South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: January 2003

January 2003

   MEMORANDUM TO: Governor M. Michael Rounds

   DATE: February 6, 2003

   FROM: Patricia Van Gerpen

   SUBJECT: Tourism’s January Monthly Status Report

You may download and print the entire January 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 Development
Target Market Advertising
Winter Campaign

World Wide Web
Governor's Tourism Advisory Board
Mount Rushmore Independence Day Celebration
Great Events
Department Funding


Completed details for conference, which included invitations to legislators and organization of registration, handouts, meal functions, audio visual, decorations, and press releases.  There were 500 full registrants, and 610 people were served at the banquet.  Both broke records for attendance.

The Ben Black Elk Award went to the Gutzon Borglum Family, the A.H. Pankow Award went to Laura Ingalls Wilder, and the George S. Mickelson Great Service Award went to Rapid City CVB.

Will hold wrap-up meeting to discuss evaluations and make preliminary plans for the 2004 conference.

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Completed details for the Farm/Ranch Vacation Workshop set for February 27 and 28 over Digital Dakota Network (DDN) sites in Spearfish, Rapid City, Pierre, Madison, Watertown, White River, Yankton, and Sioux Falls.  Topics include cooperative marketing, business plans, community involvement, legal requirements, and first-hand experiences.  Will distribute Tourism Assistance Directory and Farm/Ranch Vacation Resource Directory at the DDN sites. 

Sent contest rules and registration information for the Oz Festival art contest to 293 art teachers in the state.  Obtained mailing labels from the Department of Education.  Judging will be done by the Oz Festival committee in Aberdeen.

Attended Mickelson Trail Task Force meeting in Hill City.  A survey will be mailed to trail users asking for suggestions on trail improvements.  Group will develop a marketing plan and a plan for trail improvements.

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Hosted seven meteorologists and news directors from Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, and South Dakota to a “To Snow or Not To Snow: Winter Weather Tour.”  Tour included a presentation by the Weather Service and snowmobiling and skiing.

Fulfilled media requests from Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Aberdeen American News, Snowmobile Magazine, Rand McNally, KNBN, KOTA, KVHT, On Dakota, South Dakota Public Radio, and Travel Holiday magazine.

Fact checked and edited South Dakota copy in Midwest Living’s 2003 Best of the Midwest.

Met with CVB partners in the “Have You Been To…?” campaign to discuss the creative aspects of the campaign: TV ad, logo, newspaper ads, customer service training flyer, signs, and a passport game booklet.

Attended meeting for the New York City Media Blitz being planned with Tourism’s 4Parks partners in Wyoming, Montana, and Xanterra Parks and Resorts.  Discussed media invitation list, menu, reception, décor, and travel arrangements.

Worked with a personal watercraft company to plan a summer hosting on the Lewis and Clark Trail in South Dakota.  Will send invitations to media in March.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence include Aberdeen American News (18,000) four articles for total ad equivalence of $474; Sioux Falls Argus Leader (73,167) two articles for total ad equivalence of $2,427; Rapid City Journal (35,465) two articles for total ad equivalence of $818; Capital City Journal (4,636) with ad equivalence of $133; and National Examiner, Florida (456,223) with ad equivalence of $13,948.  Total value is $17,800. 

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Made final edits/preparations for the Group Tour Planning Guide and sent to printer.  Will print 5,000 guides to be used over a two-year period.

Completed follow-up to 62 appointments from the National Tour Association conference.  Sent listing of South Dakota delegates registered for American Bus Association (ABA) marketplace as well as a listing of Tourism’s appointments to the 24 South Dakota suppliers attending ABA.

Sent information/invitation on spring group leader fam “Explore the Lewis and Clark Trail and Experience the Black Hills” to 800 domestic tour operators.  Fam will be held in April. 

Held conference call with 2Nation partners in Manitoba, North Dakota, and Minnesota tourism departments to discuss tour itineraries, distribution, slides, etc.

Hosted Volker Mehnert to winter fam.  He is a freelance journalist and writes for Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung (FAZ) (circ. 500,000) as well as writing articles for various magazines.

