participated in the RMI Roundup and fam tours in South Dakota.

Sent Buffalo Roundup invitations to international journalists.  Researched and prepared five individual itinerary requests for journalists from Germany, France, and Italy.  Contacted suppliers regarding these fams: general Black Hills/Badlands tour, an ATV/4WD fam, a Lakota fam tour, bison and Custer State Park fam, and a ranch fam tour.  Contacted Northwest Airlines for partnerships.

Completed follow up to 40 United Kingdom tour operators and journalists from See America Show and training seminars.  Sent international tour operator and journalist leads from See America Week to 604 South Dakota suppliers.  Sent information to 69 ITB participants in Germany, 53 BIT participants in Italy, 10 Paris reception participants, and 14 Irish seminar and training participants for planning for 2004.

Fulfilled requests for information/itinerary helps to JTB USA Chicago Mitsuwa Office, Summit Events Management, and Lewis Tours, Illinois; Travel Consultants, Indiana; Travel Express and Cruises & Tours Worldwide, Missouri; Devon Tours, Wisconsin; America 4 You, California; Buckeye Beeline Tours and Bill Swinderman, Ohio; Baldwin Senior Travel, Alabama; Odyssey Tours, Wyoming; Border State Bank, Minnesota; Motorcoach West magazine; Phoenix Media; Group Travel Leader magazine; Wolfgang Heinemann, NDR, Germany, recording of the Governor’s thoughts on Lewis and Clark; Bo Wang, China; and Mike Vale and Jeremy Head, United Kingdom. 

Hosted following international media: Perottet, Australia; Jeremy Head, United Kingdom; and BBC Holiday Show.   

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Will host seven AAA travel counselors on the “Legendary South Dakota” tour in September: four from Missouri, two from Kentucky, and one from Ohio.  Tour includes Pierre, Sioux Falls, Mitchell, Wall, Keystone, Hot Springs, Deadwood, and Rapid City. 

Fulfilled 26 requests from AAA/CAA offices and independent travel agencies from 14 states and Canada: Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Manitoba.

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Worked on individual maps for the birding booklet.  All photos and copy have been approved.  Edited second mock-up of the Adventure Travel Guide.

Hosted the camera crew and talent for a North American Outdoors/ESPN Outdoors show on an overnight kayaking, canoeing, and fishing trip near Pickstown.   Contacted North American Media Group to promote the Lewis and Clark Trail and the Missouri River.

Made arrangements for the North American Hunter/ESPN2 show to film in the Pierre area.  Content included dog training and fishing.

Finalized location and overall plan for Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Association/ZONK Productions television producers to film a pheasant and upland bird hunt near Pierre.

Contacted Urban American Outdoors regarding the filming of several television shows in the state.  The first one will be pheasant hunting in the northeast.  Will also include fishing in central South Dakota, grouse hunting in western South Dakota, and big game hunting in the Black Hills.

Interviewed and/or provided information to: Gun Dog, Ramp Magazine, Washington Times, Ducks Unlimited TV, Outdoorsman International, Peterson’s Hunting, Tony Dean Outdoors, Northland Adventures, Wildlife Art Magazine, and Omaha World Herald

Set up two fishing photo shoots, one on lower Lake Oahe and the other on the upper reaches.  Set up ATV photo shoot in northern Black Hills.  Was a guest on “The Outdoor Connection” on KODY, Nebraska.  Covered general fishing, hunting, and camping in South Dakota.  Show was live and re-aired twice.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence: Outdoorsmen (17,100) for ad equivalence of $725; Upland Almanac (7,500) for ad equivalence of $3,750; Pointing Dog (25,000) for ad equivalence of $7,600; and Retriever Journal (16,000) for ad equivalence of $7,600.  Total ad equivalence of $19,675.

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Contacted by a location manager regarding more locations for a television series.   Traveled to the Black Hills to shoot location pictures and e-mailed them to contact.  Waiting on the show’s executives to decide whether or not they will film in South Dakota.

Hosted the BBC television show Holiday on a shoot in the Black Hills.

Contacted by a filmmaker from Minneapolis.  They filmed a retreat in the Black Hills, and the footage will be used in many of their commercials.

Contacted by a South Dakota photographer and location scout.  Sent him crew listings and other filming information.  Contacted by a representative of a studio in Los Angles regarding locations for a mini-series.  Contacted by a filmmaker regarding his independent feature film, along with another project he has in development.

