South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: July 2003

July 2003

   MEMORANDUM TO: John Calvin

   DATE: Aug. 7, 2003

   FROM: Patricia Van Gerpen

   SUBJECT: Tourism’s July Monthly Status Report

You may download and print the entire July 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
Travel Market Advertising

Travel News Television
World Wide Web
South Dakota Road Trip Television Co-op
Mall of America

Mount Rushmore Independence Day Celebration
Governor's Buffalo Roundup and Governor's Invitational Pheasant Hunt
Great Events
Department Funding


Participated in a planning meeting regarding the Value Added Ag Conference taking place in March 2004 in Brookings.  Will give presentation on agri-tourism.  

Was invited to speak to the attendees of the Women in Blue Jean’s Conference in Mitchell, January 2004, on agri-tourism.

Spoke with contact from Selby regarding a presentation in August on fall happenings in the state. 

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Completed report on the “Have You Been To … ?” campaign held during National Tourism Week.  Reviewed passport game cards.  Began planning for the 2004 campaign.

Continued working with the National Cowboy Mounted Shooting (NCMS) Championships set for June 2004.  Provided additional South Dakota information to be used in their publications.  Continued discussing further promotional opportunities for the event, which will draw more than 200 competitors, their families, and a number of vendors.

Lined up itinerary for the American Profile: Lewis and Clark (NPR) show, and working to find colorful characters to interview.  Producer and host to be in South Dakota in August.

Contacted media to generate interest in covering the Buffalo Roundup.  Began building an itinerary for Buffalo Roundup media tour, including a custom itinerary for Endless Vacations

Hosted the Washington Times on a trip across South Dakota.  Interviewed and/or provided information to Insider’s Guide to South Dakota, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Men’s Journal, Aberdeen American News, Family Travel Network, Federal Reserve Bank, Discover America, KSDR AM (Watertown), KYNT AM (Yankton), KOTA AM (Rapid City), KLGR AM (Redwood Falls, Minnesota), Midwest Living, Unlimited Magazine, Oxbridge Communications of New York, CBS News New York, Fox News 11 LA, Fox News in New York, Armed Forces Network, Dallas Morning News, Timber Lake Topic, TL Enterprises, and a book author.

Secured tracking service for the satellite feed of the Jazz Fest in Sioux Falls.   

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence: Aberdeen American News (18,000) two articles for ad equivalence of $214; Rapid City Journal (35,465) four articles for ad equivalence of $1,240; Sioux Falls Argus Leader (73,167) three articles for ad equivalence of $365; and Capital Journal (4,636) two articles for ad equivalence of $49.  Total ad equivalence is $1,868.

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Continued to work to bring live.

Finalized plans and sent meeting information for pre-convention caucus in Pierre in September to South Dakota’s 63 members of the National Tour Association (NTA) and the American Bus Association (ABA).  Researched and requested 60 appointments with tour operators for the NTA fall annual convention meeting.  Sent NTA postcards with South Dakota delegates’ names to all 865 NTA members. 

Drafted itinerary for representative of All West Coach Lines/A Coach USA Company, California for a trip in July to Hill City, Black Hills, Badlands, Rapid City, and Deadwood.

Met with representative of a museum in northeast South Dakota to discuss promotional ideas for group tours. 

Attended Legislative Forum where Manitoba, North Dakota, Minnesota, and South Dakota unveiled the new 2Nations Tourism promotion program with itineraries.  Sent information on 2Nation Tours to 40 travel trade publications.

Secured rooms in Rapid City for Osamu Hoshino’s hosting in September for a group from Japan.

Returned proof-book of Buffalo Roundup to an Italian author who is in the process of finding a publisher for her book.

Prepared itinerary for a journalist from the United Kingdom, writing for Global magazine and Living Abroad magazine, for late July to include Rapid City, Custer, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Deadwood, Black Hills, Badlands, and Pierre.

Prepared itinerary for an Australian travel writer and author living in New York.  He will be visiting Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Badlands, Rapid City, Black Hills, and Deadwood.

Edited South Dakota’s portion of Rocky Mountain International’s publication, Real America Guide.

Sent requested information to Vicky Troy, Virginia; Carrie Bremer, Oregon; Cindy Walker, Texas; Frankenmuth Travel Service, Michigan; Car & Travel Tours, Pennsylvania; Caravan Tours, Illinois; Scott Carter, Missouri; Nationwide Travelers Tours, Inc., Wisconsin; Cruise, Tour & Travel Expo, Minnesota; The Jewels International, South Dakota; Happy Time Tours, Ltd. and UTA – Reisen, Canada;  Gerrit Postma and Jacob Van Splunter, The Netherlands; Titan Hi Tours, United Kingdom; and Laeskijen, Norway.

