South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: September 2003

September 2003

   MEMORANDUM TO: John Calvin

   DATE: Oct. 8, 2003

   FROM: Patricia Van Gerpen

   SUBJECT: Tourism’s September Monthly Status Report

You may download and print the entire September 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

Travel News Television
World Wide Web
Governor's Buffalo Roundup and Governor's Invitational Pheasant Hunt
Great Events
Department Funding


Coordinated mailing of 3,000 invitations from the Governor for the Tourism and State Development 2010 Summit at Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Rapid City, October 15 and 16.  Worked on presentations, keynote speaker needs, and other meeting arrangements.

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Continued to contact speakers for sessions and have hired the keynote for the 2004 Conference, titled “Growing Tourism…Growing South Dakota.”  Assigned staff to committees.  Will contact potential sponsors, draft conference mailer, and work on menus and décor.  Drafted timeline for annual report.

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Presented and distributed Lewis and Clark Bicentennial information at the North Central Resource, Conservation, and Development (RC&D) annual meeting in Onida.  Presented information on the Farm/Ranch Workshops and distributed the Farm/Ranch Resource Directory.

Met with representatives from South Dakota State University to brainstorm on the Agri-tourism breakout session for the Value Added Ag Conference in March.  Agri-tourism wasn’t going to be offered at this year’s conference because the South Dakota Specialty Producers were ready to present.  However, it was suggested at the last Value Added Conference meeting that the Office of Tourism and the Specialty Producers combine efforts for one breakout session. 

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Drafted plan for the 2004 Winter Weather Meteorologist Tour for January in the Black Hills.  Agenda includes snowmobiling, skiing, attraction visits, and a seminar given by the National Weather Service.  Have confirmed attendance for personnel from two TV stations to date.

Interviewed by and/or provided information to Aberdeen American News, Minneapolis Star Tribune, ARA Content, New York Daily News, Watertown Public Opinion, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Mitchell Daily Republic, Washington Post, St. Paul Pioneer Press, and a number of freelance writers. 

Hosted journalists from New York, Iowa, Indiana, California, Illinois, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania during the Roundup.  Tracked 32 media hits in Illinois, Colorado, Missouri, Iowa, Texas, New York, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota on ABC, NBC, and CBS affiliates for a Nielsen Audience of 1.2 million.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence include: Rapid City Journal (35,465) for ad equivalence of $298; Sioux Falls Argus Leader (73,167) for ad equivalence of $1,314; and Aberdeen American News (18,000) for ad equivalence of $2,570.  Total ad equivalence is $4,182.

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Placed group tour co-op ad in November/December issue of Packaged Travel Insider and December issue of Destinations.  Ordered 4,000 copies of the co-op ad for mailing to group tour operator database.

Sent requested information to Sherry Brooks, Wisconsin; Pioneer Eriebnisreisen and Frank Westphal, Germany; and the American Embassy, Luxembourg.

Hosted international journalists to individualized fams in conjunction with the Buffalo Roundup: Dirk and Adriane Koster, Germany, for articles on ATV trails and 4-wheel drive off-road trails in the Black Hills; Peter Frischmuth, Germany, to work with Custer State Park personnel for photos of buffalo in their natural setting, vaccinations, and branding; Marc Bainaud, France, to horse ranches; Aldo Pavan and Vincenzo Calo, Italy, on American Indian culture on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian Reservations; and Aase Rostad and Erik Laeskogen, Norway, on American Indian Culture on the Pine Ridge and Cheyenne River Indian Reservations.

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Hosted seven AAA travel counselors from Missouri, Kentucky, and Ohio on the AAA tour, “Legendary South Dakota.”  The tour included Pierre, Sioux Falls, Mitchell, Wall, Keystone, Hot Springs, Deadwood, Rapid City, and several attractions.

Fulfilled requests for information from AAA offices and independent travel agencies in California, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon, and Pennsylvania.

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Drafted plan for a media blitz to accompany the release of the Glacial Lakes and Prairies Birding Trail booklet.

