South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: February 2003

February 2003

   MEMORANDUM TO: Governor M. Michael Rounds

   DATE: March 6, 2003

   FROM: Patricia Van Gerpen

   SUBJECT: Tourism’s February Monthly Status Report

You may download and print the entire February 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 Development
Target Market Advertising

World Wide Web
Great Events
Department Funding


Distributed information, including the 2003 Farm and Ranch Vacation Resource Directories, to 70 attendees of the two Farm/Ranch workshops that were conducted over DDN sites across the state.                     

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Continued working with CVBs and creative staff on “Have You Been To…?" campaign for National Tourism Week.  Held meetings and worked on rough cut of TV spot, production schedule, and distribution of spot.  Researched costs for shirts/embroidery and costs of printing passport game cards.  Worked on individual ad designs for each of the eight participating CVBs.

Met with 4-Parks group to discuss New York City Media Blitz in March.  Worked with communications firm to plan invitation list, menu, reception venue, décor, and travel arrangements. Created e-mail invitation to selected media.  

Began planning satellite feed of Fort Sisseton Historical Festival at Fort Sisseton State Park in June.

Fulfilled requests for information from Omaha World Herald, American Indian Report magazine, Reporter & Farmer, Capital City Journal, Madison Daily Leader, NORTHSTAR Travel Media, Federal Gazette, and South Dakota Public Radio.

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Sent requested information to Country Tours, Illinois; Per-Flo Tours, Inc., North Carolina; Friends Tours, Nevada; Group Tour magazine, Michigan; Western Leisure, Utah; Wanderland Tours and Flemming Tours, Missouri; Rohrer Tours, Pennsylvania; Wendt Touring, Ohio; C+NG Travelers, Connecticut; Care Free Travel, Washington; Bus Ride magazine; Marion Owen Travel, United Kingdom; Yukimi Tsukiota, Japan; and Turisme Juvenil de Catalunya S.A., Spain.  Assisted UVET tour operator in Germany in client request.  Contacted ranches, requesting their brochures for the American Horse Show in Italy in May.

Sent Group Tour Planning Guide to 500 tour operators interested in offering South Dakota tours.  Sent the group tour co-op flyer and coupon to 2,900 domestic and Canadian tour operators, so they can request more information via coupon.

Registered nine individuals from six companies for the spring group tour operator fam tour – “Explore the Lewis and Clark Trail and Experience the Black Hills,” which will be held in April.   

Met with 36 tour operators at American Bus Association (ABA) Marketplace.  Sent a total of 96 leads gathered by South Dakota delegates from ABA Marketplace to 68 ABA/NTA (National Tour Association) members from South Dakota

Contacted by Frontier Tours, Carson City, Nevada, to give a presentation on South Dakota to two groups of 100 group leaders, as well as training for 15 staff members in March. 

Wrote four fams for the Rocky Mountain International (RMI) Roundup in April in South Dakota: Black Hills, eastern areas of the state, one special requested tour for Jetset, and ranches. 

Participated in tour operator trainings in The Hague and Amsterdam with RMI staff and Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho tourism staff.  Attended BIT Tradeshow and met with consumers, tour operators, and journalists in Milan as part of an RMI mission.  There were 52 leads from BIT and nine leads from the Benelux – with 18 of the 61 leads being journalists.

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Fulfilled requests for information from AAA offices and independent travel agencies in Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Finalized arrangements for the Harrisburg and Reading Berks AAA seminars.  Hosted 14 travel counselors at the AAA Central Penn office in Harrisburg.  Sent training certificates this group.  They have a total membership of 300,000.

Attended the AAA Reading Berks Travel Odyssey Show.   

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Met with birding trail steering committee and consultant to select 30 sites to highlight in the brochure. Sent information to consultant for final copy.  Will develop guidebook and web site by end of May.

Followed up on invitations and continued making arrangements for the spring birding fam in the Glacial Lakes and Prairies Region.

Attended SHOT Show and lined up a number of press hostings for the spring and fall.  Included are: Gobblin’ Fever TV, Retrieving and Pointing Dog journals, Field and Stream radio, Sports Afield, Krause Publications, A Dog’s Life, Benelli’s American Safari, and Heartland USA.

Provided copy for spring fishing promotions, which consist of magazine ads in May/June issue of Walleye Insider and June/July issue of In-Fisherman and fishing postcards which will be sent to 10,000 subscribers from the two magazines above in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado, Wisconsin, Illinois, and North Dakota. 

Interviewed by and provided information to Travel Holiday Magazine, Travel West magazine, Rand McNally, South Dakota Public Broadcasting,, Upland Almanac, WildBird magazine, Pittsburg Tribune-Review, and Aberdeen American News.

