South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: February 2004

February 2004

   MEMORANDUM TO:  Marty Davis

   DATE: March 5, 2004

   FROM: Patricia Van Gerpen

   SUBJECT: Tourism’s February Monthly Status Report

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


2010 Initiative
Governor's Conference on Tourism
Rural Tourism Development
Public Relations
Group Tour
Film Office
Information Centers
Occupancy Data
Lewis and Clark Promotions
Native American Tourism
Travel Market Advertising

Travel News Television
World Wide Web
Great Events

Great Shoulder Events
Department Funding


Held meeting to discuss Goal 4E: Capitalize on the existing outdoor opportunities in our state.  Continued to develop action plans.  Implementation will be noted in the Outdoors heading in each monthly report.

Continued drafting action plans for various Goal 1 objectives.

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Completed follow-up for speakers, contracts, and reimbursements; sent invoices to sponsors and booth vendors; reviewed conference invoices; and compiled report from the conference evaluations received.   

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Assisted with the Aberdeen Oz Festival visual arts competition by mailing information packets to art teachers in grades four through 12. 

Will assist with the Little Ambassador Contest mailing for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society, Inc. 

Received copies of the 2004 Tourism Assistance Directory from printer.  Along with Tourism’s 2004 Annual Report, it will be mailed to full and part-time Chamber and city Economic Development offices.  Will be distributed at the Farm/Ranch Vacation Workshops and mailed by request.

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Continued working on plan for “Have You Been To…?” campaign for National Tourism Week 2004, May 8-16.  Contacted participating CVBs and requested their information for the newspaper ads that will be designed by Tourism.

Made copy updates for press kits and shipped to New York City with other information to use at media appointments in February.

Followed-up with 2004 Winter Weather Meteorologist Tour participants to assist in gathering additional story material for those who were hosted.

Worked with a Black Hills organization to increase awareness of the Mickelson Trail.  Currently have three media representatives on board for a press trip.

Provided information and/or interviews to New York Daily News; Prairie Business magazine; National Examiner; Bulldog Reporter; Fargo Forum; Helene Albrecht, Nevada Commission on Tourism; Murray McCory, Okanogan, Washington; Jean Allen, Florida; Daniel Smyth, Online Highways, Oregon; Kevin Warneke, Omaha World Herald;  Jerry Stanford, Sioux Falls; KELO TV; Tony Mangan, KCCR radio, Pierre; Dakota Radio Group; and Black Hills Pioneer.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence: Capital Journal (4,636) two articles for ad equivalence of $63; Sioux Falls Argus Leader (73,167) for ad equivalence of $132; Rapid City Journal (35,465) for ad equivalence of $297; online at Outdoor Central News Network with the new birding guide for northeastern South Dakota and online story on KELO TV.  Total ad equivalence of $492. 

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Began process to update the Group Tour Planning Guide, which is printed every other year.

Sent tour for southeast South Dakota to Group Tour magazine, per their request.

Attended a Sioux Falls CVB meeting and updated the group on Tourism’s activities and co-op programs.

Sent information to those who responded to the Group Tour Coupon mailing in December to group tour operators on Tourism's database.

Completed follow up to 101 leads from American Bus Association (ABA) marketplace and mailed them to ABA and National Tour Association (NTA) members. Placed leads online on the Lead List Report, a password-protected site for South Dakota members of ABA and NTA. Added NTA and ABA tour operators who bring tours to South Dakota to so that those consumers who want to come to South Dakota here as part of a tour can contact tour operators in their home states.

Sent group tour consumer leads, group tour co-op ad, Giant Step, and Giant Step markets/dates to tour operators in the target market states of Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Manitoba.

Drafted plan for FY05 group co-op ad and researched costs of placing it in additional publications.

Notified tribes and Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates of Irish TV documentary, “King of Tribes,” to determine level of interest in working with this program.  Pine Ridge and Crow Creek are interested in this project.

Contacted 2Nation partner states and Manitoba regarding their web site links and possible links for tour operators.  Sent invitations for South Dakota’s portion of the 2Nation Tours Signature Familiarization Tour for Tour Operators to domestic and Canadian tour operators on our database who have requested a fam tour invitation.

Spoke at De Smet Chamber Annual Meeting regarding group tours, packages, and the international market.  Conducted a brainstorming session where an online vacation package was developed by the Chamber members for promotion to international tour operators at the Rocky Mountain International (RMI) