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Monthly Reports: December 2003

December 2003

   MEMORANDUM TO: Governor Mike Rounds

   DATE: January 8, 2004

   FROM: Patricia Van Gerpen

   SUBJECT: Tourism’s December Monthly Status Report

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


2010 Initiative
Governor's Conference on Tourism
Rural Tourism Development
Public Relations
Group Tour
Film Office
Information Centers

Travel Shows
Occupancy Data
Lewis and Clark Promotions
Travel Market Advertising

Winter Campaign
World Wide Web
Great Events

Great Shoulder Events
Department Funding


Held meetings to develop action plans for 2010 Initiative goals.  Continued to implement action steps.

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Drafted contracts for conference speakers.  Met with Ramkota staff to review set-up for sessions, meals, breaks, and booths.  Ordered decorations.  Designed legislative invitation, banquet program and ticket, and fast fact cards.  Finalized sponsorship list.  Twenty South Dakota Made businesses were notified about being selected to exhibit at the conference.  Began developing an AV requirements/list, per conference speaker requests.  Continued working on annual report. 

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Worked with representatives of South Dakota State University on the Agri Tourism breakout session that we are coordinating for the Value Added Ag Conference on March 18 in Brookings.

Met with the director of the South Dakota Rural Development Council and staff from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to discuss the creation of one Resource Directory.  The Directory would include the information that is listed in the Tourism Assistance Directory plus more listings for local, regional and national resource organizations.  Attended the South Dakota Rural Development Council’s Resource Team Training in Pierre. 

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Fulfilled requests for information to freelance writer from Toronto, Ontario, and request for paleontology/archaeology digs in the state.

Research, drafted, and sent five recommendations to Good Housekeeping for possible inclusion in a feature on undiscovered America.  Edited South Dakota article for Dodge magazine.

Interviewed by KELO AM for story on Great Service Star; Capital Journal, KCCR, and South Dakota Public Radio for stories on A&E holiday show that includes Capitol Christmas; American Cowboy; The Discovery Channel; Trailside Adventures; The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon; KELO-TV; and Depot Radio, Brookings.

Continued to work on behalf of Christmas at the Capitol to be included in A & E’s Holiday Town USA holiday special.

Contacted CVBs in the state to gather input on themes for 2004 National Tourism Week campaign.  Consensus is to continue with similar theme from 2003, “Have You Been To…?”  Group will meet in January to discuss options.

Continued working on plans for the 2004 Winter Weather Meteorologist Tour, to take place in January in the Deadwood area.  Contacted Yamaha regarding snowmobile hosting.  Made follow-up calls to stations in our target markets.

Began organizing media blitz, tentatively scheduled for February, with 4Parks partners.

Press hits with circulation and estimate ad equivalence include Capital Journal (4,636) three articles for ad equivalence of $241; Aberdeen American News (18,000) two articles for ad equivalence of $170; Rapid City Journal (35,465) three articles for ad equivalence of $645; and Sioux Falls Argus Leader (73,167) two articles for ad equivalence of $182.  Total ad equivalence of $1,238.

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Per partner request, made changes to listings on after its launch, and changed articles under News Items.

Mailed group tour consumer piece and coupon to 3,685 domestic tour operators in our target market.

Will attend Group Tour Expo, a tradeshow in March in Minneapolis, as this precedes the 2Nation Tours meeting the following day.  Contacted South Dakota Golf Association for recommendations for Top 10 Golf Courses to feature in 2Nation Tours binder and web site.  Mailed 2Nation Tours postcard to 163 tour operators announcing 2004 Signature fam tour and dates that will take place in the four states/province – North Dakota, Minnesota, Manitoba, and South Dakota.

Sent requested information to Majestic Limo and Travel Time Tours, Iowa; Louisville Senior Services, Colorado; Texas Rangers Baseball, Missouri; Kris Baneck, Wisconsin; Amanda Kubat, Georgia; Michelle Reed, Louisiana; David Boston, Pennsylvania; Pacific Gold Tours, Manitoba; American Travel Service, Norway; Fortune Tours and Travel, India; and Germanischer Lloyd, Germany.