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FILM OFFICE went live.  Site will allow filmmakers instant access to South Dakota locations and other pertinent filming information.  Uploaded panoramic and iPIX images, added a weather information box, and scanned in several images from

Updated crew and services listings on the film database, which can also be accessed from the site. 

Sent film office location postcards to over 1,500 location scouts, producers, and production companies on the film office database as a way to stay in contact regarding film locations in the state.  Designed 2003 series of three film office postcards, with delivery of 1,200 each of the three designs in March.

Met with representatives of Linn Productions, Rapid City, to assist in organizing the 2003 ReWind Film Festival, which is for up-and-coming independent movie makers, specifically focusing on digital filmmaking.  Plan to have over 100 different filmmakers from all over North America show their films.

Contacted by a production firm in New York regarding locations for an upcoming film for the Smithsonian.  Sent production packet and website information; more specific location requests will follow this spring.

Contacted by a film producer in Florida regarding locations and costs of filming.  Sent production guide and crew information 

Contacted by a film production representative in Washington regarding a screenplay that features South Dakota.  Received his screenplay and sent him production information. 

Sent production information to four film companies in California and one in Washington DC.

Sent promotional items to the Independent Film Producers (IFP) “Directors Series” events.  The IFP Directors series will provide South Dakota a chance to meet filmmakers and promote the state as a low-cost and film-friendly filming location.  Will attend the final event in April. 

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Received 153 applications for the travel counselor positions at the I-90 and I-29 Information Centers.  Sent letters to applicants who will be interviewed in Wall, Sturgis, Chamberlain, Mitchell, Vermillion, and Wilmot.

Sent letters announcing sign-ups for the poster program to 1,085 members on the travel industry database.

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Contacted co-op partners regarding the front-line training seminars in May and June.

Researched speakers for the management training seminar in April.  Informational/registration flyers will be sent to visitor industry members in March. 

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Sent information to the partners who are working the Minneapolis and Milwaukee travel shows.

Attendance was down at the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Eastern Sports Show; however, there was high interest in Black Hills vacations and turkey, pheasant, and prairie dog hunting.  

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Total FY2003 Inquiries through 03-01-2003: 

Mail: 34,585
Internet (e-mail): 45,692
Phone:   12,365
Total: 92,642

Total FY2002 Inquiries through 03-01-2002:

Mail: 30,930
Internet (e-mail): 28,579
Phone:   13,657
Total: 73,166

This is an overall increase in inquiries of 26.6 percent over FY2002.  (This does not include hits/visits to Tourism’s Web site.)

Calculated number of page views at 452,807 on Tourism’s web site for the period of February 1-28, 2003, (missing two days) for a daily average of 17,416 over a 26-day period.  This compares to calculated page views of 440,774 for the period of February 1-28, 2002, for a daily average of 15,741 over a 28-day period.  This is an increase in daily average of page views of 10.6 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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Contacted producer at Public Television with whom we work regarding the Lewis and Clark minutes being broadcast on Public Television.

Set up outline and script for two Lewis and Clark TV spots.  Made preliminary selections of footage. 

Attended Signature Event Task Force meeting in Chamberlain to discuss event planning.

Set up and attended the Lewis and Clark Corps of Rediscovery meeting in Pierre.  Awarded Corps of Rediscovery plaques to five new members.  Approximately 30 people attended.  One of the speakers was Brad Tennant, History Instructor at Presentation College.  His presentation "Lewis and Clark – South Dakota Community Connections" recounted historical information on various sites along the Lewis and Clark Trail.  Tennant is a Humanities Scholar through the South Dakota Humanities Council.  Daphne Richards-Cook, Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates Chairperson, gave updates on the 2004 Signature Event in Chamberlain/Oacoma – August 27-28, 2004.  Ronette Rumpca from the Cultural Heritage Center talked about the Lewis and Clark traveling exhibit.  Meeting attendees also gave information/updates on preparations that are going on in their communities or agencies in regards to the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration.  The next meeting will be April 23 in Yankton.

Worked with the Great Lakes and Southeast tourism associations on the 2003 Lewis and Clark map/brochure.

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Attended Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates meeting in Flandreau.

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Fulfilled requests for slides from Department of Game, Fish and Parks, State Publishing, South Dakota Rural Electric Association, and Corps of Engineers, Pierre; International Vinegar Museum, Roslyn; Aberdeen CVB; Design Solutions and South Dakota magazine, Yankton; South Dakota Soybean Processors, Volga; GVS Design, Rapid City; Center for Western Studies, CorTrust Bank, and Siouxland Heritage Museums, Sioux Falls; Angostura Recreation Area, Hot Springs; Upland Almanac, Kansas; Home and Away magazine, Nebraska, Courier magazine, Kentucky; Waters and Woods magazine, Wisconsin; Far Country Press, Montana; Impact Photographics, California; and Simon Enterprises, Wyoming.