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Fulfilled requests for travel information from offices in Colorado, Iowa, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Canada.

Sent invitations to 80 AAA offices announcing a tour in September.

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Edited first mock-up and coordinated review of birding trail guide by members of the steering committee.  Plan to have the guidebook printed by early September.

Edited first mock-up of updated Adventure Travel Guide.  Wrote cut-lines for all photos in the book.

Upcoming Outdoors Hostings:

   Lined up fishing location and Lewis and Clark site visits for the Northland Adventures television series.  Show filmed in late July, and airing planned for early August.

   Secured dates and locations for the Benelli’s American Safari and A Dog’s Life television series’ filming in November.

  Winchester, Ruger and Browning Fall Shoot Hunt will take place at Goose Lake Management near Corsica for 17 to 20 writers and company representatives in November.  Continued making initial contact with participants.

   Began making arrangements for a co-sponsored goose hunt with Cabela’s in December for five to six writers.

   Lined up locations and writers for a mid-season duck hunt in northeast South Dakota.  Writers will represent WildFowl, Racine Journal Times (Wisconsin), Sports Afield, and Gun Dog.

   Continued work on travel and personality arrangements for Field and Stream Radio.  Show will broadcast during the Ringneck Festival in Huron.

   Continued work on Hunting with Hank; Upland Days with Dash and Dez; and Dez Young’s Wingshooter’s Journal, all television, for a pheasant hunt in the Pierre area.

   Worked with Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World (BPSOW) editor on a waterfowl and upland hunt in Marshall and Brown counties.

   Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Association Show to film in the Pierre area in October.  Worked on schedule for the shoot.

   Writer for Bowhunting Times, Whitetail Journal, Bowhunt America, and Wheeling Sportsman will hunt antelope, deer, and grouse near Buffalo in September and October.

   Working with Outdoor Expeditions International to line up a television program shoot as well as an outdoor writer hosting in the Pierre area for late October.

   Lined up hunt for Whitetail Adventures television program (Outdoor Channel) for deer in Harding County in November.

Sent letters to 534 landowners and hunting guides/outfitters statewide regarding late-season pheasant hunting opportunities and promotional programs Tourism offers.

Set up tours of the Capitol and Cultural Heritage Center for attendees of the Varmint Hunters Association annual conference.

Interviewed and provided information to Safari magazine;; Precision Angling; Omaha World Herald; Outside; Gun Dog; Pointing Dog Journal; and Retrieving Dog Journal.  Was a guest on “The Outdoor Connection” on KODY-Nebraska, for a live interview which was re-aired twice.  Covered general fishing, hunting, and camping in South Dakota.  Mailed press kits/information to WHO Radio, Iowa; a freelance writer from New York City; a children’s author from West Virginia; North American Media Group, Minnesota; and a freelance writer from British Columbia.

Fulfilled requests for information as a result of the Outdoor News mailing.

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Created “production packet” request form on 

Contacted by a film studio regarding a feature film.  They were looking for specific cityscapes in central and western South Dakota.  Contacted by a production studio regarding farmscapes for a feature film.  Sent them production packets and several locations in eastern South Dakota.  Contacted by a Los Angeles film studio regarding locations for a feature film project.  Two individuals for the studio scouted South Dakota in July.  Took another filmmaker from Minneapolis on a location scout for an independent feature film.  He will be coming back to South Dakota for the Sturgis Rally as the film centers around this event.

Contacted by a production studio in Los Angeles regarding crew and helicopter services in the Black Hills.  They are shooting a documentary on the Sturgis Rally for the Discovery Channel.  Contacted by HBO regarding their “Deadwood” series.  A location scout for the project scouted the end of July.

Attended the 2003 ReWind International Media Festival in Rapid City.  This festival is for micro-cinema movie makers and fans.  This event is in its third year, and it has grown by 400% in three years.  Many of the filmmakers are in attendance, which gives the audience a unique opportunity to discuss films and filmmaking with up-and-coming industry members.  Presented seminar with the focus on small budget movie making, the Black Hill's film community, the potential to grow, and digital filmmaking.

Researched several old movies that were shot in South Dakota for a documentary.  Currently looking for copies of these movies.

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For June, the car count at the Information Centers was up 11.6 percent over June 2002, for the highest June count on record.  Car count for Canadian visitors was up 11.7 percent, and it was up 8.9 percent for international visitors over the previous June.  There were 130 motorcoaches/buses, 16 were international.  Travel tape and CD loans were up 13.2 percent over June 2002. 

