South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: December 2003

October 2003

   MEMORANDUM TO: John Calvin

   DATE: Nov. 7, 2003

   FROM: Patricia Van Gerpen

   SUBJECT: Tourism’s October Monthly Status Report

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


Department Summit
Governor's Conference on Tourism
Rural Tourism Development
Public Relations
Group Tour
Film Office
Information Centers
Lewis and Clark Promotions
Native American Tourism Development
Travel Market Advertising
World Wide Web
Governor's Invitational Pheasant Hunt
Great Events
Department Funding


Handled preparations for and attended the 2010 Initiative Summit at Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Rapid City and gathered ideas from attendees on the goals and objectives identified for the new department.  The goals and objectives were added to the web site, and comments from the October Summit are in the process of being added.

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Continued to contact potential speakers.  Mailed letters to potential sponsors, and confirmed sponsors for the Wednesday reception.  Held committee meetings.  Prepared South Dakota Made mailing to 2,000 producers.  Continued to add names to this database.

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Researched dates for the next Farm/Ranch Workshop per availability of DDN.  Drafted timeline for the update of the Farm/Ranch Resource Directory.

Drafted timeline for updating the Tourism Assistance Directory, which will be distributed at the Tourism Conference.

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Continued working on details for the 2004 Winter Weather Meteorologist Tour for January in the Deadwood area.  Have confirmed attendance from three TV stations.

Coordinated press alerts and press conferences in Sioux Falls and Rapid City for Governor Rounds’ announcement of the goals and objectives for the 2010 Initiative.

Fulfilled requests for information and/or interviews: Discover Guides, Nevada; Howard Communications, Missouri; Harding University, Arizona; PR Newsweek; St. Petersburg Times; Country Living; Home and Away; Mitchell Daily Republic; Aberdeen American News; Rapid City Journal; and KELO Television.

Provided information and/or was interviewed by the following: KOTA Radio for story on tourism’s top awards; "Ripley's Believe It or Not!® Guide to America the Beautiful and the Bizarre;” Unlimited magazine; SDPB Television for South Dakota Focus on Tourism; and SDPB Radio for a Lewis and Clark Trail Guide and related materials to assist with their upcoming Lewis and Clark documentary.

Made application on behalf of Christmas at the Capitol to be included in A & E’s Holiday Town USA televised holiday special, compiled application materials including a description of event, press clips, web site material, slides, and videotape.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence include: Mitchell Daily Republic, article online; Capital Journal (4,636) two articles for ad equivalence of $98; National Geographic Adventure (376,045) with ad equivalence of $75,600; and The Washington Times (84,032) with ad equivalence of $14,220.  Total ad equivalence of $89,918. 

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Continued to work on web site.

Sent follow-up letters and requested information to nine journalists hosted during the Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup. 

Mailed list of South Dakota delegates, appointment sheet, and booth workstation information to the 28 South Dakota participants in National Tour Association meetings.  Sent postcards to 1,495 American Bus Association (ABA) tour operators, encouraging them to request appointments with South Dakota at ABA marketplace in January.  Postcards listed South Dakota delegates/suppliers attending ABA.

Attended Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates (ATTA) statewide meetings and presented information, as a panelist, on planning a tribal tourism business and working with international tour operators and journalists.

Was contacted by Frankenmuth Travel, Michigan, regarding a group of 49 people they brought to South Dakota as a result of the Spring Group Tour fam.

Attended Rocky Mountain International (RMI) Megafam in Montana, showed video and made presentation on South Dakota to 28 international tour operators from European markets, five international RMI representatives, RMI staff, and counterpart state staff.  Sent follow-up letters and packets to the participants.

Worked on arrangements for Travel Industry Association of America’s (TIA) Pow Wow in April, contacted RMI regarding rooms, and contacted five South Dakota participants with details on participation.  Updated South Dakota profile on TIA Pow Wow’s web site.

Contacted Rapid City and asked them to send brochures and information to Jetset, a tour operator from France.

Fulfilled requests for information to Destinations magazine; Central Cabs, Pennsylvania; Here We Go Tours and Country Coaches Inc & Supreme Travel, Wisconsin; Summit Group, Illinois; Serendipity Publishing, Michigan; Smoky Mountain Tours, North Carolina; History Break Tours, Louisiana; All Travel, Inc., New York; AAA Cincinnati, Ohio; Suncoast Tours, Inc., New Jersey; Kraftours, Oklahoma; Packaged Travel Insider magazine; Nordmanns-Reiser fam, Norway; Frank Westpahl, Germany; Guy de Galard, French photo journalist living in Wyoming, who worked with Marc Bainaud, Equi West, France; and Visit USA, Sweden.