Coordinated with Rocky Mountain International (RMI) and speakers for the international marketing seminar and workshop to be held Friday, January 23, at the Ramkota in Pierre, following the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism.  The seminar is for businesses that would like to attract international visitors, expand their international visitation, and learn about commissions, tracking, and trends in the international market.  Notified industry via e-mail, mail, and press releases.

Mailed leads from Italian Showcase, Paris seminar, and Delta Showcase to 594 South Dakota suppliers.

Completed preparations for Benelux Mission, RMI program.

Sent artwork (Mount Rushmore) to contacts in Japan for ad in W’est, a travel guide with a circulation of 120,000.  It is distributed by tour operators in Japan and via airline seat pockets.  The travel guide contains the Back to Nature tours. 

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Fulfilled requests from AAA offices and independent travel agencies in Pennsylvania and Ontario.

Mailed Vacation Guides to 414 clubs in Colorado, Illinois, Indianapolis, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin, and South Dakota.

Researched e-mail addresses of targeted AAA offices nationwide to send travel information updates once a month.

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Coordinated and mailed the 2004 Spring/Summer Outdoor News packet to approximately 3,000 outdoors writers and editors.  Packet contains information on hunting, Lewis and Clark Trail, fishing regulations, Glacial Lakes & Prairies Birding Trail Guide, the Centennial Trail, accommodations, and a form to request more information.

Received the Glacial Lakes and Prairies Birding Trail Guide from the printer, and distributed the guidebook to prolific bird writers in the country, internationally, and per the in-state distribution plan.  Fulfilled requests for guides.

Made preliminary plans to develop a birding trail in the Southeast region, similar to what was developed for the Glacial Lakes and Prairies Birding Trail.  Contacted media offering a fam of birding locations in mid-May, the primetime to see migrating and local birds.

Worked with local organizer, guides, and media for an ice-fishing tour in the Glacial Lakes and Prairies area in mid-January.

Hosted Gary Howey’s Outdoorsman Adventures TV show to a hunt with shooters near Kennebec on a late-season pheasant hunt.  Show will air in the third quarter of 2004.  Acquired additional footage for the crew.  Worked with Howey on 2004 promotional plans.

Hosted media on an early December goose and pheasant hunt near Harrold.  Continued follow-up to media involved.

Continued plans for a June fishing and Lewis and Clark Trail fam in Pierre.  Worked to secure guides, sponsors and speakers.

Provided information/interviews to: North Platte Telegraph, Aberdeen American News, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Rapid City Journal, Fargo Forum, NRA publications, Tony Dean Outdoors, Backroads with Ron and Raven, North American Media Group, and KDLT-TV.

Continued working with a public relations firm regarding a large-scale fishing trip to be held next spring on Lake Oahe.  Provided lodging and guide information to the organization.  Will continue working with the group on the event.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence include: The Wilson World, Tennessee, (80,000) for ad equivalence of $2,740; Sioux City Journal, Iowa, (52,000) for ad equivalence of $3,000; and Eau Claire Leader-Telegraph, Wisconsin, (27,220) for ad equivalence of $1,968.  Total ad equivalence of $7,708.

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Attended Deadwood HBO committee meeting in Deadwood.  Discussed premieres, cable subscriber lists, webpage possibilities, community readiness, a walking tour, upgrades to the Deadwood Alive program, and filming opportunities for next year.

Met with representative from PrairieWave Communications regarding the Deadwood HBO promotions.

Contacted MovieMaker, FilmMaker, and Screen magazines regarding the upcoming South Dakota MicroCinema Film Festival.  MovieMaker would like to include it in the 25 best film festivals in the United States.  Sent them information.

Contacted by the Hollywood Film Institute and sent photos, festival information and production information.

Contacted by Lions Films, New York, regarding a documentary to be shot in 2004.  Discussed locations, access, and crews.

Placed 2004 ad schedule with Location Update magazine.