Following are examples of comments from visitors’ comment cards”

“This is the first rest stop in my years of traveling where there are wonderful people here to help/assist you plan your vacation and see all there is to see.”  St. Louis, Missouri

“Your staff is wonderful to visitors.  The staff is well informed, helpful and friendly.  The center is stocked with excellent reading materials and maps.”  Florida

Hired additional staff for the Information Center at Salem and the Lewis and Clark (L&C) Center near Chamberlain.  Worked with the Department of Transportation to get additional signage to promote this Information Center.  Developed a day-to-day L&C journal for use by the staff.

Worked on draft of the Information Center newsletter.

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To date, have recognized 428 individuals/businesses with the Governor’s Certificate, 97 have received the foil star for a second recognition, and 36 have received a gold lapel pin for a third recognition.  Reviewed nomination forms/letters for this program.   

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Letters were sent to the 2002 travel show co-op partners to notify them that this co-op program has been discontinued.

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Total FY2004 Inquiries through 08-01-03

Mail: 13,656
Internet (e-mail):
Phone:  3,456

Total FY2003 Inquiries through 08-01-02:

Mail: 9,950
Internet (e-mail): 11,356
Phone:  3,641

This is an overall increase in inquiries of 9.9 percent over FY2003.  (This does not include hits/visits to Tourism’s Web site.)

Calculated number of page views at 850,694 on Tourism’s web site for the period of July 1-31, 2003 (missing three days), for a daily average of 30,382 over a 28-day period.  This compares to calculated page views of 852,193 for the period of July 1-31, 2002, (missing one day) for a daily average of 28,406 over a 30-day period.  This is an increase in daily average of page views of 7.0 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 June 2003 June 2002 Difference
Southeast 75.8% 74.0% 1.8%
Great Lakes & Prairies 54.5% 64.0% -9.5%
*Great Lakes 55.7% 68.5% -12.9%
Black Hills/Badlands 73.1% 75.9% -2.8%
Statewide Avg. 69.0% 72.7% -3.6%
* (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 June 2003 June 2002 Difference
Southeast 44.8% 52.7% -7.9%
Glacial Lakes & Prairies 49.1% 62.4% -13.3%
*Great Lakes 47.0% 62.4% -15.4%
Black Hills/Badlands 53.7% 59.6% -5.9%
Statewide Avg. 51.2% 59.5% -8.4%
* (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.) 

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The deadline for submitting applications for the art show/auction for the 2004 Lewis and Clark Signature Event has been extended to August 15.  Plan to attend the next meeting in August.

Prepared mailing and press release for the statewide Lewis and Clark meeting to be held in Mobridge in August at the Sacagawea Learning Center.  Agenda includes the Great Lakes of South Dakota Association, Department of Game, Fish and Parks, Standing Rock Tourism Office, and tours of the Learning Center and Fort Manuel Replica near Kenel. 

Met with representatives of the Sierra Club to discuss their plans for the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial.

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Notified Native American artists of extension of deadline to apply for the art auction and show at the Signature Event in 2004.

Attended Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates meeting, as well as an Okiciapiye meeting.

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Fulfilled photo/slide requests to State Publishing, Priority Management, Department of Game, Fish and Parks, South Dakota Rural Electric Association, South Dakota Historical Society, US Department of Agriculture, Office of Schools and Public Lands, and Comprehensive Media Group, Pierre; Bear Butte State Park, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Vermillion; HMS Enterprises, GVS Design Company, and Western Souvenirs, Rapid City; South Dakota Magazine, Yankton; Henkin Schultz and Paulson Marketing, Sioux Falls; AAA Home & Away Magazine, Nebraska; and American Cowboy Magazine, Wyoming.

Fulfilled video requests to Sioux Falls CVB for the John Stewart show and to Media Factory, Venice, California, for a Japanese educational video.

Forwarded list of needed photography equipment to supervisor. 

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Mailed surveys to the 36 warm season Giant Step partners.   Will mail survey to the Great Getaways partners in August.

The shoulder season Giant Step has 36 partners.  The insert will run in the following magazines: September/October issue of Midwest Living; and October issues of Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies Home Journal, Country Home, and More in the states of Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado, North Dakota, and South Dakota for a circulation of 1.72 million households.  The shoulder season Great Getaways will be inserted into the following newspapers in September: Winnipeg Free Press, Manitoba; Worthington Globe, Marshall Independent, and West Central Reminder, Minnesota; Bismarck Tribune, North Dakota; Des Moines Register and Sioux City Journal, Iowa; Omaha World Herald, Nebraska; and Sioux Falls Argus Leader for a total circulation of 837,940.