Made arrangements for Phoenix Media Fam including Plein Air and Waterways for film crew from Italy.  They will visit Deadwood, Badlands, Hot Springs, and Pine Ridge Reservation.  Shows will air on Waterways (three million viewers) and will be included in Plein Air magazine which has a circulation of 100,000.

Hosted Ulf Meyer, Germany, for a photographer and journalist to Lewis and Clark sites and the Black Hills; met with two tour operators from Nippon Express, Japan, and Osamu Hoshino for NEC fam held in the Black Hills area; hosted Bruce Koviak of Seniors Unlimited, Michigan, on a fam trip to put details into place for next year’s North Dakota/South Dakota tour.

Set up itinerary for Grethe Espeseth of Nordmanns-Reiser, a tour operator from Norway, to ranches, Black Hills, Badlands, Black Hills Pow Wow, Pierre, and Laura Ingalls Wilder sites.  Set up appointments at ranches for Dirk Buettner of Argus Reisen, Germany, a tour operator specializing in ranches to consider for his 2004 catalog.

Worked on preparations for meetings in France and Visit USA Showcase Italy.

Compiled a list of South Dakota events with brief descriptions and sent to Aftenposten, the largest newspaper in Norway.  They are preparing a United States magazine with a distribution of 325,000.  It will feature a calendar of events for each state and territory.

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Completed follow-up for the September AAA fam.

Fulfilled requests for information from AAA offices in Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, and Ohio.

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Produced and printed 20,000 copies of the Adventure Travel Guide.  Businesses are listed free of charge, per requested information received from each business.  Guides are distributed at Information Centers and by request.

Researched, conducted interviews, and wrote stories for the fall 2004 Outdoor News packet mailing in November.  Stories focus on spring opportunities, smallmouth bass, mountain biking, Lewis and Clark Trail, snow geese, and birding.

Gave a presentation on the birding trail and its possible benefits to attendees at the Glacial Lakes and Prairies’ annual meeting.

Pheasant hunting for Buck McNeely’s Outdoorsman International will take place in Aberdeen.  Other details of the November hosting have been completed.

Planned a late-season pheasant hunt near Kennebec for Outdoorsman Adventures Television.  Plans are to air show in the third quarter of 2004.

Assisted Outdoor Channel’s Focus Outdoors with plans for a pheasant hunt to the Redfield area, which includes three days of filming in November.  They plan to air the show in the second quarter of 2004.

Finalized ground transportation for the Winchester, Ruger and Browning Fall Shoot.  This hosting will be at the Goose Lake Management near Corsica for 20 writers and company representatives.

Continued working with Tony Dean regarding upcoming outdoor programs focused on South Dakota.

Hosted four editors and publishers from Krause Publications on a waterfowl hunt in Brown County.  Hosting included camping promotions.

Hosted Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Association – ZONK Productions television producers – on a pheasant and upland bird hunt near Pierre.  They plan to air the show in third quarter of 2004.

Hosted Outdoor Expeditions International on a television program shoot for hunting deer by bow, as well as an outdoor writer hosting in the Black Hills.

Hosted a crew with Urban American Outdoors on a pheasant hunt and goose hunt near Sisseton.  Crew also filmed at Sica Hollow, Fort Sisseton, Waubay National Wildlife Refuge, and other locations in the area.  Worked with group to film additional shows, with the first show to air in late 2003.

Worked with the new owners of West Pollock Resort regarding upcoming promotions and advertising opportunities.

Worked with Swanson and Russell (public relations firm) regarding a large-scale spring fishing trip for writers on Lake Oahe next spring.  Provided lodging and guide information to the organization.  Will continue working with the group on the event.

Provided information and/or interviews to: Ohio Outdoors; Riverbend Publishing; Dale Spartas Photo, Inc.; Urban American Outdoors; Kansas City Star; Racine Journal Times; Fur, Fish and Game; Dove Hunter; WCCO Radio in Minneapolis; Watertown Public Opinion; Sioux Falls Argus Leader; KSFY Television; KDLT Television, and a number of freelance writers.

Continued working with the Governor’s Office to arrange interview times for Governor Rounds on a variety of outdoor programming.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence include: Outdoor World (200,000) with ad equivalence of $8,242; Sports Afield (200,000) with ad equivalence of $2,750; and Robb Report (106,570) with ad equivalence of $17,890.  Total ad equivalence of $28,882. 

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Attended the 2003 Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) Cineposium Conference in San Diego.

Contacted the location manager for the HBO series “Deadwood” to make arrangements for a group from South Dakota to visit the set and discuss filming and promotional opportunities.  Contacted by Robert Hamm, Karshen Hagen ad agency in Denver.  Karshen Hagen is the new ad agency for the city of Deadwood.  They are currently in contact with HBO and helping to set up a meeting.  Attended a Deadwood HBO meeting in Deadwood.