Drafted timeline for update/reprint of the Fishing and Hunting Guide.  Routed updated copy to the Department of Game, Fish and Parks for review.  Updated photos and redesigned the outside and inside covers.  Most of the core information remains the same.  Expect completed guides back from printer in December, with a request of 40,000 copies.

Finalized arrangements for Ron Schara, Inc., to film a pheasant hunting piece in the Wessington and Pierre areas, plus a Lake Oahe fishing piece.  Show will air on KARE TV in Minneapolis and ESPN2.

Made final arrangements for crew of Field and Stream Radio to broadcast live at the Huron Ringneck Festival on November 8, with segments re-airing throughout the month.  Made guest interview schedule, consisting of biologists and avid hunters.

Hosted North American Hunter crew on a dog-training and fishing fam in the Pierre area.  Show airs on ESPN in the first quarter of 2004.

Completed details for the filming of Benelli’s American Safari, A Dog’s Life and Beretta World television series, which will take place at the Krull Lodge, Tumbleweed Lodge, Shur-Shot Lodge, Warne Ranches, and Tinker Kennels, the first half of November.

Finalized details for Winchester, Ruger and Browning Fall Shoot hunt at Goose Lake Management near Corsica.  Between 17 and 20 writers will attend, as will representatives of the company.  Combined circulation of represented magazines is more than 10 million.  Worked on contacting interview subjects for the South Dakota portion of the hunt.  Continued making arrangements for a co-sponsored goose hunt with Cabela’s and Winchester for five to six writers in December.

Worked with Tony Dean Outdoors for editorial content in fall promotions of South Dakota.

Worked with editors and publishers from Krause Publications on a waterfowl hunt and camping in Brown County in October.

Hosted a writer representing Bowhunting Times, Whitetail Journal, Bowhunt America, and Wheeling Sportsman to antelope, deer, and grouse hunts in Harding County.

Assisted producer Buck McNeely of Buck McNeely’s Outdoorsman International on planning a November upland hunt in the Aberdeen area.  McNeely and crew will participate in the annual Celebrity Hunt, as well as an archery deer hunt.

Continued working with Outdoor Expeditions International to line up a television program shoot as well as an outdoor writer hosting in the Pierre Area.  Group will be in the state in late October to hunt deer.

Attended Association for Great Lakes Outdoors Writers conference in Missouri.  Attendees included outdoor writers from across the Midwest as well as corporate members.  Participated in the conference’s Tourism Day and talked with a number of writers regarding story opportunities in South Dakota.

Interviewed by and/or provided information to Chicago Tribune, Capital Journal, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Aberdeen American News, Wildlife Art magazine, Sports Afield, North American Fisherman, Cabela’s Outfitter Journal, Buck McNeely, Outdoorsman Adventures, Shooting Sportsman, Pointing Dog Journal, Northland Adventures, Petersen’s Hunting,, West Virginia Outdoors, and a number of freelance writers.

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Contacted by Barbara Schock, Academy Award winning director and South Dakota native, regarding proposed television show centering on Rapid City’s Corner Exchange restaurant.  Attended a fundraiser for the show in Rapid City.

Contacted by a production group in California regarding equipment and crew for a documentary –  sent crew and services listings; contacted by a casting firm in California regarding a feature about Native Americans – sent crew list; contacted by a location scout regarding western towns for a television series – sent photo files and directed to; contacted by a producer from Minnesota regarding a script for South Dakota – began location scouting and crew search, and will be sent a script immediately; More magazine regarding a pilot for a photographer; Pennant Productions regarding crew for a Hi-Definition shoot for the Sheep Dog National Championships in Sturgis; and a producer for a documentary to shoot this fall.

Finalized ad for LA and NY 411 productions.  Ad will be a co-op with 777 Buffalo Ranch in Hermosa.

Attended a reception for a filmmaker from Washington.  He has a script regarding the Black Hills and was in the area to raise awareness and funding for his project.

