South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: March 2003

March 2003

   MEMORANDUM TO: Governor M. Michael Rounds

   DATE: April 4, 2003

   FROM: Patricia Van Gerpen

   SUBJECT: Tourism’s March Monthly Status Report

You may download and print the entire March 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
Community/State Day
Great Events
Department Funding


Sent information on the Little Town Ambassador Contest to elementary schools in the state. 

Presented information on Agritourism to attendees at the Southwest and Sandhills Tourism Conference in Martin.

Fulfilled requests for Agritourism information packets (Farm and Ranch Vacation Resource Directory, Annual Report, MicroLoan brochure, and Small Business Development Center brochure).

Received evaluations from attendees at the Farm and Ranch Vacation Workshop at DDN sites in Pierre, Rapid City, Watertown, White River, Madison, Sioux Falls, Spearfish, and Yankton.  Speakers were from the Departments of Revenue, Agriculture, and Health; Governor’s Office of Economic Development; USDA Rural Development; and Garritys' Prairie Gardens.                      

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Edited 30-second commercial that includes one visual from each partner community for the “Have You Been To…?” campaign for National Tourism Week, May 10-18.  Partners include Aberdeen, Brookings, Huron, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Spearfish, and Watertown.  Placed television advertising orders and radio advertising orders.  Ordered stamps for the 37 attractions participating in the passport game.  Gathered price quotes on polo shirts that will be used for campaign partners and for the Information Center staff uniforms.  Provided copy to the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) regarding the campaign for TIA’s newsletter, media blitz, and web site.  Discussed media appointments.

Continued working on satellite feed plan for the Fort Sisseton Historical Festival in June.

Lined up lodging for the grand prize winner of a South Dakota trip that was part of a promotion across Florida by Clear Channel Communications, Florida.

Lined up statewide trip for Washington Post travel editor.

Interviewed by Fargo Forum and did a 20-minute radio interview with KSDR radio, Watertown. 

Sent invitations to staff at Audubon magazine and Prose and Photos, as well as freelance nature writers for the Great Faces. Great Birding Places. fam in May.  Followed up on other invitations. 

Met with 30 media representatives in New York City during a 4-Parks media blitz/reception.  Followed up with personal letters, press kits, and further information pertaining to each publication.  Story hits from the blitz include Working Mother and Wildlife Conservation.  Other entities represented include: Audubon, New York Times, New York Daily Post, Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, Forbes, Fitness, Bride, National Geographic Adventure, Travel Holiday, Travel Agent, Woman’s Day, Redbook, and others.  Mailed press kits and miscellaneous literature to media contacts who expressed interest, but were unable to attend.  Made contact with the executives with the "Live with Regis and Kelly" TV show prior to the New York City blitz. As a result of this, the South Dakota delegation visited the studio to watch the show and meet with Regis Philbin. Philbin showed photographs of his South Dakota visit during the March 7 show, focusing on Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Crazy Horse Memorial.  

Completed details for Denver Media Blitz with partner, Xanterra Parks and Resorts of Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore National Memorial.  Researched Denver print media plus television and radio stations and sent invitations via e-mail.  Met with representatives of the Denver-area media during a media blitz/reception.  Discussed story ideas and distributed press kits.  Lined up stories in the Denver Post and the Men’s Journal.  Other entities represented included travel writers, book authors, Muenker Media,, Lawrence Communications, and others.  Completed follow-up to those in attendance.  Did live radio interview with KTLK radio in Denver for their “Business for Breakfast” show, reaching an audience of 520,000.

Fulfilled requests for information to Peter St. James, New Hampshire; VISITOR Publishing, South Dakota; Cabela’s In the Field E-Magazine, Nebraska; The Washington Times, Washington DC; TravelAge West, New Jersey; Men’s Journal, New York; Mobile Motorist magazine, Illinois; Windsor Publishing, Georgia; The News Reporter, North Carolina; Martha Stewart Living magazine; and FedGazette.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence include Capital City Journal (4,636) two articles for total ad equivalence of $175; Sioux Falls Argus Leader (73,167) four articles for total ad equivalence of $4,926; and Rapid City Journal (35,465) with ad equivalence of $483.  Total ad equivalence is $5,584.

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Negotiated reprint of Group Tour Planning Guide covers since they did not extend to cover the tabs on divider pages due to printer error.  Expect delivery of 5,000 correct guides in April.

Continued making preparation 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.  Seven companies (10 participants) have signed up so far.

Sent information for American Bus Association (ABA) follow-up to 62 travel companies that the South Dakota delegation met with at ABA in Indianapolis.