Contacted by a producer from Kansas City who is in pre-production of a movie that is planning on shooting here next fall.  Sent a public relations packet and production guide.

Assisted a Watertown native filmmaker who is shooting an outdoor/comedy show in South Dakota.  Lined up assistance from the Sisseton Wahpeton police force as well as other location assistance.

Sent production guides to production studios in Washington, California, and New York. 

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Car count at the Information Centers for the month of September was up 8.1 percent over 2002.  Keeping the Tilford Information Centers open three weeks longer helped contribute to the increase.  This is the second highest September count on record.  The highest September car count was in 1992.  Car count for Canadian visitors was up 10.9 percent and down 3.4 percent for all other international visitors.  There were 82 motorcoaches/buses at the Information Centers, and 13 were international.

Travel Tape and CD loans at the Centers for the year were up 26.5 percent over 2002.

The Corn Palace CVB hosted the end-of-the year gathering for Information Center travel counselors in Mitchell.  Complimentary rooms were given by Best Western Motor Inn, Days Inn, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn, Kelly Inn, Motel 6, Super 8, and the Thunderbird Lodge.

The Lewis and Clark Information Center near Chamberlain remains open (until December 14).  

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For 2003, there are 847 individuals/businesses that have received recognition for hospitality with the Governor’s Certificate, 332 have received the foil star for a second recognition, and 173 have received a gold lapel pin for a third recognition.  There are 80 applications for the Great Service Star/George S. Mickelson Award.

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Total FY2004 Inquiries through 11-01-03

Mail:   29,811
Internet (e-mail):
Phone:     6,902
Total: 60,392

Total FY2003 Inquiries through 11-01-02:

Mail: 25,715
Internet (e-mail): 23,688
Phone:    7,657
Total: 57,060

This is an overall increase in inquiries of 5.8 percent over FY2003.  (This does not include hits/visits to Tourism’s Web site.)

Calculated number of page views at 459,140 on Tourism’s web site for the period of October 1-31, 2003, (missing one day) for a daily average of 15,305 over a 30-day period.  This compares to calculated page views of 346,939 for the period of October 1-31, 2002, (missing eight days) for a daily average of 15,084 over a 23-day period.  This is an increase in daily average of page views of 1.5 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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South Dakota Tourism Research - Motel Occupancy
Region September 2003 September 2002 Difference
Southeast 60.5% 63.7% -3.2%
Glacial Lakes & Prairies 52.6% 55.9% -3.3%
*Great Lakes 48.8% 53.0% -4.1%
Black Hills/Badlands 64.9% 66.7% -1.8%
Statewide Avg. 60.0% 62.9% -2.8%
* (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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Continued to research art museums and galleries to find prospective art buyers to invite to the Signature Event Art Show/Auction, to be held in August 2004 in Oacoma.  Attended a Bad River Gathering meeting and a Signature Event Art Subcommittee meeting.

Mailed Lewis and Clark maps to fourth grade classes in South Dakota.  Fulfilled requests for additional Lewis and Clark information for use in classrooms.

Mailed meeting information to those on the Lewis and Clark database regarding the statewide meeting in November.

Held committee meeting to discuss decorations for a Lewis and Clark themed Christmas tree for the Capitol Christmas event that will be open to the public from November 28 to December 26.

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Continued to work with the Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates on the Signature Event.

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Fulfilled photo/slide requests to State Publishing, Department of Game, Fish and Parks, Department of Transportation, South Dakota Guides and Outfitters Association, Pierre Chamber of Commerce, and Department of Agriculture, Pierre; South Dakota magazine and Yankton Chamber of Commerce, Yankton; Catfish Bay Waterski Park and freelancer Keith Lapour, Sioux Falls; National Park Service, Mount Rushmore National Memorial; Glacial Lakes and Prairies Tourism Association, Watertown; South Dakota EPSCOR, Brookings; TDG Communications, Deadwood; Black Hills Federal Credit Union, Rapid City; and Publications International, Illinois.

Fulfilled video requests to Anderson/Freisen, Sioux Falls, and Synergetic Productions, New York.

Finished editing stock video for distribution per requests, program use, etc. 

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Worked on updating and/or adding eligible events (visitor-related) to the Calendar of Events on  There are 450 events at this time, and more will be added.

Magazine ads promoting online vacation packages are yet to run in the November/December issue of Midwest Living and the December issue of SnowGoer.  Ads were placed in the September/October issues of Sunset, Travel America, and AAA Home & Away.  Placed ads to run in the Sunday editions of the Rapid City Journal and Aberdeen American News promoting online packages.

Sent Travelsmart to 90,207 subscribers.  Message had an outdoors theme.  Responded to inquiries from recipients.