Fulfilled requests from Majestic Tours, North Carolina; Denmark State Bank and Milwaukee Recreation, Wisconsin; Leisure Time Charters & Tour, Georgia; Midwestern Motorcoach Co., Missouri; Shoreline Creations, Michigan; Shenandoah Tours, Inc., Virginia; Latco Tours, Oklahoma; Eagledale Baptist Church, Indiana; Grundy National Bank, Iowa; AmericaTours West, South Dakota; Cheryl Saunders and Anderson Tours, Canada; Wicked World Tour, Scotland; and Winchester Travel Service Limited, United Kingdom.

Completed Irish Mission, which included Dublin Holiday Show and appointments with 15 tour operators, journalists, and the U.S. Commercial Service as part of a mission with Rocky Mountain International (RMI) marketing consortium.  Contacted 17 tour operators and journalists in France with information on the state.

Sent items for giveaways to Susanne Schmitt for Buckle Club at International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Germany.

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Contacted travel show co-op partners regarding gifts for the AAA seminars that are held in conjunction with the travel shows Tourism attends.

Fulfilled requests from AAA/CAA offices and independent travel agencies in Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, South Dakota, and Belgium.

Hosted 24 AAA Colorado travel counselors in Denver.  They serve a membership of 449,000.

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Continued to make follow-up calls and update business listings for the Adventure Travel Guide.

Attended first annual Pheasants Forever National Convention in Minnesota.  Hosted the South Dakota booth and assisted in a formal presentation on South Dakota hunting.

Worked with the Izaak Walton League on their 2003 national convention, which will be held in Pierre in July.  Provided stories, photos, and general South Dakota information to the editor of the League’s magazine, Outdoor America, for stories to be published the beginning of February.

Continued working on details for the spring “Great Faces. Great Birding Places” fam in the Glacial Lakes and Prairies region.

Made arrangements for Black Hills turkey hunts for writers Keith Sutton, Glynn Harris, Tom Lounsburry, and Peter St. James.  Lined up spring Lewis and Clark and walleye trip for North American Fisherman television show and magazine in the Mobridge, Pierre, and Chamberlain areas.

Fulfilled requests for information to Orion Multimedia for their upcoming upland game hunting series.

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Continued to update the crew list in the film database, as well as photo files.

Sent film/production guides to Washington, Kentucky, California, and India film studios.

Had several discussions and a meeting with representatives from Deadwood regarding media possibilities to tie in with the upcoming “Deadwood” series on HBO.  Plan to attend a meeting in Deadwood to brainstorm and put together a plan.

Contacted by Paulsen Marketing, Sioux Falls.  Assisted them with photo files and digital pictures.

Contacted by a Sioux Falls attorney regarding the idea of creating the South Dakota Film and Movie Authority.  This entity would create capitol through bonds and film projects within the state.

Contacted by a Los Angeles production firm regarding a commercial shoot at Mount Rushmore National Memorial.  Helped them with actors, extras, a location manager, accommodations, production assistants, camera, and lighting gear.

Contacted by a production studio regarding a TV mini-series.  Assisted them with locations and references, as well as pricing for all locations.

Assisted a production studio representative in New York with their documentary.  Sent them more production stills.  Contacted by a production studio in California regarding a documentary to be shot here this year.  They are looking for locations and crew assistance.

Made preparations and attended the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.  Partnered with the Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho film offices to sponsor the festival as well as a filmmakers’ reception.  Approximately 300 of the 450 invited guests attended.

Contacted by Markee magazine regarding an article on services and production houses in South Dakota.

Designed the 2003 series of film office postcards and wrote copy to feature on

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Drafted timeline for Information Center program season that includes applicant interviews, the Information Center tour and training set for May 1-9, and opening dates of each center.

Sent travel counselor/supervisor job announcements to Bureau of Personnel and area newspapers.  Application deadline is February 14.  Have received 80 applications, to date.

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Evaluated travel-related businesses’ comment cards and nomination forms for the Governor’s Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Hospitality for the 2002 travel season.  The only change from numbers reported in the previous month: 212 have received a gold lapel pin for a third recognition, up from 207 as previously reported. 

