South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: November 2003

November 2003

   MEMORANDUM TO: John Calvin

   DATE: December 6, 2003

   FROM: Patricia Van Gerpen

   SUBJECT: Tourism’s November Monthly Status Report

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


Governor's Conference on Tourism
Rural Tourism Development
Public Relations
Group Tour
Information Centers
Lewis and Clark Promotions
Native American Tourism Development
Travel Market Advertising

Winter Campaign
World Wide Web
Great Events

Great Shoulder Events
Department Funding


Held various committee meetings to organize event.  Continued to contact sponsors, as sponsorship funds cover the costs of the conference.  Contacted speakers, provided conference session details, and drafted contracts.  Sent registration flyer to printer, which will be delivered and mailed in early December, and added registration information to  Continued to work on the annual report.  Received 28 applications from South Dakota Made producers, who will be juried for an invitation to show their products at the Conference. 

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Attended a Black Hills Community Economic Development meeting in Hill City to discuss the goals of the Mickelson Trail Coalition. 

Set the Farm/Ranch Vacation Workshop for February 13 at DDN sites in Aberdeen, Brookings, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Madison, and Vermillion.  More sites will be added, depending on interest and availability.

Gave presentation and distributed information on the Lewis and Clark Trail Bicentennial and the Farm/Ranch Vacation Workshop to Resource, Conservation, and Development (RC&D) Council members in Miller.

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Made follow-up calls to meteorologists in our target markets regarding invitations to the 2004 Winter Weather Meteorologist Tour, set in January in the Deadwood area.  Tour includes snowmobiling, skiing, visiting attractions, and a seminar from the National Weather Service.

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

Began brainstorming themes for 2004 National Tourism Week. Will again work with CVBs statewide.

Was a guest on South Dakota Public Television’s “Forum,” which focused on rural and outdoor tourism.  Continued making plans for a summer 2004 Lewis and Clark press trip.  Trip tentatively to include jet skiing, kayaking and camping.

Provided information and/or interviews to: Copley News Service; Unlimited Magazine; Dakota Radio Group; The Discovery Channel; North American Media Group; Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel; Rapid City Journal; Bob Willis, a freelance writer who writes for American Cowboy; Sioux Falls Argus Leader for rock climbing story; and Tony Mangan on KCCR for story on Tourism Conference.

Press hits with circulation and ad equivalence include Motor Coach West (2925) with ad equivalence of $9,250; Friendly Exchange (6,010,894) with ad equivalence of $6,875; and The Most Unusual Museums in the US: Copley News Service sent out over the wire – 1,500 newspapers – no ad equivalence.  Total ad equivalence of $16,125.

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Mailed Great News piece to 9,500 domestic and international tour operators and journalists.  The newsletter contains fam tour information, events and festivals, birding, and a Lewis and Clark itinerary.

The group co-op ad appeared in Packaged Travel Insider magazine; and as a result, we’ve had a request for a fam and information from a tour operator with whom we haven’t previously worked.

Approved group co-op coupon and added information on the launch of the new web site.  Will mail coupon and co-op ad to all domestic tour operators on our database.  Sent e-mail announcement to tour operators regarding the launch of group tour website.  Contacted Minnesota, North Dakota, and Manitoba for web site link to the 2Nation Tours itinerary for web site.

Attended National Tour Association (NTA) annual convention and met with 55 tour operators.  Researched and requested appointments with 60 tour operators for American Bus Association (ABA) Marketplace in January.  Sent NTA tour operator show leads to 67 NTA/ABA members.

Coordinated with Rocky Mountain International (RMI), Cheyenne, Wyoming, to set up international marketing seminar to be held on January 23 in Pierre, following the Tourism Conference.

Sent individual follow-up letters and brochures to 21 participants at Delta Showcase that RMI attended on our behalf.  Held meetings/trainings in Paris for tour operators and journalists.  Participated in Showcase Italy with RMI states and met with 24 tour operators and many travel agents.

Fulfilled requests for information/tour helps to Travel Times Tours, Iowa; Aase Rostad, Norway; and Vacances Fabuleuses, France.

Contacted a representative in Italy with statistics, websites, and travel information on South Dakota for a possible sister city relationship.  Working with Economic Development on this project.

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Fulfilled requests for travel information to AAA/CAA offices and independent travel agencies in Colorado, Oklahoma, and Canada.

Researching value and logistics of doing monthly e-mail blasts to AAA offices nationwide.

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Updated the Outfitters and Guides Directory, which contains free listings from those who submitted information.

Fulfilled requests for information to Amity Moore, NAHRA News, Montana; Margaret Backenheimer, Chicago Tribune; and Suzanne Carmel, Mobil Travel Guide, Illinois.

Made final edits to Outdoor News mailing and sent to printer.  It will be mailed in early December to approximately 3,000 outdoor writers and editors.

Worked on distribution plan for the Glacial Lakes and Prairies Birding Trail booklet, which will arrive in early December.

Hosted Buck McNeely’s Outdoorsman on a pheasant hunt near Aberdeen and a pheasant and goose hunt near Pierre.  Shows will be edited in December and will air in February or March of 2004.  Since The Outdoorsman is syndicated, the show(s) will continue airing.

Hosted Focus Outdoors crew on a three-day hunt, with plans to air the show in the second quarter of 2004.

Hosted 14 writers at Goose Lake Management near Corsica for the Winchester on the Ruger and Browning Fall Shoot.  Combined circulation of magazines represented is more than 10 million.  Completed follow-up to all writers and sponsors involved.

Traveled to the Huron Ringneck Festival and was interviewed by Field and Stream Radio regarding pheasant hunting and general outdoor recreation opportunities.  Show was broadcast live November 8, and segments re-aired on various stations throughout the month.

Hosted Benelli’s American Safari, A Dog’s Life and Beretta World crew and hosts of shows in central South Dakota.  Filmed at the Krull Lodge, Tumbleweed Lodge, Shur-Shot Lodge, and Tinker Kennels.  Shows to air throughout 2004.

Continued making arrangements for a Fall Goose and Pheasant Hunt/Camp in the Pierre area for December.  Have six writers and one television show confirmed to attend.  Worked to obtain additional devices for the writers to use.

Assisted in the hosting of BF Goodrich Outdoors, which filmed a pheasant hunt near Vivian.  Show will air in the first quarter of 2004.

Began making plans for an early June fishing camp on Lake Oahe.  Contacted major fishing media and sent out invitations.

Assisted in the hosting of North American Outdoors on a deer hunt near Onida.  Show to air in the third quarter of 2004.

Provided information and/or interviews to Aberdeen American News, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Oklahoma Wildlife Society, The Sportsman’s Channel,, St. Paul Pioneer Press, and Fargo Forum.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence include The Outdoorsmen (17,000) with ad equivalence of $665 and The Upland Almanac (7,500) with ad equivalence of $1,500.  Total ad equivalence of $2,165.

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Car count at the Information Centers for the month of October was up from October 2002 by 8.2 percent.  Car count for Canadian visitors was up from October 2002 by 32.8 percent.  For all other international visitors, the car count was up from October 2002 by 15.4 percent.  There were 16 motorcoaches/buses at the Information Centers, and two were international.

The travel tape program was up 26.3 percent for the year over 2002. 

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For 2003, we currently have 905 individuals/businesses that have received recognition for hospitality with the Governor’s Certificate, 352 have received the foil star for a second recognition, and 178 have received a gold lapel pin for a third recognition.  Approved 114 applicants for usage of the Great Service Star in advertising programs.

Organized the applications for the annual George S. Mickelson Great Service award, which will be presented at the Tourism Conference in January.  Applications will be reviewed by the Tourism Advisory Board.

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Total FY2004 Inquiries through 12-01-03

Mail:   32,634
Internet (e-mail):
Phone:     7,389
Total: 66,403

Total FY2003 Inquiries through 12-01-02:

Mail: 28,609
Internet (e-mail): 26,514
Phone:    8,035
Total: 63,158

This is an overall increase in inquiries of 5.1 percent over FY2003.  (This does not include hits/visits to Tourism’s Web site.)