For the South Dakota Road Trip TV Co-op, one partner slot remains of the original 12 spots.  Created a South Dakota-only database to use to promote the Road Trip programs.

Discussed the 4Parks 2004 media co-op with partners – state tourism offices’ and national parks’ representatives in Wyoming and Montana.  Tourism will handle placing the web promotion, and this online campaign will include a sweepstakes. 

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On updated Visitor Services Directory to show 4,510 listings; updated online vacation packages and coupons to show 56 packages and 31 coupons; sent new packages to; and completed other updates, deletions, etc. as needed on and

Added meta description text to several sections of the redesigned site.  Researched a new search engine, and checked Tourism’s rankings and statistics they had associated with  Began researching keywords for the launch.

Fulfilled requests via e-mail for winter visuals.

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Continued reviewing/working on the full Intercept Study report, which will be distributed at the 2004 Governor’s Conference on Tourism in January.

Compiled data for the third quarter web survey report.  Sent prize packages to winners from Michigan and Illinois.  Survey results for the third quarter were compiled from 401 respondents and include:

55 percent had been to South Dakota before

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

76 percent said answered all of their travel questions

97 percent said they would recommend the site to another traveler

42 percent were referred to by a search engine

66 percent indicated it was their first time visiting

61 percent of the respondents are female; 34 percent are
            male; 4 percent declined to answer

71 percent are married

45 percent have children under 18 living at home

52 percent of the respondents are from the target states of
                     Minnesota (44 respondents), Iowa (30), Illinois (29),
                     Wisconsin (28), Missouri (20), Texas (18), Nebraska
                     (16), and Colorado and North Dakota (11).

         Top out-of-target-market states include California (15),
                     Michigan (13), Ohio and Florida (12), Indiana and
                     Kansas (10), and Pennsylvania (9).

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Governor’s Invitational Pheasant Hunt

Completed details of the event organized to host business leaders and journalists from around the country.  Landowners hosted over 300 guests to pheasant hunting on Saturday.

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Indian Day Celebration Pow Wow, June 20-22, Wagner: Attendance met the group’s expectations, and the committee estimated 500 for both this year and last year.  Attendees were from Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas, New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota.  The committee felt their event could grow because of the interest in Native American ceremonies, culture, and traditional values.  The Sioux Falls Argus Leader and Indian Country Today covered the event.  Visitors commented most often on the dancers and costumes, singers, and traditional food.  Four evaluations out of 23 businesses responded to the evaluations they received, and all said they saw no increase in business.

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

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

Burke Stampede Rodeo, July 11-13, Burke: Organizers said they saw an increase in attendees of 5.7 percent, going from 5,300 in 2002 to 5,500 in 2003.  Attendees were from all states, England, Norway, and Germany.  Four of 17 businesses returned evaluations.  A bank reported an increase in ATM usage and one lodging property was booked for a family reunion, so they had to turn people away.

Frontier Days, August 15-17, White River: Organizers indicated a 60 percent increase in attendance, which is tracked by gate receipts.  In 2003, there were 3,850 attendees over 2,400 in 2002 for the two-day event.  Attendees were from Illinois, Wisconsin, Wyoming, California, Nebraska, Iowa, Germany, and South Dakota.  The committee is interested in creating packages to promote the event.  The Winner Advocate and the Mellette County News covered the event.  Four of 14 evaluations were returned from businesses.  Two businesses reported increases in revenue, with one reporting that their business doubled.

Lewis and Clark Heritage Days, August 16-17 and 22, Elk Point: Event organizers reported that attendance met expectations, although attendance was down due to the extreme heat.  This event did not track attendance, although they expect to implement some kind of tracking for 2004.  Attendees were from California, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and South Dakota.  Event was covered by KTIV, KCAU, KMEG, Sioux City Journal, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Sioux City Weekender, Elk Point Leader-Courier, and the Kansas City Star.  Received three of 13 evaluations sent to businesses.  One business reported a 25 percent increase in customers for the one day and a lodging property reported a slight increase in business.  They felt business would have been better if not for the extreme heat.

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

Mickelson Trail Trek, September 19-21, Custer: Attended a follow-up meeting and reviewed promotional tools that have been used to promote this event.

Corn Palace Polka Festival, September 19-21, Mitchell: Working 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: Drafting evaluation report for review. 

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for September 2003 was up 4.3 percent at $220,398, compared to $211,289 for September 2002.  The tourism tax deposited for September 2003 was up 10.7 percent at $955,412, as compared to $862,708 for September 2002.  The deposits in FY04 for gaming and the tourism tax are $3,374,091, as compared to $3,181,187 for FY2003.  This is an overall increase in revenue of 6.1 percent when comparing the same time period in FY2003.

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