Made video dubs of the new version of the Great Faces. Great Places. image video for AAA programs/seminars and media contacts. 

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Received copies of the warm season Giant Step magazine insert and sent to partners.  Insert will first appear in the April issue of Better Homes and Gardens which will be on sale March 11. 

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Received shipment of the 2003-2004 Vacation Guides.  Will send city rebate checks to 44 cities that qualified.  

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Sent information to visitor industry partners on the new online coupon co-op program being offered on  This program gives industry partners the opportunity to offer discounts to travelers who are searching for these types of vacation savings.  Users can print the coupons from or use a partner-provided coupon code when making reservations. 

Sent information and sign-up sheets to tourism industry members regarding the web/Visitor Services Directory (VSD) co-op program.  Services are listed on the VSD at no charge, but businesses have the option to become a preferred partner for $100 which gives the partner two 360-degree (iPIX) photos, taken by Tourism and added to their VSD listing.  All listings include business contact information, a booking or reservation link, e-mail link, and link to business’ web site.  There are currently 4,383 entries on the VSD.

Worked on many details regarding the redesign of with tourism staff and Bureau of Information and Telecommunications.

Sent Travelsmart to 76,733 subscribers.  It promoted a romance theme for the online vacation packages.

Added links to (The Weekly South Dakotan for fourth-graders) from the Kid Zone pages on  Added downloadable forms for Online Vacation Packages and Coupons, the Web/VSD program, and the 2003 Tourism Assistance Directory to

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Reviewed applications for photography, videography, public relations, Information Centers, and publications.  Set up interviews with selected candidates and requested writing samples, videotape, portfolios, as applicable.

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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: Will write report from evaluations.

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Siouxland Renaissance Festival, June 7-8, Sioux Falls: Continued working on promotional plan, which includes magazine, newspaper and radio advertisements.

Wild Bill Hickok Days, June 13-15, Deadwood: Finalized promotional plan.  Placed ads in May/June issue of American Cowboy and June issue of Wild West magazine.

Indian Day Celebration Pow Wow, June 20-22, Wagner: Researched costs of various promotions to relay to local committee.

Crystal Springs Ranch Rodeo, June 27-29, Clear Lake: Mailed over 700 postcards to bus tour companies in Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota.  Placed travel directory ad in Midwest Living.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant, July 11-13, 18-20, and 25-27, De Smet: Drafted production schedule.  Drafted copy for newspaper ad and for postcard promotion to group tour operators.

Burke Stampede Rodeo, July 11-13, Burke: Mailed over 700 postcards to bus tour companies in Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota.  Placed travel directory ad in Midwest Living.

Frontier Days, August 15-17, White River: Mailed over 700 postcards to bus tour companies in Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota.  Placed travel directory ad in Midwest Living.

Lewis and Clark Heritage Days, August 16-17 and 22, Elk Point: Placed ad to run in the 2003 Lewis and Clark Trail Guide.

Harley Davidson’s 100th Anniversary Celebrations, “Thunder Across Dakota, August 23-25, I-90 Corridor – Sturgis, Pierre, and Sioux Falls: Met with entities involved to discuss final promotional plan.  Discussed plan with Harley-Davidson corporate and made changes as necessary.  Made final edits to web site and flyer copy.  Drafted copy for other print materials.

Great Black Hills Quilt Show and Sale, September 7-10, Hill City: Drafted marketing plan and production schedule.  Drafted copy for postcard promotion to go to quilt guilds/shops around the country.

Mickelson Trail Trek, September 19-21, Custer: Will attend next planning meeting.

Corn Palace Polka Festival, September 19-21, Mitchell: Drafted production schedule.  Drafted copy for newspaper ads, web page, and postcard promotion to 600 group tour operators.

Webster Area Pumpkin Festival, October 10-11, Webster: Attended planning meeting and finalized marketing plan and production schedule.

Sacagawea Unity Fest, October 10-11, Mobridge: Worked on marketing plan. 

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for January 2003 was up 2.6 percent at $141,865, as compared to $138,224 for January 2002.  The tourism tax deposited for January 2003 was up 14.8 percent at $221,542, compared to $192,940 for January 2002.  Revenue deposits for the Department for FY2003 are $4,884,726, as compared to $4,419,224 for FY2002.  This is an increase in revenue of 10.5 percent when comparing the same time period in FY2002.

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