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

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Sent letters to co-op partners working the Chicago, Denver, Harrisburg, and Milwaukee shows with work schedules and shipping instructions.

The International Sportsmen Show in Denver was an excellent show for South Dakota, and attendance was good.

Worked with the Department of Game, Fish and Parks to produce the 2003 Hunt and Fish insert used at travel shows.  Completed updates for the Travel Show Co-op Reference Booklet.

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Total FY2003 Inquiries through 02-01-2003: 

Mail: 32,500
Internet (e-mail): 37,947
Phone:   10,478
Total: 80,925

Total FY2002 Inquiries through 02-01-2002:

Mail: 28,248
Internet (e-mail): 20,314
Phone:   10,943
Total: 59,505

This is an overall increase in inquiries of 36.0 percent over FY2002.  (This does not include hits/visits to Tourism’s Web site.)

Calculated number of page views at 507,393 on Tourism’s web site for the period of January 1-31, 2003, (missing two days) for a daily average of 17,496 over a 29-day period.  This compares to calculated page views of 375,434 for the period of January 1-31, 2002, (missing three days) for a daily average of 13,408 over a 28-day period.  This is an increase in daily average of page views of 30.5 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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Met with representatives of the Rapid City CVB to discuss how they can become involved in the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial commemoration.  Added them to the Lewis and Clark database.

Received a Speakers Bureau grant from South Dakota Humanities for a speaker for the statewide Lewis and Clark Corps of Rediscovery meeting on February 19 at the Capitol Lake Visitor Center in Pierre.  The April 5 meeting has been rescheduled to April 23 in Yankton.

Finalized the Lewis and Clark essay contest plan and will send contest rules to 899 fourth-grade teachers in the state.  Obtained labels from the Department of Education.  Judging will be done by Tourism.

Attended the official kickoff for the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial at Monticello, near Charlottesville, Virginia.  Set up an exhibit booth and distributed information on South Dakota’s Signature Event  -- “Oceti Sakowin Experience: Remembering and Educating” and provided press packets for the media room.  Chaired the Circle of State Advisors meeting and represented them at a press conference.  The Plog Research results were the main focus of the press conference, which was paid for by the Lewis and Clark Trail states.  The Chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe attended the events, as well as four other tribal members.  About 50 South Dakotans were in Virginia for this event.  Gave interviews to the Capital City Journal, South Dakota Public Radio, and KNBN TV.

Participated in a National Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Council conference call.  The main focus of the call was the Hewlett Foundation grant of $2 million, some of which will be used for Signature Events.

Expect the recipients of the National Park Service’s Lewis and Clark Cost Share Grants to be announced in late April.  Applicants include the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and the Southeast Tourism region. 

Attended the Sioux Falls Lewis and Clark task force meeting.  Group wrote a mission statement and action plan for their involvement in the Bicentennial.

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Will attend the Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates (ATTA) meeting in February in Flandreau, and the Okiciapiye meeting in February in Fort Pierre.

ATTA’s website has been updated.  Will meet in Chamberlain in February to put together a working plan for the August 2004, Lewis and Clark signature event. 

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Fulfilled requests for slides from Department of Game, Fish and Parks, State Publishing Company, South Dakota Rural Electric Association, South Dakota Pharmacists Association, and South Dakota Bar Association, Pierre; Southeast South Dakota Tourism Association, Yankton; Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Sioux Falls Visitors Guide, and AAA South Dakota, Sioux Falls; Rushmore News, Rapid City; Dan Grigg Images, Mitchell, TDG Communications, Deadwood; Platte Area Chamber of Commerce; Aberdeen CVB; Audubon magazine, New York; freelance writer Steve Kinsella, Minnesota; and Carita Bergman, Canada. 

Fulfilled video footage requests to South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Vermillion, and Lawrence & Schiller, Sioux Falls. 