Spoke with a Watertown native, now in New York, regarding a television show he will be filming in South Dakota this fall.

Contacted by an individual from Pine Ridge regarding a production company he would like to start for film projects in South Dakota.  Began researching funding options and contacts for him.

Contacted production studio regarding media/public relations contacts for the HBO Deadwood series.

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Car count at the Information Centers for the month of August was up 1.9 percent over 2002; car count for Canadian visitors was up 2.3 percent; and for all other international visitors, it was down 1.8 percent.  There were 123 motorcoaches/buses at the Information Centers, and 20 were international.

Following are comments from visitors: 

“Have appreciated material and help from SD Tourism Dept. and Rapid City CVB.  Email newsletters from both are well-done and helpful.  Hope to retire in Rapid City next year.  Thanks to excellent visit last year and subsequent encouragement by state and city.  Thanks.”  North Carolina 

“If we did not stop we would have missed so much in South Dakota.  Thanks to your staff and information.”  New York

Planned details of the Information Center end-of-the-year party to be held at the Wild Oak Golf Club in Mitchell in October.  Worked with the Corn Palace CVB to arrange the party with complimentary rooms from Best Western Motor Inn, Days Inn, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn, Kelly Inn, Motel 6, Super 8, and the Thunderbird Lodge.  There are 115 people planning to attend.

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For 2003, we currently have 666 individuals/businesses that have received recognition for hospitality with the Governor’s Certificate, 245 have received the foil star for a second recognition, and 104 have received a gold lapel pin for a third recognition.

Mailed the George S. Mickelson Great Service Star applications to 1,865 members in the industry.  Applications are for the use of the Star in advertising, and they are used to choose one entity deserving of the George S. Mickelson Great Service Star award, which will be presented during the banquet at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism on January 22.

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Total FY2004 Inquiries through 10-01-03

Mail:   25,244
Internet (e-mail):
Phone:     6,189

Total FY2003 Inquiries through 10-01-02:

Mail: 20,983
Internet (e-mail): 20,577
Phone:    6,827
Total: 48,387

This is an overall increase in inquiries of 7.2 percent over FY2003.  (This does not include hits/visits to Tourism’s Web site.)

Calculated number of page views at 536,087 on Tourism’s web site for the period of September 1-30, 2003, for a daily average of 17,860 over a 30-day period.  This compares to calculated page views of 375,675 for the period of September 1 – 30, 2002, (missing seven days) for a daily average of 16,334 over a 23-day period.  This is an increase in daily average of page views of 9.3 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 August 2003 August 2002 Difference
Southeast 75.7% 78.8% -3.0%
Glacial Lakes & Prairies 57.1% 58.6% -1.5%
*Great Lakes 56.9% 63.7% -6.8%
Black Hills/Badlands 82.6% 81.0% +1.6%
Statewide Avg. 74.0% 75.6% -1.6%
* (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 August 2003 August 2002 Difference
Southeast 44.0% 40.6% +3.4%
Glacial Lakes & Prairies 48.9% 42.8% +6.1%
*Great Lakes 43.0% 33.3% +9.7%
Black Hills/Badlands 60.3% 56.9% +3.4%
Statewide Avg. 54.5% 50.0% +4.5%
* (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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Attended the Arts Subcommittee meeting in preparation for the Signature Event – “Oceiti Sakowin Experience: Remembering and Educating.”  A meeting for all communities interested in participating in the Signature Event will be held in Fort Thompson in October.  Approximately 500 people attended the Bad River Gathering, which will be part of the Signature Event in 2004, as well as being part of the Great Events campaign.

Attended Midwest Trail States meeting in Council Bluffs.  The main agenda item was the Diplomacy Symposium that the Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates (ATTA) will coordinate, with assistance from Tourism.  Drafted agenda for the Circle of States Advisors meeting in October in Louisville, Kentucky, which will be held in conjunction with the National Lewis and Clark Council meeting and Foundation meeting.