Created full-page ads to promote fall travel for placement in Home & Away, Sunset, and Travel America magazines.

Sent Travelsmart (permission e-mail), which had a Lewis and Clark theme, to approximately 90,832 recipients.  Added new events and packages links to message.

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Copied city page ads developed by Tourism for the 2003-2004 South Dakota Vacation Guide, and forwarded files to respective regions.  This office has discontinued the city page rebate program, and has turned over the funding/files on this to each regional tourism association to handle as they wish.

Drafted stories for the Spring Summer Travel Trade that will be mailed in the winter to group tour operators, AAA/CAA travel counselors, and travel writers.

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Will mail tent cards and TNT video to partners in August.  Theme of this production is “Great Stories from South Dakotans.”  Video runs for approximately one year on in-house cable systems at lodging properties and on local cable channels.

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Processed 228 applications for the www co-op.  Of these, 128 requested the preferred partner listing, and there are five that need iPIX photos added to their listing on  Also on added new pages that have regional summaries; updated the Visitor Services Directory (VSD) to show 4,492 entries; updated the Archeology, Paleontology and Museums pages; added monthly features to Kid Zone; added a new group called Natural Attraction to the VSD; added Birding/Wildlife Viewing and Motorcycling under Outdoor/Seasonal; added categories to Shopping choices and Traveler Services groups; and added a popup survey to the “history and heritage” section.  Cross-checked a variety of listings and contacted museums and galleries to update that information on the VSD.  Built six screensavers: a general one, one for each region, and a Lewis and Clark one.

Mailed forms for the Calendar of Events program, which is free.  The listings of the visitor-related events in the state have event descriptions and contact information. 

Have 44 online vacation packages and 42 coupons listed on the Online Package and Coupon Promotion on  Magazine ads and weekly newspaper ads drive consumers to this web site.  Sent package updates to

Made several tests before launching the redesign of 

Updated marketing program pages with removals and additions on  Added press releases and created “Feature Articles” with slides, captions, and text on

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South Dakota Road Trip Television Co-op

Processed partner applications for this in-state promotion that will run after the local news on Sundays, from 10:30pm to 10:35pm, on KELO-TV and its satellites: KDLO, KPLO and KCLO to reach approximately 90 percent of South Dakota’s population, plus portions of Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska. 

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Compiled data for the second quarter web survey report.  Sent prize packages to winners from Maplewood, Minnesota, and Indianapolis, Indiana.  Survey results for the second quarter were compiled from 1,213 respondents and include:

51 percent had been to South Dakota before

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

73 percent said answered all of their travel questions

96 percent said they would recommend the site to another traveler

46 percent were referred to by a search engine

66 percent indicated it was their first time visiting

62 percent of the respondents are female; 35 percent are
            male 3 percent declined to answer

71 percent are married

51 percent  have children under 18 living at home

53 percent of the respondents are from the target states of
Minnesota (147 respondents), Wisconsin (111), Illinois (79), Iowa (75), Nebraska (53), Missouri and Texas (46), Colorado and North Dakota (31), and Indiana (26).

Top out-of-target-market states include California (48), Michigan (39), Ohio (34), Pennsylvania (28), Kansas and New York (22), and Florida (20). 

Interviewed visitors at Lewis and Clark Information Center, Laura Ingalls Wilder pageant and Homestead, and the State Capitol.  Input data from interviews at Wild Bill Hickok Days, Lewis and Clark Information Center, and Mount Rushmore.  Data summaries will be divided into two groups: events and attractions.

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Inquiries for May 2003 were up 9 percent over May 2002, and itinerary assistance requests were up 33 percent; June inquiries were down 2.5 percent, and itinerary assistance was even with 2002.

This program has been discontinued, effective July 31.

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Responded to media inquiries regarding the event.  Satellite feed was picked up on 540 television broadcasts for a reported audience of 26.2 million.  Compressed a 30-second clip of the fireworks to post on

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

Materials for the Roundup invitation have been ordered.  Assembly and mailing will occur in August.  Designed mockups of license plate and vehicle decals.

Contacted ammunition manufacturers to obtain shot shells for Hunt and trap shoot.  Finalized location details for trap shoot.  Lined up entertainment during the shoot.  Completed mockup of Hunt invitation for Governor to review, and contacted vendors for costs of materials.  Designed mockups for license plates and vehicle decals.  Completed jurying artist applications for participation in the First Lady’s Prairie Art Showcase.  Selected artists for the showcase along with a list of alternates, and notified all applicants.  Researching gift ideas for both events.   Have been involved in several meetings regarding both events.