Discussed planning, sponsorship, and receptions for the 2004 Native American Film Festival in Rapid City in January.  Discussed reception plans, give-away items, accommodations, and sponsorship possibilities for the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.  Discussed upcoming films, the Native American Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival with film contacts.

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The car count at the Lewis and Clark Information Center for the month of November was 2,027, and December’s car count (December 1 – 14) was 517.  This is the first year a center has been open in November and December, so there are no figures to compare.  In November, car count for Canadian visitors was 51 cars, and in December it was six cars.  For all other international visitors, there were 15 cars in November and five cars in December.  There were two motorcoaches in November and December.

For 2003, there were 565 motorcoaches/buses at the Information Centers, and 77 were international.

Travel tape/CD usage through December was up 26.9 percent over 2002. 

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For 2003, there are currently 942 individuals/businesses that have received recognition for hospitality with the Governor’s Certificate, 365 have received the foil star for a second recognition, and 186 have received a gold lapel pin for a third recognition.

The management training seminar will be held in Pierre at the Best Western Ramkota on April 22.  Registration flyers will be mailed in March.

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Wrote a booth usage agreement for Tourism’s booth for the travel shows that the four regional tourism regions are coordinating.  Supplied the regions with this as well as state literature.

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Total FY2004 Inquiries through 1-01-04

Mail:   40,173
Internet (e-mail):
Phone:       7,945
Total: 78,908

Total FY2003 Inquiries through 1-01-03:

Mail: 30,322
Internet (e-mail): 29,347
Phone:      8,539
Total: 68,208

This is an overall increase in inquiries of 15.7 percent over FY2003.  (This does not include hits/visits to Tourism’s Web site.)

Calculated number of page views at 394,981 on Tourism’s web site for the period of December 1-31, 2003, (missing two days) for a daily average of 13,620 over a 29-day period.  This compares to calculated page views of 282,547 for the period of December 1-31, 2002, (missing two days) for a daily average of 9,743 over a 29-day period.  This is an increase in daily average of page views of 39.8 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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Smith Travel Research
State November
% change compared to November 2002
Wyoming 42.2% 7.4%
North Dakota 51.4% 4.7%
Minnesota 51.7% 3.6%
South Dakota 44.2% 0.7%
Nebraska 47.0% -0.4%
Iowa 52.2% -0.9%
Montana 42.4% -1.2%

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Began organizing enclosures for the mailing to fourth grade teachers regarding the Lewis and Clark Trail Essay Contest.  The Department of Game, Fish and Parks will once again be assisting.  Worked with the Washington Pavilion as they have provided Lewis and Clark posters to be included in the mailing to teachers, and they will help with prizes for the winning essay writer.

Worked on arrangements for the Lewis and Clark Corps of Rediscovery meeting on February 18 in Pierre at the Chamber office.

Decorated a Christmas Tree to commemorate the Lewis and Clark Trail for the Capitol Christmas event.  Ornaments were from the Trail states.  Will send decorations to North Dakota for their use in 2004.

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Fulfilled requests for photos/slides to State Publishing, Department of Game, Fish and Parks, and freelancer Steve Nelson, Pierre; South Dakota magazine, Yankton; Lawrence and Schiller, Picture Perfect Inc., South Dakota Rural Water Association, and Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Sioux Falls; Western Souvenirs, Rapid City; Black Hills Parks and Forests Association, Hot Springs; Aberdeen CVB; Uecker Candle Enterprises, Freeman; Rocky Mountain International, Wyoming; Midwest Living, Iowa; and Best Bargains, Canada.

Fulfilled video requests: winter footage of Deadwood and the Black Hills to Lawrence and Schiller, South Dakota; Idaho Public Broadcasting for Lewis and Clark show; and stock and outdoor footage to Orion Media, Texas; and Buck McNeely, Outdoorsman International, Missouri.

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Sent ads for weekly promotions of vacation packages in Sunday Travel Sections of Rapid City Journal and Aberdeen American News.  Ads were for packages in Sioux Falls and Deadwood.  Packages are currently being promoted in the November/December and January/February issues of Midwest Living and the December issue of SnowGoer.