Created an advertisement for LA 411 and NY 411.  These publications are leading resource manuals for the entertainment industry.  The ad’s a co-op effort with the 777 Buffalo Ranch, Hermosa.

Contacted by a representative of the Hill City Chamber of Commerce regarding a scout with an independent filmmaker.  The Chamber has set up several receptions and invited staff.

Contacted by KELO TV and Sioux Falls Argus Leader regarding Hidalgo and other South Dakota movies/westerns. 

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Car count at the Information Centers for the month of July was up 16.0 percent over July 2002; for Canadian visitors, it was up 17.2 percent; and for all other visitors, it was up 6.9 percent.  There were 172 motorcoaches/buses in July and 20 were international. 

Travel tape/CD use was up 15.2 percent over July 2002.

Have received 1,719 comment cards from visitors.  Following are some typical comments: 

“All over South Dakota, always a staff person offers to help-they don’t wait for visitors to ask for help.  Great!  Keep up the good work.”  Illinois

“South Dakota has the best advertising in North America.  Much appreciated.” AB, Canada 

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For 2003, we have 532 individuals/businesses that have received recognition for hospitality with the Governor’s Certificate, 135 have received the foil star for a second recognition, and 52 have received a gold lapel pin for a third recognition.

Will mail the George S. Mickelson Great Service Star applications to the industry in early September.

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Met with the four regional tourism directors at Cedar Shore.  The regions will be organizing travel shows in Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, and Milwaukee for 2004.

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Total FY2004 Inquiries through 09-01-03

Mail: 20,586
Internet (e-mail):
Phone:    4,514

Total FY2003 Inquiries through 09-01-02:

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

This is an overall increase in inquiries of 5.6 percent over FY2003.  (This does not include hits/visits to Tourism’s Web site.)

Calculated number of page views at 634,759 on Tourism’s web site for the period of August 1-31, 2003 (missing two days), for a daily average of 21,888 over a 29-day period.  This compares to calculated page views of 463,062 for the period of August 1-31, 2002, (missing four days) for a daily average of 17,150 over a 27-day period.  This is an increase in daily average of page views of 27.6 percent over a comparable time period in 2002.  “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 2003 July 2002 Difference
Southeast 75.7% 80.2% -4.5%
Great Lakes & Prairies 58.9% 67.1% -8.2%
*Great Lakes 60.5% 69.2% -8.7%
Black Hills/Badlands 87.2% 84.3% -2.9%
Statewide Avg. 76.8% 79.3% -2.4%
* (The Great Lakes had previously been divided into two regions.  The occupancy report’s regions will now coincide with the boundaries of the four geographic tourism associations/regions.  For this region, the percentages from the two divisions from 2002 were averaged so that comparisons for 2003 could be made.) 

South Dakota Tourism Research - Campground Occupancy
Region July 2003 July 2002 Difference
Southeast 52.0% 48.3% 3.7%
Glacial Lakes & Prairies 50.2% 51.2% -1.0%
*Great Lakes 51.1% 42.9% 8.2%
Black Hills/Badlands 73.1% 67.9% 5.2%
Statewide Avg. 65.2% 60.2% 5.0%
* (The Great Lakes had previously been divided into two regions.  The occupancy report’s regions will now coincide with the boundaries of the four geographic tourism associations/regions.  For this region, the percentages from the two divisions from 2002 were averaged so that comparisons for 2003 could be made.) 

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Attended Bad River Gathering event meetings in Fort Pierre.  Event will be held in conjunction with Lewis and Clark Goosefest in Pierre in late September.  The Bad River Gathering is slated to be the closing event for next year’s month long Signature Event.

Worked with Fort Pierre community members to get highway signage for Fischer-Lilly Park, site of the encounter between the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Brule’ on the Bad River.

Did a radio interview regarding the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial with of South Dakota Public Radio.  Met with staff of South Dakota Public Broadcasting to discuss the progress of the Lewis and Clark Minutes.

Coordinated and attended the Lewis and Clark Trail Corps of Rediscovery statewide meeting in Mobridge that had 25 people in attendance.  Speakers included Brent Kary, Economic Development Director for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; Kim Ulmer, owner of the Sacagawea Learning Center; Sharla Garrett, Executive Director, Great Lakes of South Dakota Association; and Joe Miklos, Conservation Technician, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks.  Traveled to Fort Manuel Replica near Kenel for a tour following the meeting.  Presented membership plaques in the Corps of Rediscovery to Leland and Phyllis Keszler, Mobridge.

