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Monthly Reports: December 2004

December 2004

   MEMORANDUM TO:  Jim Hagen

   DATE:  January 6, 2005

   FROM:  Office of Tourism

   SUBJECT:  Tourism’s December Monthly Status Report

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


2010 Initiative
2005 Governor's Conference on Tourism
Rural Tourism Development
Public Relations
Group Tour

Film Office
Information Centers

Lewis and Clark Promotions
Travel Market Advertising

World Wide Web
Logo Usage/Image Requests

Winter Campaign
Great Shoulder Events
Department Funding


Please refer to for updates.

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Mailed Tourism Conference Registration Flyer to 3,650 visitor industry members for January 19-20 conference in Pierre.  Worked on details of décor and food, sponsorships and booths, print materials, speaker contracts, and notified Made in South Dakota producers regarding participation in the conference.

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Worked on securing speakers for the Farm and Ranch Vacation Workshops over Digital Dakota Network (DDN) sites on February 17 and 18 in Pierre, Rapid City, Spearfish, Vermillion, Brookings, Watertown, Aberdeen, Mitchell, Winner, Sioux Falls, and Hot Springs.  Speakers will cover topics from the Department of Health and the Tax Division and Insurance Division from the Department of Revenue and Regulation.

Notified public via, press releases to media, and letters to associations such as Chambers of Commerce, Economic Development offices, colleges/universities, Resource Conservation and Development Areas, Small Business Development Centers, Tribal Offices, Business Information Centers, and other offices listed in the Tourism Assistance Directory (TAD).  Plan to distribute the 2005 TAD at the Tourism Conference in January.

Met with the South Dakota Game Bird Association (SDGBA) Board of Directors and gave them an update on the 2010 Initiative plus information on marketing programs available through Tourism.  Informed them of upcoming conferences/workshops including the Tourism Conference, Value Added Ag Conference, and the Farm/Ranch Vacation workshops.

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Researched details of packaging for a 3-pocket CD folder to hold Press Kit CD and photo CDs.

Continued working on plans for the 2005 Winter Weather Fam, to take place in January.  Continued contacting media, lodging properties, and speakers.  Five television stations and one television series are on board at this time.

Continued working on details of media blitz in Toronto in February.  The other media blitz will be in New York in May.

Mailed press kits and/or other information to travel writer from Petersburg, Virginia, for an article on US Highway 81; Central Coast magazine; and Travel Host magazine, Rapid City.

Press hits with circulation and ad equivalence include: The News Herald, Ohio (57,000), “South Dakota’s Corn Palace” by Jeffrey Frischkorn, with ad equivalence of $6,175.

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Sent letter and international leads to 590 South Dakota suppliers interested in the international market from the Rocky Mountain International (RMI) missions: 44 leads from meetings in Scandinavia, 82 leads from World Travel Market tradeshow in London, and 25 leads from the Visit USA Tradeshow in Italy.

Reviewed North Dakota/South Dakota 2Nations Tour itinerary for a June 2005 familiarization (fam) tour.  Drafted 2Nation Tours postcard to announce fam to tour operators.  Postcard will be mailed by the 2Nation Tours partner states of North Dakota, Minnesota, and South Dakota and the province of Manitoba.

Mailed coupon to request more information with the group tour co-op ad to 3,900 tour operators on the domestic database.

Fulfilled requests for information to K-Dawn Travel, North Carolina; Wander World Travel, Missouri; Susan Slattery, Wisconsin; Top Tours, Texas; Daytona Orlando Transit Service, Florida; Iowa State Band, Iowa; Brighton Travel Bureau, New York; Rosalee Tours, Tennessee;; Fehr Way Tours Ltd, Canada; Lone Arneson for an article that is being published on Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Denmark; Osamu Hoshino, Utah; Herve Duxin, France; RMI Benelux, The Netherlands; and Swanson Travel, Sweden.

Researched and requested 60 appointments for American Bus Association Marketplace (ABA) in February.

Sent letter and leads from 40 appointments from National Tour Association (NTA) conference to South Dakota suppliers, along with leads gathered by other South Dakota participants at the conference.  NTA changed their name to CrossSphere.  Posted leads to web site for retrieval by ABA/CrossSphere members on a password protected site.

Received copy of film produced by France 3.  Video includes the Black Hills and Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup and will be broadcast on a 2-hour TV program in France.  Crew was hosted on the Buffalo Roundup. 

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Hosted two writers on a pheasant hunt near Miller, their contacts included a radio program.

Lined up locations and guides for Glacial Lakes Ice Fishing hosting in February, and will base out of Webster.  Six media are currently on board.  Began planning press trip to showcase fishing on the Missouri River, with hosting planned for early June.  Two media have registered.  Worked with Outdoor Life, Cabela’s Outfitter Journal, ESPN Outdoors, and Heartland USA on a turkey hunt in the Black Hills for April.

Hosted writer from Petersen’s Hunting on a deer hunt in the Black Hills and incorporated camping and fishing.  Finalized plans and hosted a goose and pheasant hunt in the Pierre area.  Media represented included Wildfowl, Gun Dog, Heartland USA, Buck Gardner Outdoors, “Advanced Waterfowl Hunting” (book to be published in 2006), and various newspapers.  Hosted media on a pheasant and waterfowl hunt in the Gettysburg area. Trip showcased agricultural practices that allow pheasants to thrive and South Dakota’s place on the flyway.  Assisted in the hosting of a writing duo on an upland hunt near Mitchell.  Writers represented the following magazines: Outdoor Life, Texas Outdoor World, Texas Sporting Journal, and Guns and Ammo.

Placed ad in the March/April issue of WildBird magazine.

Mailed press kits and/or other information to National Public Radio, Officially Rugged, Outdoorsman Adventures, The Outdoorsman with Buck McNeely, Field and Stream, National Geographic Adventure, Wild Dakota, Birder’s World magazine, Dakota Country, Aberdeen American News, Argus Leader, and Tony Dean Outdoors.

Press hits with circulation and ad equivalence include: The News Herald, Ohio (57,000), two articles by Jeffrey Frischkorn in two different issues – “South Dakota’s best saved for last” on pheasant hunting with ad equivalence of $2,730 and “South Dakota opener delivers” with ad equivalence of $5,005.  Total ad equivalence of $7,735.

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Mailed requested production guide to the Art Institute of Colorado.

Made arrangements to attend the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, in January.  Coordinated plans with the film offices in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.

Discussed promotional assistance with representative of the Fisch Gaard Short Film Project to be held in Aberdeen in January.

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Began making preliminary plans for the Information Center familiarization tour in early May.

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To date, 643 individuals/businesses have received recognition for hospitality with the Governor’s Certificate, 264 have received the gold foil star for a second recognition, and 160 have received the gold lapel pin for a third recognition.

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Total FY2005 Inquiries through 1-01-05

Mail:    17,158
Internet (e-mail):
Phone:      5,367
Total:    49,741

Total FY2004 Inquiries through 1-01-04:

Mail:    40,173
Internet (e-mail):    30,790
Phone:      7,945
Total:    78,908

This is an overall decrease in inquiries of 37 percent over FY2004.  (Primary reason for decrease: Discontinued using Pay-Per-Inquiry TV, which was used last year, and shift to call for sales to partners from call for inquiries in most advertising.  These decisions were changes in media strategy as outlined in the 2010 Initiative.  Inquiries do not include hits/visits to Tourism’s web site.)

Calculated number of page views at 498,857 on Tourism’s web site for the period of December 1-31, 2004, for a daily average of 16,092 over a 31-day period.  This compares to calculated page views of 394,981 for the period of December 1-31, 2003 (missing two days), for a daily average of 13,620 over a 29-day period.  This is an increase in daily average of page views of 18.2 percent over a comparable time period in 2003.  “Page views” represents the number of times each and every page within the web site is accessed.

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Will participate in a conference call in January with the Circle of State Advisors (COSA), which is made up of representatives from each of the Lewis and Clark Trail states.  Will discuss upcoming events, promotions, and the future of the group. Updates from the National Park Service, the Circle of Tribal Advisors (COTA), the Circle of Conservation Advisors (COCA). and other federal agencies will be given.

Will meet with officials from Yankton during Yankton Day at the Legislature to discuss Lewis and Clark activities.

Drafted elements of the Lewis and Clark essay contest mailing that will be sent to South Dakota fourth-grade teachers in January.

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Tourism photo hit list included: Capitol with Christmas lights, Governor’s Residence construction, ducks, songbirds, Fort Sisseton Frontier Christmas, and Christmas lights in downtown Sioux Falls and Falls Park.

Fulfilled requests for photos/slides to State Publishing, Department of Game, Fish and Parks, South Dakota Rural Electric Association, and Midco Network, Pierre; TDG Communications, Deadwood; Sinte Gleska University, Martin; Black Hills, Badlands and Lakes Association, Sierra Club, and RJ Design Company, Rapid City; Stukel’s Birds and Bucks, Gregory; Aberdeen CVB; Graphic Speed, Sioux Falls; 1880 Train, Hill City; GSM Mercury Agency, Seattle; and Tommy Swanson Travel, Belgium.

Fulfilled requests for video footage to Lawrence and Schiller, Sioux Falls; TDG Communications, Deadwood; and Comprehensive Media Group, Pierre.