Continued researching DVD format for Travel News Television and started writing script for the 2004 show.

December Travelsmart, which had a holiday theme, was sent to 90,000 subscribers over several days as Tourism switched to a new e-mail/list hosting service.  Responded to several inquiries from this message.

December programming for South Dakota Road Trip included packages in Deadwood, Brookings and Sioux Falls.

New for Giant Step partners is adding a package icon in Giant Step ads for those partners who built a vacation package to be placed on  The package cost is $35, but the icon on ads is free.  The offer has also made to the Great Getaways partners.  Great Getaways will be inserted in newspapers in Manitoba, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota for a distribution of 1.3 million in peak season and 730,000 pieces for fall shoulder season.

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Mailed Great News newsletter to 9,000 domestic and international travel writers and group tour leaders.

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Mailed 652 winter packets to snowmobile clubs in the following states:  Illinois – 86 clubs; Iowa – 57 clubs; Minnesota – 400 clubs; Nebraska – 14 clubs; North Dakota – 50 clubs; Wyoming – 17 clubs, and South Dakota – 28 clubs.

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For – completed updates to the Visitor Services Directory (VSD), which has 4,575 listings; continued working with the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT) on self-maintenance for the VSD; added 21 packages to the system, for a total of 70 vacation packages and sent updates to; complied data from web survey for quarterly report and annual statistics for the annual report; moved Kid Zone into the new design, made new graphics, and added articles and photos to this site; and updated other pages as needed.

For – activated the 2004 Tourism Conference information and registration; updated program information for the Great Getaways co-op; created a web page about the Birding Trail guide and sent e-mail on it to the visitor industry; and contacted Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT) regarding a secure access to the group tour leads.

Added Great News, Outdoor News, and photos to  Designed a logo.  Worked with BIT to begin moving the sites to the state’s servers, which required a special request for software to accommodate the move. 

Adjusted with several keywords and phrases again, and noticed improvement with keyword search on Google.

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

Great Black Hills Quilt Show and Sale, September 7-10, Hill City: Worked on evaluation report.

Mickelson Trail Trek, September 19-21, Custer: Worked on evaluation report.

Corn Palace Polka Festival, September 19-21, Mitchell: Worked on compiling evaluation responses.

Webster Area Pumpkin Festival, October 10-11, Webster: Sent evaluation forms to organizer and area businesses.

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Black Hills Horse Expo, March 20-21, Rapid City: Placed full-page ads in several specialized publications.  Worked on design of an oversized postcard.  Designed poster and forwarded files on disk to committee chair.  Placed information on  Continued researching newspapers for ads for March placement.

Frontier Days, August 17-19, White River: Worked on marketing plan.  Will meet with committee.

Lewis and Clark Signature Event, August 20 through October 14: Continued working with local committees and the Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates on activities as well as the kick-off activities.  Worked on marketing plan.  Wrote copy for display and classified ads.

Black Hills Quilt Show and Sale, September 12-15, Hill City: Contacted the local committee regarding their next meeting.

Polka Festival, September 17-19, Mitchell: Contacted the local committee regarding the date of the next meeting.

Fiddler Jamboree, September 17-19, Yankton: Contacted organizers regarding upcoming meeting.

Bad River Gathering, September 26, Fort Pierre: Met with committee to review event.  Worked on marketing plan. 

Pumpkin Fest, October 8-9, Webster: Contacted the committee regarding their festival.

Last Chance Bonanza Rodeo, November 4-6, Brookings: Will stay in contact with organizers regarding upcoming meeting dates.

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for November 2003 was up 54.8 percent at $210,361, compared to $135,906 for November 2002.  The tourism tax deposited for November 2003 was up 2.7 percent at $292,286, as compared to $284,590 for November 2002.  The deposits in FY04 for gaming and the tourism tax are $4,458,295, as compared to $4,181,092 for FY2003.  This is an overall increase in revenue of 6.6 percent when comparing the same time period in FY2003.

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