Submitted a tentative schedule for the South Dakota section of the Trail to the Discovery Expedition, the group out of St. Charles, Missouri, who will be traveling the trail with the keelboat replica.

Attended the National Lewis and Clark Council and National Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation meetings in Philadelphia.  Worked on agenda for the Circle of State Advisors (COSA) which meets in Louisville, Kentucky, in October, during the National Lewis and Clark Council meeting.  Continued to work to get updated/corrected information on the National Council’s web site regarding South Dakota. 

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Will jury artists who applied to be part of the art show/auction for the Lewis and Clark Signature Event: “Oceti Sakowin Experience: Remembering and Educating.”  The art subcommittee meeting will be held in September.  Worked with Arts Council to research art museums and galleries to find prospective art buyers to invite to the Signature Event Art Show and Auction.  Worked with the officers of the Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates (ATTA) and staff at Cedar Shore on lodging as this lodging property is the headquarters for the Art Auction and Show.

Continued working with Daphne Richards Cook, Executive Director of ATTA, on other tribal tourism projects.  Cook has relocated her office to Rapid City.  Attended a Lower Brule Tribal Council meeting with Cook to discuss the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial.

Met with Denelle High Elk, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Tourism Office, about several opportunities and challenges on which she is working.  High Elk has a new Spirit of the Nation Tours brochure available.  Sent Guide to the Great Sioux Nation and the Guide to Indian Reservations and Art to her.

Signage along the Native American Scenic Byway has been completed.  Work continues on the interpretive panels, the Circle of Tipis, and the Buffalo Interpretive Center. 

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Fulfilled photo/slide requests from State Publishing, Department of Game Fish and Parks, South Dakota Rural Electric Association, and Delta Dental, Pierre; South Dakota magazine, Yankton; Rushmore Photo and Gifts, Rapid City, Krull Hunting Lodge, Harrold; Watertown Public Opinion; American Cowboy magazine, Wyoming; Baltimore Sun, Maryland; and Mobil Motorist, Illinois.

Fulfilled video requests to Media One and Lawrence and Schiller, Sioux Falls. 

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Magazine insertions for the fall Giant Step are complete.  Received copies of the fall Great Getaways and sent supply to each partner.

Coordinated printing and delivery of 350,000 South Dakota postcards (requesting travel information) and sent to Wyoming Tourism for insertion in their travel packets.

Placed weekly ads in Des Moines Register, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Omaha World Herald, Denver Post, Rapid City Journal, Aberdeen American News, and Sioux Falls Argus Leader for placement in travel sections of Sunday editions to promote online packages.  Beginning August 31, Lawrence and Schiller Ad Agency will place ads in out-of-state newspapers to promote online vacation packages.  Tourism will continue to place ads in in-state newspapers.

Finalized “You’re Always Welcome in South Dakota” letters from Governor Rounds to hunters.  Letter was printed and mailed from printer to approximately 30,000 hunters.  The next series of letters will be sent to pilots and then to fishermen/women. 

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Discussed timeline for production of Snowmobile Trails Map with staff at the Department of Game, Fish and Parks.

Designed mockup of proposed 2003-2004 Vacation Guide cover.  Updated complimentary museums and art galleries section.  Burned city ads onto CDs and sent to respective regional association directors, as each will now handle production of city page ads. 

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Held brainstorming meeting on ideas for the 2004 video.

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Updated Visitor Services Directory on, which now has 4,505 listings.  Added iPIX to Black Hills Passion Play listing.  Added a Native American Tribe web page to the Lewis and Clark section on – same information and photos as found in the Lewis and Clark Trail Guide.  Linked the parks and recreation areas listing on the “Hiking” page to their corresponding sites on the Game, Fish and Parks homepage.  Created features for the “Kid Zone” pages.  Made link corrections to Kid Zone.  Updated online vacation package offerings to show 59 packages and 44 coupons.  Submitted new packages to

Continued to test aspects of the redesign of that was launched in July, and made corrections as needed.  Added a region map underneath the “helpful links” box and added new links throughout the site.