Attended Rocky Mountain International (RMI) Roundup meeting in Rapid City to discuss final arrangements for RMI Roundup, hosted each year in one of the four partner states.  This year’s Roundup will be based in Rapid City.  There will be 32 tour operators including overseas offices.  There are 86 suppliers signed up to attend the tour operator marketplaces; 36 of these suppliers represent South Dakota businesses and destinations.  Planned pre- and post-RMI Roundup fams.  Pre-fams include: 1) Ranch Fam for Sissy Gibbs, America 4 You, California, at Husted Ranch, Custer; Wanbli Wacin Hin Ska, Manderson; Fortune Ranch, Belvidere; Handboy Creek, Trail City; and Cross S Ranch, Keldron.  2) Arranged two nights lodging for Tony Daly, United Kingdom, at Blue Bell Lodge in Custer State Park.  He will be doing a pre-RMI Roundup ranch visit.  He is arranging ranch visits on his own.  Post-fams include: 1) Black Hills for 10 participants who will be visiting Allen Ranch near Hot Springs, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Keystone, Hill City, Deadwood, Spearfish Canyon, Spearfish, and Rapid City.  2) Eastern South Dakota for four participants who will be visiting Watertown, Brookings, Sioux Falls, Native American Scenic Byway between Chamberlain and Pierre, Pierre, Badlands National Park, Wall, and Rapid City.  3) Other ranch visits for several who will be visiting Husted Ranch, Custer; Allen Ranch, Hot Springs, Wandli Wacin Hin Ska, Manderson; Fortune Ranch, Belvidere, Cross S Ranch, Keldron; Handboy Creek Ranch, Trail City; and Prairie Sky Ranch, Veblen.  4) Jetset, France, will be visiting Mount Rushmore National Memorial; Crazy Horse Memorial; Custer State Park; Deadwood; Medora, North Dakota, Wall; Badlands National Park; Pierre; Pine Ridge Indian Reservation; and Rapid City.

Worked on fam arrangements for ASTI, Germany, for two representatives who will be in South Dakota in April and traveling the Lewis and Clark Trail.

Met with 25 guests at the residence of the Counselor for Commercial Affairs for the U.S. Embassy in The Netherlands.  The RMI group (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and South Dakota) visited nine tour operator offices in The Netherlands and gave seminars and slide show presentations on the region.  Met with 53 attendees at the BIT trade show in Italy.

Along with a RMI staff member and a Wyoming Tourism staff member, we hosted a dinner for journalist Jean-Pierre Sylvestre in Paris.  RMI hosted a reception in Paris for 30 journalists and tour operators, and we obtained 11 leads.  Attended ITB tradeshow in Berlin and met with 66 tour operators and journalists.

Gave seminars in Reno to two of Frontier Tours & Travel’s travel clubs – 58 attendees from the Carson City travel club and 78 attendees from their Sparks Travel Club.  Both groups have trips planned to South Dakota this summer.  Made a presentation on the state to 12 Frontier Tours staff for tour expansions.

Made presentation to Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates for international market, role of tour operators and destinations, pricing your product, and tourism business ideas.

Participated in conference call with representatives from the tourism offices in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Manitoba to discuss 2 Nation Tours Resource Guide regarding its tour itineraries and distribution, plus other aspects of the program: fam tour, infrastructure, public relations, brochure exchange, and upcoming Legislative Forum in May.

Fulfilled requests for information from Harmony Tours, North Carolina; Treasures of America Tours, Illinois; Travel Weekly; Sunway Tours, South Carolina; Senior World Tours, Ohio; and Essentially America and Statesavers, Ltd., United Kingdom.

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Visited the AAA Minnesota/Iowa, AAA Minneapolis, and AAA Wisconsin/Milwaukee offices and distributed travel show co-op partner brochures and gifts.

Fulfilled requests for information to AAA/CAA offices and independent travel agencies in 24 states and three Canadian provinces: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota, Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan.  

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Sent insertion order and ad materials for May/June issue of Walleye Insider and June/July issue of In-fisherman.  Ordered 13,000 fishing postcards that promote fishing and a fishing vacation giveaway.  Will mail postcards to 10,000 subscribers from the two magazines above and 3,000 to previous fishing inquiries to Tourism.

Completed follow-up calls for the updated Adventure Travel Guide.  Updated listings and proofed copy.

Coordinating with the Department of Game, Fish and Parks and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to design and print the Birding Trail booklet that will list 40 birding locations in northeast South Dakota.  Set meeting for April to finalize booklet layout.  Expect to have printed booklets by the end of May. 