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Mailed registration information/forms on the 2005 Warm Season Great Getaways newspaper insert and the Shoulder Season Great Getaways newspaper insert.

Placed full-page ad in March/April issue of Midwest Living as well as a travel directory ad.

Drafted Four Parks online marketing campaign plan, which is similar to the 2004 plan.  Routed to partners for review and comments.  Partners include the state tourism offices in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana; Xanterra Parks & Resorts-Yellowstone; and the Grand Teton Lodge Company.

Sent Travelsmart, an electronic newsletter to a subscriber-based database of more than 123,000 addresses.  Responded to requests that were generated. 

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Continued entering data for Visitor Services Directory on, to show 4,826 entries.  Updated package and coupon listings to show 60 packages and 29 coupons in 30 cities and 22 categories.  Submitted packages to  Updated feature stories and photos on Kid Zone.

Notified South Dakota Road Trip partners of the December schedule: Real America Package – partners:  Rapid City CVB; Historic Deadwood Gaming Package – partners: Deadwood Chamber and VB; Ride on the Wild Side – partners: Custer State Park and Resorts Company; and Wildest Pair Package – partners: Reptile Gardens, Bear Country USA, and Best Western Town and Country.

Continued to monitor the status of Tourism’s rankings on Google, following recent web site changes/additions.  Did more testing with various keywords on the new MSN search.  Also looked at a new “vertical” travel-only search called

Worked on links from to the South Dakota Arts Council web site.

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Fulfilled requests for logo to Sioux Valley Hospital, Sioux Falls.

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Mailed 661 winter packets to regional snowmobile clubs in the following states: 83 in Illinois, 63 in Iowa, 400 in Minnesota, 14 in Nebraska, 53 in North Dakota, 19 in Wyoming, and 29 in South Dakota.  Packet contains a postcard that can be used to enter a drawing for a snowmobile vacation. 

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Black Hills Quilt Show and Sale, September 12-15, Hill City: Will compile report from evaluations.

Polka Festival, September 17-19, Mitchell: The local committee reported a 25 percent increase in attendance, which was tracked by ticket sales.  Attendees represented all states, except Rhode Island and Hawaii.  Media covering the event were the Mitchell Daily Republic, Music and Dance News, and KORN radio.  Two business evaluations were returned with one citing an increase of 150 to 200 percent.  Three accommodations returned evaluations, with two stating they had increased business and the other reported similar occupancy as 2003.

Pumpkin Fest, October 8-9, Webster: Attendance was not tracked at the event; however, the committee reported an increased number of visitors.  Media that covered the event included Aberdeen American News and Reporter and Farmer of Webster.  Six business evaluations were returned.  All cited an increase in visitors, and one business reported an increase of 100 percent, while others reported increases ranging from 27 to 50 percent.

Last Chance Bonanza Rodeo, October 21-23, Brookings: Will compile report from evaluation forms. 

2005 Great Shoulder Events

Black Hills Horse Expo, April 8-10, Rapid City: Contacted local committee regarding artwork for ads.

New Frontier Bull Ride, May 20-21, Presho: Contacted local organizers and plan to attend meeting in January.  Worked on draft of marketing plan.

Argus Leader Bicycle Tour, June 12-18, Yankton, Pickstown, Platte, Chamberlain, and Pierre: Contacted local organizer and will attend meeting in January to discuss marketing options. 

Wild Bill Hickok Days, June 17-19, Deadwood: Contacted local organizers regarding promotions and prepared marketing plan.

Pierpont Storytelling Festival, August 13-14, Pierpont: Drafted promotion plan.  Plan to attend committee meeting in January.

Oak Lake Bluegrass Festival, August 19-21, Astoria: Researched marketing mediums.  Worked on marketing plan.  Plan to attend committee meeting in January.

Great Plains Bison-tennial Dutch Oven Cook-off, August 27-28, Yankton: Drafted promotion plan.  Will attend committee meeting in January to discuss promotions.

Great Dakota Wine Fest, September 3-4, Vermillion: Drafted promotion plan.  Will attend committee meeting in January to discuss promotions.

Wall-Badlands Art Expo, September 6-10, Wall: Researched media for advertising and prepared preliminary marketing plan.  Met with local committee regarding promotions.  Will research committee’s suggestions and insert for a more comprehensive plan.  

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for November 2004 was up 8.3 percent at $227,855, compared to $210,361 for November 2003.  The tourism tax deposited for November 2004 was up 17.3 percent at $342,888, as compared to $292,286 for November 2003.  The deposits in FY05 thus far for gaming and the tourism tax are $4,805,872, as compared to $4,458,294 for FY2004.  This is an overall increase in revenue of 7.8 percent when comparing the same time period.

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