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Siouxland Renaissance Festival, June 7-8, Sioux Falls: Will compile evaluation report. 

Wild Bill Hickok Days, June 13-15, Deadwood: Received 15 of 47 evaluations sent to event organizers, accommodations, restaurants, casinos, attractions, and retail businesses.  The event organizers felt the attendance met their expectations.  Attendance was estimated at 40,000, compared to 35,000 last year.  Contestants were from as far away as Florida, California, and Japan.  Visitors loved the free concerts and thought it was great family fun; one of the best parades ever seen; and friendly people.  Organizers reported that the most successful tools were radio and TV.  Media coverage included KNBN-TV, KOTA-TV, KEVN-TV, local radio stations, Rapid City Journal, Black Hills Pioneer, Lawrence County Centennial, Shoot magazine, and Cowboy magazine.  Local committee plans to add events.  Comments from the accommodations/casinos/retail businesses included: attendance met their expectations, saw a lot of advertising, nice mix of contestants, spectators, and concert goers.  Accommodations saw 10 to 40 percent increases.

Indian Day Celebration Pow Wow, June 20-22, Wagner: Mailed 25 evaluation forms to event organizer and area businesses.  Will compile evaluation report.

Crystal Springs Ranch Rodeo, June 27-29, Clear Lake: Will compile report from evaluations.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant, July 11-13, 18-20, and 25-27, De Smet: Will compile report from evaluations.

Burke Stampede Rodeo, July 11-13, Burke: Added event information to  Created, prepared, and mailed 10 media teasers consisting of leather gloves with South Dakota script and event flyer.  Mailed 18 evaluation forms to organizers and area businesses.

Frontier Days, August 15-17, White River: Added event information to  Worked on media teasers.  Distributed event buttons to travel counselors at Interstate Information Centers.  Placed newspaper ads in Midwest Messenger, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Bismarck Tribune, Ainsworth Star Journal, O’Neil Frontier/Holt County Independent, and Omaha World Herald.  Placed 30-second radio spot on KXNP and KVSH in Nebraska and KBME in North Dakota.

Lewis and Clark Heritage Days, August 16-17 and 22, Elk Point: Received approval from local committee on design of ads and poster and radio copy.  Will distribute event buttons to travel counselors at Information Centers.  Worked on media teasers.  Placed newspaper ads in Le Mars Daily Sentinel, Omaha World Herald, and Minneapolis Star Tribune.  Placed radio ads on KSUX, KKMA, and KWSL in Iowa.  Added information to

Harley Davidson’s 100th Anniversary Celebrations, “Thunder Across Dakota," August 23-25, Sturgis, Pierre, and Sioux Falls: Held conference call with committee for updates on promotional details.  Finalized media teasers, magazine ads, flyers and direct mail.  Sent media teasers (black bandana with event logo and die cast Harley Davidson motorcycle) to targeted contacts.  Updated web page, per request of Harley-Davidson representative.  Made plans to attend events.

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

Mickelson Trail Trek, September 19-21, Custer: Compiled a database of bike shops and clubs throughout the United States and will send them Trail Trek posters and registration forms.  Contacted the Rapid City Journal to discuss an advertising schedule as they donated advertising for the event.  Worked with vendor on jacket order for the riders and logo for embroidery on the jackets.  Worked on media teasers.  Placed newspaper ads for July and August in Denver Post, Sioux City Journal, and Omaha World Herald.  Drafted script and set up interviews for video presentation

Corn Palace Polka Festival, September 19-21, Mitchell: Placed a buy with the Big Show Joe television show for spots in July and August.  Proofed copy for postcards and radio spots.

Webster Area Pumpkin Festival, October 10-11, Webster: Placed ad for September issue of Family Fun magazine for distribution in Minnesota.  Proofed copy for postcards and radio spots.

Sacagawea Unity Fest, October 10-11, Mobridge: Designed ad for placement in American Cowboy and North Dakota Living.  Added event information to

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for May 2003 was down 19.2 percent at $159,458, as compared to $190,034 for May 2002.  The tourism tax deposited for May 2003 was down 1.0 percent at $153,792, compared to $155,319 for May 2002.  Revenue deposits for the Department for FY2003 are $5,960,915, as compared to $5,648,372 for FY2002.  This is an increase in revenue of 5.5 percent when comparing the same time period in FY2002.

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