Interviewed and provided information to Turkey Call, Heartland USA, Men’s Journal, Outdoors Unlimited, Bass Pro Shop’s Outdoor World, and North Carolina News.

Assisted North American Hunter with information on the Lewis and Clark Trail.  Show will film Lewis and Clark sites and conduct interviews for show.

Assisted Ron Schara Enterprises in Black Hills and central South Dakota with story material.  Crew filmed in March.

Provided information to the Corn Palace CVB in regard to late-season pheasant hunting promotions.

Working with Cabela’s (fishing) and Winchester (hunting) to line up media trips.

Attended meetings in Pierre regarding the status of Lake Oahe.  Provided input regarding promotions to use to increase visitation and minimize negative publicity.

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Unveiled the new web site.  Will add weekly updates.  The first priority is to expand the location library.  Added “History and Hotline” pages and edited other new copy.  Interviewed by KOTA Radio in Rapid City regarding

Sent forms to approximately 500 crew listing contacts and services to update the film database and  Began updating returned resumes’ and services’ listings.  The crew and services lists are used to hire in-state talent when film projects come to South Dakota.

Attended meeting to discuss promotion of Deadwood in conjunction with the new HBO series, “Deadwood.”  Began working on compiling a list of travel section newspaper contacts around the country for a possible media teaser on the HBO series, as well as contacts for other promotions.  Working to set up a meeting with HBO representatives in Los Angeles during Location Expo Show in April.

Put together information on Dances with Wolves for a journalist who is writing an article about the movie for Friendly Exchange magazine.

Completed press check for the series of three postcards that promote South Dakota locations to location scouts and producers.  Expect delivery of 3,600 (1,200 of each design) in April.

Began working with a location scout from California regarding filming of a movie near Kadoka.

Contacted by a filmmaker from Washington regarding his feature film.  His crew wants to scout South Dakota next month.  Reviewed script and sent photo files to assist with his planning.

Contacted by a production representative from Minnesota regarding their feature film.  They will scout locations for this feature in May.  Reviewed script and sent photo files to assist with planning.

Worked on possible sponsorships for the ReWind Film Festival in Rapid City.

Sent production guides to four studios in New York, as well as studios in Maryland, California, Florida, Washington, Oregon, and Massachusetts. 

Notable Accomplishments
Both assisted by Film Office:

The feature film Skins was released on DVD/VHS March 25.  Skins was shot primarily in South Dakota.

The Dreamworks feature film Head of State starring Chris Rock, premiered in March and was the #1 movie in the country.  Head of State filmed in South Dakota in October of 2002.

Unveiled new web site.

Conducted two successful media blitzes - one in New York City and one in Denver - which have already resulted in broadcast air time and stories currently being written for several publications. The New York blitz also resulted in valuable air time nationally on the "Live with Regis and Kelly" daytime TV talk show.

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Reviewed 163 applications for the Information Center travel counselor positions across the state.  Sent interview letters with dates and places for interviews in Rapid City, Sturgis, Chamberlain, Mitchell, Vermillion, Wilmot, and Pierre.

Worked on the itinerary for the Information Center training tour and contacted hosts.  Tour will be May 1-9.  Group will take part in the Lit Swaps in Sioux Falls on May 5 and in Rapid City on May 7. 

Reserved poster display spots at the Information Centers for 52 co-op partners.  Space is still available at Salem EB, Wasta EB, and Wilmot. 

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Mailed approximately 1,900 brochures for the day-long management training workshop “Lead, Follow or Get Out of my Way” to be held in Pierre on April 23.  Information on the seminar is also online at  Hospitality training is one of four aspects of the Great Service Star program.

For 2003, we currently have 93 individuals/businesses that have received recognition for outstanding hospitality with the Governor’s Certificate, 20 have received the foil star for a second recognition, and six have received a gold lapel pin for a third recognition.

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

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Worked the Northwest Sportshow in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  This is a six-day show.  Attendance was good on the weekend. 

Worked the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  We were in a new location, and the attendance and interest level was extremely high.

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Total FY2003 Inquiries through 04-01-2003: 

Mail: 42,860
Internet (e-mail): 55,341
Phone:   15,910
Total: 114,111

Total FY2002 Inquiries through 04-01-2002:

Mail: 37,289
Internet (e-mail): 38,941
Phone:   18,848
Total: 95,078

This is an overall increase in inquiries of 20 percent over FY2002.  (This does not include hits/visits to Tourism’s Web site.)