Performed occasional checks for important phrases in several major search engines to ensure they had correctly indexed our new site.  Checked rankings for “Lewis and Clark” related keywords and phrases.  Began working on an updated plan to boost our rankings.

Continued to make changes to  Added new photos to

Compiled a report of the electronic marketing campaign for South Dakota/Yellowstone/Yellowstone County and sent the report to the partners.

Sent Travelsmart (permission e-mail blasts) to 93,865 subscribers.  Theme was “World’s Only Corn Palace.”  Added new events and packages links. 

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Completed interviews for the intercept study.  Worked on compiling information for the two-part research as some of the interviews were conducted at some of the Great Events while others were conducted at visitor centers and attractions.

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

Assembled and mailed invitations to the Buffalo Roundup.  Continued working on details for lodging, logistics, tours, menus, décor, transportation, print materials, license plates, and gifts.  Secured satellite truck for feed to media outlets.

Continued to work on sponsorships for the Pheasant Hunt, confirmed vehicle details, discussed décor and menus, chose gifts, and finalized print materials.  Finalized and ordered covers, inserts, and mailing materials for invitations. 

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Siouxland Renaissance Festival, June 7-8, Sioux Falls: Received nine completed evaluation forms from 40 that were sent to organizers and area businesses.  Event organizers felt that attendance did not meet expectations, citing the weather as the biggest factor.  They stated that attendance may have increased by about 2,000 more people if it had not rained.  Attendance was about the same as last year at 7,591, with tracking via ticket sales.  The majority of attendees were from Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota.  The biggest draw was the entertainment and the food.  Media coverage was from the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, KELO-FM, KDLT-TV, and KELO-TV.  Area accommodations reported an increase in business. 

Indian Day Celebration Pow Wow, June 20-22, Wagner: Worked on compiling evaluation report.

Crystal Springs Ranch Rodeo, June 27-29, Clear Lake: Worked on compiling evaluation report.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant, July 11-13, 18-20, and 25-27, De Smet: Worked on compiling evaluation report.

Burke Stampede Rodeo, July 11-13, Burke: Worked on compiling evaluation report.

Frontier Days, August 15-17, White River: Mailed media teasers to eight select media.  Mailed evaluations to local committee and businesses.

Lewis and Clark Heritage Days, August 16-17 and 22, Elk Point: Mailed 10 media teasers to selected media contacts.  Sent e-file of poster to printer selected by committee.  Distributed event buttons to staff at the Interstate Information Centers.  Mailed evaluations to businesses and local committee.

Harley Davidson’s 100th Anniversary Celebrations, “Thunder Across Dakota, August 23-25, Sturgis, Pierre, and Sioux Falls: Finalized press releases.  Attended events in each location.

Great Black Hills Quilt Show and Sale, September 7-10, Hill City: Have placed all advertising.

Mickelson Trail Trek, September 19-21, Custer: Mailed posters and registration information to nearly 90 bike shops and clubs in 23 states.  Media teasers will be mailed the beginning of September.  Placed half-page ad in the Rapid City Journal to run twice.  Mailed posters to Chambers and businesses along the trail.  Will assist with event registration.

Corn Palace Polka Festival, September 19-21, Mitchell: Mailed postcards to regional bus tour companies. 

Webster Area Pumpkin Festival, October 10-11, Webster: Mailed 2,000 postcards to prior travel inquiries from Minnesota, North Dakota, and Iowa.

Sacagawea Unity Fest, October 10-11, Mobridge: Received final schedule of events from the committee.  Placed ad in the Jamestown Sun.  Added information to

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Deposits for Deadwood gaming revenue for FY03 were $2,057,170, compared to $1,933,612 for FY02; and deposits for the tourism tax for FY03 were $4,087,773, compared to $3,714,760 for FY02.  This is an overall increase of 8.8 percent.

Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for June 2003 was up 7.8 percent at $192,018, compared to $178,181 for June 2002.  The tourism tax deposited for June 2003 was down 0.2 percent at $257,106, as compared to $257,642 for June 2002.  The gaming deposit for July 2003 was up 16.3 percent at $230,368, compared to $198,097 for July 2002.  The tourism tax deposit for July 2003 was down 3.7 percent at $542,509, as compared to $544,512.  The deposits in FY04 for gaming and the tourism tax are $1,222,001, as compared to $1,178,432 for FY2003.  This is an overall increase in revenue of 3.7 percent when comparing the same time period in FY2003.

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