Calculated number of page views at 406,690 on Tourism’s web site for the period of November 1-30, 2003, for a daily average of 13,556 over a 30-day period.  This compares to calculated page views of 372,517 for the period of November 1-30, 2002, for a daily average of 12,417 over a 30-day period.  This is an increase in daily average of page views of 9.2 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 October
Southeast 62.7% 66.3% -3.7%
Glacial Lakes & Prairies 61.7% 60.1% 1.7%
*Great Lakes 59.5% 58.8% 0.7%
Black Hills/Badlands 50.3% 46.8% 3.5%
Statewide Avg. 56.4% 55.3% 1.0%
* (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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Reviewed Lewis and Clark Minutes for South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

Coordinated the statewide Lewis and Clark (L&C) Trail meeting in Mitchell.  Discussed Signature Event preparations, and attendees reported on L&C activities in their communities/areas.  There were 13 people in attendance.  The next meeting will be held February 18 at the Pierre Chamber.

Discussed whether to list artists online in a catalog versus a printed version of the artwork that will be available at the Art Auction during the Signature Event, “Oceti Sakowin Experience: Remembering and Educating.”   The National Lewis and Clark Council is conducting a mandatory meeting for all Signature Event planners in January in St. Louis.  Plan to attend with representative from the Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates.

Working on setting up a meeting in December with representatives from the three communities that will host the National Park Service’s (NPS) traveling exhibit, Corps II, in 2004.  Plan to contact the schools regarding the exhibits.

Assisted with a Lewis and Clark Trail display/project for the Governor at the Washington Pavilion.

Decorated a Christmas tree at the State Capitol, and tree decorations included ornaments from the Lewis and Clark Trail states.

Met with representative of the National Guard regarding their involvement in the Bicentennial Commemoration.

Served as a panelist for the Southeast Legislative information workshops held in Vermillion, which were hosted by the Sioux Falls Chamber.  There were eight legislators in attendance.

Contacted by the U.S. Postal Service about the Lewis and Clark commemorative postage stamp that will be issued next May.  They are considering a first day issue ceremony in each of the Lewis and Clark Trail states.

Attended national Lewis and Clark meetings in Kentucky in conjunction with the Falls of the Ohio Signature Event.  Daphne Richards Cook, Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates Executive Director, also attended.  Chaired the Circle of State Advisors meeting at which a new chairperson was elected.  Attended some of the Signature Event festivities and found the attendance to be low.  It was pointed out to the Trail states that the commemoration should not be measured in visitation.  Will host the National Council’s August 2004 meeting at Cedar Shore in Oacoma during the South Dakota Signature Event.

The National Ad Council’s Lewis and Clark campaign is scheduled to begin the end of November, using three themes: Risk/Exploration, Cultural Awareness, and Stewardship. 

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Continued working with the Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates (ATTA) on planning for the Signature Event and other tribal tourism projects.

Denelle High Elk, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, is the new chairperson of Okiciapiye – the coordinating group for the Native American Scenic Byway.  (She replaces Cy Maus who moved to Florida.)

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Fulfilled requests for photos/slides to State Publishing, Department of Game, Fish and Parks, South Dakota Lottery, South Dakota Nurses Association, Great Lakes Association, Dakota Conference, Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce, and Chief Justice David Gilbertson, Pierre; South Dakota magazine and Southeast South Dakota Tourism Association, Yankton; TDG Communications, Deadwood; Aberdeen CVB; Sioux Falls CVB, freelancer Don Doorn, Laurence and Schiller, Sioux Falls; Fort Hays, Rapid City; freelancer Jean Berck, Lead; freelancer Jana Miles, Humboldt; Glacial Lakes and Prairies Tourism Association, Watertown; Rocky Mountain International, Wyoming; Bowhunting Times, Tennessee; and Best Bargains in Golf, Ontario.

Fulfilled video requests: sent stock video to Freelance Media Productions, Denver; buffalo footage to Paha Sapa Filmworks for a documentary, New York City; Lewis and Clark related footage to Idaho Public Broadcasting; and stock footage to Gowdy Productions, Massachusetts, for a hunting show. 

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Researched costs and production options for putting the Travel News Television into DVD format for partners and for distribution at the Interstate Information Centers for 2004.

Received approval for the online marketing project, which includes a sweepstakes, for the 4Parks co-op with Wyoming and Montana for Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Glacier National Parks.  Contacted a web site for information and to get an insertion order.

Created winter theme for Travelsmart and sent to 89,362 subscribers.  Responded to inquiries from mailing.  Discovered a new list hosting service and prepared for a test run.

Placed ads in travel sections of Rapid City Journal and Aberdeen American News to promote online vacation packages.