Calculated number of page views at 527,974 on Tourism’s web site for the period of March 1-31, 2003, (missing three days) for a daily average of 18,856 over a 28-day period.  This compares to calculated page views of 456,618 for the period of March 1-31, 2002, (missing two days) for a daily average of 15,745 over a 29-day period.  This is an increase in daily average of page views of 19.8 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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Attended a Signature Event Arts subcommittee meeting in Chamberlain.  Will follow up with minutes of meeting to committee members who were unable to attend.  Attended a Signature Event planning meeting for public safety.  Representatives from the Department of Transportation, Corps of Engineers, and the South Dakota Highway Patrol were in attendance.  Will follow up with minutes for those committee members who were unable to attend.

Finalized listings for the Lewis and Clark Trail map/brochure.

Held brainstorming session to discuss ideas for two 30-second Lewis and Clark commercials.  Placed advertising orders for television campaign to run May 19-June 1.

Have received seven essays from fourth-grade students for the Lewis and Clark essay contest. 

Fulfilled requests for Lewis and Clark Trail information.

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Fulfilled requests for the Guide to Indian Reservations and Art and the Guide to the Great Sioux Nation.

Worked with the Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates (ATTA) on Signature Event projects.

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Fulfilled requests for photos to the Department of Game, Fish and Parks, State Publishing, Pierre Capitol Journal, Priority Management, and Pierre Chamber of Commerce, Pierre; Register-Lakota Printing, Chamberlain; The Outdoor Campus, Sioux Falls; Southeast South Dakota Tourism, South Dakota magazine, and Design Solutions, Yankton; Rapid City Journal, Gray Line Tours, and Moonlight Advertising, Rapid City; Custer State Park Resort Company, Custer; Spearfish Chamber of Commerce; Complete Media, Hartford; BOHAN Agency, Tennessee; AAA Home & Away magazine, Nebraska; Gorman-Navolio Corporation, Illinois; Boating Life magazine, Florida; and Travel Tips magazine, California.

Fulfilled requests for video footage to North American Media Group (ESPN project), Minnesota; Summer Productions (The Learning Channel project), Virginia; Human Resources Video, New York; and BOHAN, Tennessee.

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Continued placement of ads in travel sections of Sunday editions in Des Moines Register, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Omaha World Herald, Denver Post, Rapid City Journal, Aberdeen American News, and Sioux Falls Argus Leader to promote partners’ online packages and online coupon promotions found on

Researched marketing plan ideas for South Dakota/Yellowstone/
Northern Wyoming (4 Parks) online co-op.  Set up conference call with all partners.  Received a vacation package from Black Hills Central Reservations to be awarded as a prize for the online promotion.  Drawing will be held May 1.

Placed magazine ads for Lewis and Clark in March issues of Midwest Living, Endless Vacation, and Preservation and April issues of Family Fun and Along the Trail with Lewis and Clark.

Placed magazine ads in March issue of Home & Away; April issues of Good Housekeeping and American Heritage; May issue of Budget Travel; May/June and July/August issues of National Parks; and June/July issue of Family Fun.

Coordinated revisions to the 30- and 60-second peak season campaign’s TV spots.  Placed media order for ad schedule starting on April 9. 

Spring 2003 Giant Step magazine insert was published in April issue of Better Homes & Gardens, which has a circulation of 1.6 million.  Copy of the magazine was sent to each co-op partner.

Sent ad proofs for partner review for the peak season Great Getaways newspaper insert.  Sent print order to printer after receiving proofed copies from partners.  Drafted copy for newspaper ad to precede Great Getaways drop in seven Iowa newspapers.

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Worked on cover designs for the state highway map, as well as copy and photos for the rest of the back side of the map that Tourism designs.  The Department of Transportation completes and coordinates the information on the front of the map.  One million maps will be printed and delivered in early June.

Updated the Lewis and Clark Information Center brochure, and 50,000 copies will be printed and delivered in early June.

Updated the Great Parks and Monuments brochure and sent to the printer. 

Designed Fall Travel Trade and sent to printer.

Worked on design and layout for the new Lewis and Clark Trail map/brochure, which included researching archives for sketches from journals and contacting the Missouri Historical Society.

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Made changes to the Visitor Services Directory, which now shows 4,404 entries, and updated golf course, fuel facts, great events information, and Calendar of Events listings on  Added information on management training seminar and monthly report to  Added Travel Trade and press releases with downloadable, high-resolution photos to

Will make follow-up calls to the web co-op partners who currently have the 360-degree photos.  Will set up iPIX (360-degree photos) shooting schedule in late spring.

Integrated new search and results system for the vacation packages and coupons on  Added 11 new online vacation packages and 22 coupons for a total of 30 vacation packages and 22 coupons in 19 cities and 23 categories.  Sent all packages to be added to web site.