Sent National Park Service’s (NPS) updated information on Corps II to Chamberlain, Eagle Butte, and Fort Pierre.  Met with NPS staff to discuss programming for the Tent of Many Voices.  Worked with Fort Pierre on their site challenges.

Spoke to 25 volunteers at the Cultural Heritage Center regarding the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial.

Assisted with a Lewis and Clark display for an event at the Washington Pavilion to be held in November.

Held a meeting to discuss the Lewis and Clark Christmas Tree to be on display during Capitol Christmas.  Evaluated the 200 decorations on hand.  Sent requests to other states for additional Lewis and Clark decorations.

Participated on a panel with representatives from Iowa, Nebraska, and North Dakota to explain Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration preparations to members of the media, which was set up by the Associated Press.  Presented information on Lewis and Clark events/activities and responded to questions from the audience, consisting of writers and editors from the four states.  Distributed the Lewis and Clark Trail pieces, Guide to Indian Reservations and Art, state maps, and press kits.

Will be sending Lewis and Clark brochures/maps to all fourth-grade classes in South Dakota with information on the Lewis and Clark Essay contest next spring.

Made arrangements for a meeting room at the Middle Border Museum in Mitchell for the Lewis and Clark statewide meeting on November 15.

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Continued working with ATTA on the Signature Event and other Tribal Tourism projects.  Daphne Richards Cook, ATTA Executive Director, attended the Midwest Trail States meeting.  Met with the National Park Service to discuss several Tribal issues.

Continued meeting with representatives of Wakpa Sica regarding an event that may be held at their site in conjunction with the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial.

Attended Lower Brule Sioux Tribe’s Lewis and Clark task force meeting.

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Fulfilled photo/slide requests to State Publishing, Department of Game, Fish and Parks, South Dakota Rural Electric Association, and Great Lakes of South Dakota, Pierre; South Dakota magazine and  Southeast South Dakota Tourism Association, Yankton; Black Hills Federal Credit Union, Rapid City Journal, and Hot Pink Inc, Rapid City; Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society, De Smet; South Dakota Hall of Fame, Chamberlain; South Dakota Newspaper Association, Brookings; Sturgis Bike Week; Backyard Oaks and Lawrence and Schiller, Sioux Falls; Glacial Lakes and Prairies Association, Watertown; Mount Rushmore History Association, Keystone; freelance writer John Sloan, Tennessee; North Dakota Wheat Commission; American Rivers, Iowa; and Sunset Publishing, California.

Fulfilled video requests to Lawrence and Schiller, Sioux Falls; Linn Productions, Rapid City; Comprehensive Media, Pierre; and JWM Productions, Maryland.

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Insertion schedule was completed for the Giant Step magazine inserts, which were placed in the September/October issue of Midwest Living, and October issues of Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies Home Journal, Country Home, and More in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado, North Dakota, and South Dakota for a distribution of 1.3 million.  Great Getaways fall newspaper insert schedule was completed for a circulation of 840,000 in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Manitoba.  Copies of co-op pieces were sent to each partner in each program.  Will survey partners and compile results.

“You’re Always Welcome in South Dakota” letters were sent to hunters.  Will coordinate the next batch of letters to aviators.

Sent outdoors-themed Travelsmart (permission e-mail) to 89,767 subscribers.  Routed feedback and responded to inquiries generated.

Placed ads in Rapid City Journal and Aberdeen American News to promote online packages in Geddes, Sioux Falls, Keystone, Mitchell, and Chamberlain. 

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Met with staff from Department of Game, Fish and Parks (GF&P) to review the Snowmobile Trails Map corrections and additions.  Will deliver files to printer with expected delivery in early November of 60,000 copies, which will be distributed by GF&P and Tourism. 

Renamed Travel Trade to “Great Faces. Great Places. Great News.” as there was a title conflict with another publication.  Newsletter will undergo a redesign.  Newsletter is sent to writers and tour operators three times a year.

Agreed to trim the size of pages in the Vacation Guide as this will allow for additional pages/ad space.  Specifications to be determined and routed by Black Hills, Badlands and Lakes. 