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The warm season Giant Step co-op insert will be inserted in the following publications: April issue of Better Homes & Gardens; May issue of Country Home; May/June issue of Midwest Living; June issues of Ladies Home Journal and More.  Partner reader service forms were sent to Meredith Corporation as they have the bid for the printing and insertions of the Giant Step.  The insert is a 4-color, 16-page booklet with 36 partners and will have a distribution to 3.7 million households.

The warm season Great Getaways newspaper insert will be distributed in 26 newspapers in Manitoba, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota in April, May, and June.  The full-color, tabloid-style piece has 43 partners and will reach 1.3 million households.

Will place 4Parks full page ad in partnership with Wyoming, Montana, and Xanterra Parks and Resorts, in selected regions in the following magazines: March/April issue of AARP: The Magazine; April issues of Reader’s Digest and Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel; May issues of Trailer Life and Sunset; and May/June issues of AAA Home and Away and VIA.

Placed “Its America” ad in March issue of AAA Home & Away magazine and April issues of Good Housekeeping and American Heritage.

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Placed radio ads with changeable 60-second spot Tuesday through Thursday, twice a day for six weeks (began January 7) on radio stations in Minneapolis, Grand Island, Cheyenne, Sioux City, Des Moines, Gillette, and North Platte. 

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Completed design of covers and spine for 2003-2004 Vacation Guide.  Reviewed and approved proofs of all of Tourism pages and covers and sent files to Black Hills, Badlands and Lakes Association for printing of the Vacation Guide.  Delivery of guides is expected by the end of February.  Tourism’s share of the 550,000 guides is 325,000, which will be used for distribution in travel packets and media kits and at travel shows.

Approved rebates for 44 city page ads; checks will be sent in March. 

Received 2,400 of the 2003 Annual Reports and distributed at the Tourism Conference and a mailing to full and part-time Chambers of Commerce and CVBs, economic development offices, and tribal chairs, which was about 500 additional reports.

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Updated listings on the Visitor Services Directory pages, for a total of 4,377 entries on  There are 21 vacation packages on, as well as on  Placed ads in Des Moines Register, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Omaha World Herald, Denver Post, Rapid City Journal, Aberdeen American News, and Sioux Falls Argus Leader encouraging readers to log onto to consider these vacation packages.  Magazine ads promoting the packages are currently running or will run in such magazines as Midwest Living, AAA Home and Away, Endless Vacation, Preservation, Good Housekeeping, Family Fun, American Heritage, and Along the Trail with Lewis and Clark.

Posted monthly report, annual report and research, three annual award winners, new officers of the Tourism Board, and a conference evaluation form on  Also added downloadable, high-resolution color versions of the South Dakota script and the logo to the logo usage page.

Continued to work with UrbanPlanet on two of Tourism’s web sites: and

Sent winter-themed Travelsmart to 74,866 subscribers.

Added press releases of economic impact, Tourism Board, and awards to as well as downloadable images of the Tourism Board officers and the three award winners.

Compiled data for the fourth quarter web survey report.  Sent prize packages to winners from Maywood, Missouri, and Rosemount, Minnesota.  Survey results for the fourth quarter were compiled from 423 respondents and include:

52 percent had been to South Dakota before

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

74 percent said answered all of their travel questions

96 percent said they would recommend the site to another traveler

45 percent were referred to by a search engine

63 percent indicated it was their first time visiting

56 percent of the respondents are female; 39 percent are male; 4 percent declined to answer

68 percent are married

39 percent have children under 18 living at home

43 percent of the respondents are from the target states of Minnesota (41), Illinois (31), Wisconsin (23), Nebraska (18), Iowa (17), Indiana (15), Missouri (14), Texas (10), North Dakota (6), and Colorado (5).

(Top out-of-target-market states included California and Pennsylvania with 19 respondents, Michigan and Kansas with 12 respondents, and Ohio with 11.

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Held meeting for Tourism Board in Pierre, prior to the start of the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism.  Members elected Dave Geisler as president and George Kessler as vice president.

Held joint meeting with the Tourism Board and the executive directors of the four tourism regions and their two top officers.  Briefed the group on Tourism’s funding, the Top Ten list of promotion projects for fiscal year 2003, the agenda for the Governor’s Conference on Tourism, the Annual Report, and research findings.