Researched search engine registrations and submitted to’s directory and verified’s listing on  Signed up for two “pay-for-performance” link services.

Designed a spring themed e-mail for the March Travelsmart and sent to 76,044 subscribers.

Drafted plan for a South Dakota Lewis and Clark Trail geocaching game – a high-tech treasure hunt.

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Compiled data for the first quarter web survey report.  Sent prize packages to winners from Hinsdale, Illinois, and Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Survey results for the first quarter were compiled from 1,038 respondents and include:

51 percent had been to South Dakota before

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

73 percent said answered all of their travel questions

97 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

61 percent of the respondents are female; 36 percent are male; 3 percent declined to answer

72 percent are married

49 percent have children under 18 living at home

51 percent of the respondents are from the target states of:

Minnesota (133 respondents), Wisconsin (95), Iowa (61), Illinois (57), Missouri (43), Nebraska (35), Colorado (33), Texas (29), Indiana (26), and North Dakota (20).

Top out-of-target-market states include California (38), Michigan (33), Pennsylvania (30), Ohio and New York (24), and Washington and New Jersey (22).

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Hired Nicole Poppen, Dakota Sate University, for electronic marketing; Jason Salzman, South Dakota State University, for photography; Rebecca Rodgers, Augustana, for public relations; Alicia Hicks, Minnesota State at Mankato, for research; and Stephanie Stanina, North Dakota State University, for Information Centers and hospitality.

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Worked on logo design for Community/State Day which will be held in early June.  Event is being coordinated by the Governor’s Office and Department of Health.

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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 follow-up with Humanities for the report they will complete for the Smithsonian.

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Siouxland Renaissance Festival, June 7-8, Sioux Falls: Sent insertion order and ad materials for full-page ad in the May/June issue of Renaissance magazine.  Began design of event poster – local committee will print.

Wild Bill Hickok Days, June 13-15, Deadwood: Worked on media teasers, with assistance from Deadwood as they will provide materials.  Edited ad and poster copy.

Indian Day Celebration Pow Wow, June 20-22, Wagner: Finalized ad and placed it in May/June issue of Native Peoples magazine.

Crystal Springs Ranch Rodeo, June 27-29, Clear Lake: Nothing to report this month.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant, July 11-13, 18-20, and 25-27, De Smet: Sent information to the local committee contact regarding the Reader Service listing for Family Fun magazine.  Placed ads in May/June issue of Travel Tips and June/July issue of Family Fun magazine.

Burke Stampede Rodeo, July 11-13, Burke: Completed marketing/budget plan.  Will complete design for poster and newspaper ads in April. 

Frontier Days, August 15-17, White River: Drafted marketing/budget plan and routed for comments.

Lewis and Clark Heritage Days, August 16-17 and 22, Elk Point: Drafted marketing/budget plan.

Harley Davidson’s 100th Anniversary Celebrations, “Thunder Across Dakota, August 23-25, I-90 Corridor – Sturgis, Pierre, and Sioux Falls: Sent insertion order to Easy Rider magazine.  Held conference call with partners to finalize promotional plan.  Contacted Harley Davidson corporate office for updates on nationwide event and sent copy for H.O.G. Tales magazine.

Great Black Hills Quilt Show and Sale, September 7-10, Hill City: Designed oversized postcard to be sent to 2,000 quilting guilds and fabric/quilting stores.  Expect delivery in April.  Designed and placed ads for July/August issues of Quiltmaker and Midwest Living and August issue of McCall’s Quilting.

Mickelson Trail Trek, September 19-21, Custer: Will attend meeting in April to discuss marketing plan.

Corn Palace Polka Festival, September 19-21, Mitchell: Expect delivery of 600 postcards in April to be used to promote the event to group tour operators.  Sent ad copy to The Polka News, Music and Dance News, and Texas Polka News to meet April deadlines.

Webster Area Pumpkin Festival, October 10-11, Webster: Finalized marketing plan/budget.  Worked on designing a logo for the event, newspaper ads, and a postcard.  Will send ideas/designs to the local committee for approval.

Sacagawea Unity Fest, October 10-11, Mobridge: Will set up a meeting in April with local committee.

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for February 2003 was up 1.6 percent at $139,388, as compared to $137,239 for February 2002.  The tourism tax deposited for February 2003 was up 3.5 percent at $142,462, compared to $137,616 for February 2002.  Revenue deposits for the Department for FY2003 are $5,166,576, as compared to $4,694,079 for FY2002.  This is an increase in revenue of 10.1 percent for the fiscal year, when comparing the same time period in FY2002.

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