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Theme for the 2004 in-house/cable program will be Lewis and Clark.  Developed hit list and timeline.

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Updated Visitor Services Directory on to show 4,504 entries/listings.  Added iPIX images to Wylie Park/Storybook Land in Aberdeen and updated iPIX for Catfish Bay in Sioux Falls.  Added vacation packages and coupons to to show 59 packages and 37 coupons.  Submitted new packages to  Continued to add/update events, per information submitted by organizers, to Calendar of Events.  Continued working on redesign of made HTML corrections; added highlights, travel bulletins, and new photos to the homepage rotation; worked with Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT) to start the Kid Zone transition; added meta description text to several sections of the redesigned site for search engine registration.  Set up an information request form in the fishing/hunting section.  Updated and reactivated the Fall Foliage web pages, added The Outdoor Campus trail information to the hiking trails webpage.  Created a South Dakota Road Trip webpage, which includes the logo and links to the packages, featured each week and added a link from Advertised Packages and a Road Trip Travel Bulletin to the homepage.

Worked with BIT and phone inquiry provider to resolve online request form problems.  Worked with BIT on the process that would allow entities to self-maintain on the Visitor Service Directory.

On, created an application form for the Great Service Star that can be completed and mailed electronically; added a link to; and updated nomination forms for the Ben Black Elk Award and the A.H. Pankow award.

Checked’s production packet request form, and continued working with consultant on site. 

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Made final changes to the Great Events Intercept Study report.  Began reviewing and revising the full Intercept Study.

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

Finalized all details for the Roundup hosting at Custer State Park.  Hosted in-state and out-of-state business leaders.  Hosted 14 journalists/publication representatives plus two airline officials during the Roundup as well as tailored itineraries for pre- and post-fams, per requests.  Finalized details for media regarding the Roundup satellite feed, and notified them via e-mail and fax.  Created a banner for the homepage that links to the Buffalo Roundup information.  Tracked 32 media hits from the satellite feed, for 1.2 million viewers. 

Worked on logistics for the Governor’s Hunt to be held October 24 and 25.

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Indian Day Celebration Pow Wow, June 20-22, Wagner: Worked on evaluation report.

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.

Burke Stampede Rodeo, July 11-13, Burke: Worked on evaluation report.

Frontier Days, August 15-17, White River: Worked on evaluation report.

Lewis and Clark Heritage Days, August 16-17 and 22, Elk Point: Worked on compiling evaluation responses.

Harley Davidson’s 100th Anniversary Celebrations, “Thunder Across Dakota, August 23-25, Sturgis, Pierre, and Sioux Falls: Worked on evaluation report.

Great Black Hills Quilt Show and Sale, September 7-10, Hill City: Finalized placement of promotions.

Mickelson Trail Trek, September 19-21, Custer: Mailed Trek posters to businesses along the Trail.  Registrations listed 300 riders – which is 70 more than last year.  Mailed 75 evaluation forms to event organizer, accommodations, and other businesses.

Corn Palace Polka Festival, September 19-21, Mitchell: Mailed evaluation forms.

Webster Area Pumpkin Festival, October 10-11, Webster: Designed ads and sent to Swift County Monitor News, Montevideo American News, Pipestone Free Star, and Browns Valley News newspapers.

Sacagawea Unity Fest, October 10-11, Mobridge: Routed a press release to the committee for their review.  Placed ad in Native Voice and a display ad in The Dickinson Press.  Placed classified ad in Minneapolis Star Tribune, plus radio buy at KBRM-AM in Bismarck and KSJB-AM in Jamestown.

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for August 2003 was up 13.6 percent at $263,160, compared to $231,631 for August 2002.  The tourism tax deposited for August 2003 was up 2.7 percent at $713,120, as compared to $694,127 for August 2002.  The deposits in FY04 for gaming and the tourism tax are $2,198,281, as compared to $2,107,190 for FY2003.  This is an overall increase in revenue of 4.3 percent when comparing the same time period in FY2003.

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