Worked on design and arrangements for the printing of the peak season 16-page, 4-color Giant Step magazine insert for placement in Better Homes & Gardens, Country Home, Midwest Living, Ladies Home Journal, and More.  It will reach readers in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota, plus the metro areas of Kansas City, Missouri, and Dallas, Texas.

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Received specifications for the pages in the South Dakota Vacation Guide.  Contacted the Department of Transportation to confirm that they will print the map that is inserted in the Vacation Guide.

Completed redesign of the Travel Trade – now known as Great News – that is sent to domestic and international group tour operators and journalists three times a year.

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Contacted the surrounding states to request their snowmobile club mailing lists for use in the snowmobile/winter packet mailing.

Designed full page ad “Easy Winter Escapes” for the January/February issue of Midwest Living.  Ad features packages. 

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On Completed updates to Visitor Services Directory (VSD) for a total of 4,567 entries. There are 53 vacation packages and 23 coupons on  Sent package updates to  Met with Bureau of Information and Telecommunications regarding progress on self-maintenance for the VSD.  Added list and location map of the 2004 Great Shoulder Events.  Currently have 625 entries on the Calendar of Events.  Created a landing page for the Glacial Lakes and Prairies Birding Trail.  Included links to a PDF of the birding trail guidebook as well as links to pertinent Game, Fish and Parks web pages.  Continued to move the Kid Zone into the redesign.  Created a new header image.

On Updated program information for the Giant Step co-op and added application form.  Added general information on the 2004 Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

Checked’s ranking with several keyword and phrase combinations on search engines. 

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Crystal Springs Ranch Rodeo, June 27-29, Clear Lake: Worked on evaluation report.

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

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

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

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

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

Sacagawea Unity Fest, October 10-11, Mobridge: Worked on evaluation report.

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Black Hills Horse Expo, March, Rapid City
Frontier Days, August, White River
Signature Event, August 20 through October 14
Black Hills Quilt Escape, September, Hill City
Polka Festival, September, Mitchell
Fiddler Jamboree, September, Yankton
Bad River Gathering, September, Fort Pierre
Pumpkin Fest, October, Webster
Last Chance Bonanza Rodeo, November, Brookings

Staff leads have contacted local organizers to confirm their involvement in this campaign.

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for September 2003 was up 24.5 percent at $263,160, compared to $211,289 for September 2002.  Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for October 2003 was up 23.0 percent at $220,399, compared to $179,167 for October 2002.  The tourism tax deposited for September 2003 was up 10.7 percent at $955,413, as compared to $862,708 for September 2002.  The tourism tax deposited for October 2003 was down 1.4 percent at $397,527, as compared to $403,212 for October 2002.   The deposits in FY04 for gaming and the tourism tax are $3,955,648, as compared to $3,760,596 for FY2003.  This is an overall increase in revenue of 5.2 percent when comparing the same time period in FY2003.

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or pull, kids` fishing derby, street dance, and free fish dinner.  Placed information on TravelSD and SDVisit.

L. Frank Baum Oz Festival, June 9-10, Aberdeen: Oz Festival explores the legacy of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” along with many other Oz works including film, music, and theater.  Additionally, the Festival promotes awareness and appreciation of Native American culture and heritage.  Placed information on TravelSD and SDVisit.  Will attend local committee meeting in December.

Black Hills Overdrive, Black Hills, June 9-18: All-car rally with a full week of club rallies, organized rides, events, and show competitions. The organizers’ goal is for this event to rival the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.  Placed information on TravelSD and SDVisit.  Will attend local committee meeting in December.

Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo, July 13-16, Mitchell: Annual PRCA Rodeo includes a golf outing, mixer, parade, church service, candy toss, and a chili cook-off.  Rodeo includes bull riding, team roping, steer wrestling, and more.  Placed information on TravelSD and SDVisit.  Will attend local committee meeting in December.

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for October was down 12.6 percent at $219,248, as compared to $250,761 for October 2004.  The tourism tax deposited for October was up 9.8 percent at $517,081, as compared to $471,107 for October 2004.  The deposits in FY06 for gaming and the tourism tax are $4,475,571, as compared to $4,235,129 for FY05.  This is an overall increase in revenue of 5.7 percent when comparing the same time period.

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