Regional representatives briefed the group on their promotion plans for 2003.

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Attended planning meeting with other committee members.

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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.

Lewis and Clark Spirit Mound Festival, August 24-25, Vermillion: Evaluation was completed by staff as event organizers did not respond to requests.  Plans call for a return to activities that were successful in past years – hike to Spirit Mound and educational presentations.  Received three evaluations from businesses.  One said attendance met their expectations and that they had a 5 percent increase in business.  The other two were unaware that the event had previously been held.

Black Hills Pow Wow, October 11-13, Rapid City: Received five evaluations from 12 that were sent to organizers and key businesses.  Organizers reported that attendance met expectations, which was the same as in 2001.  Top six states in order of attendees were South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.  Media coverage included KNBN, Native Voices, and KKMK.  Visitors commented most often on the spectacular dance outfits.  Area businesses reported a variety of business activity from 50 percent increase to a decrease in business.

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Siouxland Renaissance Festival, June 7-8, Sioux Falls: Designed and placed ad in March/April issue of Midwest Living for this event, plus Wild Bill Hickock Days and Indian Day Celebration Powwow.

Wild Bill Hickok Days, June 13-15, Deadwood: Designed and placed ad in March/April issue of Midwest Living for this event, plus Siouxland Renaissance Festival and Indian Day Celebration Powwow.

Indian Day Celebration Pow Wow, June 20-22, Wagner: Worked on budget/marketing plan.  Designed and placed ad in March/April issue of Midwest Living for this event, plus Siouxland Renaissance Festival and Wild Bill Hickok Days.

Crystal Springs Ranch Rodeo, June 27-29, Clear Lake: Finalized marketing plan.  Wrote copy and designed postcard that will promote this rodeo, Burke Stampede Rodeo, and Frontier Days.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant, July 11-13, 18-20, and 25-27, De Smet: Finalized marketing plan/budget.

Burke Stampede Rodeo, July 11-13, Burke: Wrote copy for postcard that will promote this rodeo, Frontier Days, and Crystal Springs Ranch Rodeo.

Frontier Days, August 15-17, White River: Wrote copy for postcard that will promote this rodeo, Burke Stampede Rodeo, and Crystal Springs Ranch Rodeo.

Lewis and Clark Heritage Days, August 16-17 and 22, Elk Point: Met with local committee.  Plans call for an art contest in the schools, as well as adding radio to the marketing plan.

Harley Davidson’s 100th Anniversary Celebrations, “Thunder Across Dakota, August 23-25, I-90 Corridor – Sturgis, Pierre, and Sioux Falls: Met over DDN with Harley Davison dealers and city representatives involved in the event promotions.  Made final edits to ad for American Iron magazine, which will run in a special edition magazine to be distributed throughout the year beginning mid-February.  Created new pages for web site.

Great Black Hills Quilt Show and Sale, September 7-10, Hill City: Attended meeting with local committee and discussed promotions.  Worked on marketing plan/budget.

Mickelson Trail Trek, September 19-21, Custer: Worked on budget/marketing plan.  Met with local committee.  Plans include a postcard mailing to past riders, inviting them back for the ride.

Corn Palace Polka Festival, September 19-21, Mitchell: Finalized marketing plan and sent to local committee.  Designed postcard that will be sent to group tour operators in March.  Magazine and newspaper ads are planned for May and July.

Webster Area Pumpkin Festival, October 10-11, Webster: Will attend meeting planned in February. 

Sacagawea Unity Fest, October 10-11, Mobridge: Will attend their planning meeting when notified.

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for December 2002 was up 16.0 percent at $134,160, as compared to $115,656 for December 2001.  The tourism tax deposited for December 2002 was up 9.0 percent at $206,097, compared to $189,002 for November 2001.  Revenue deposits for the Department for FY2003 are $4,521,319, as compared to $4,088,060 for FY2002.  This is an increase in revenue of 10.6 percent when comparing the same time period in FY2002.

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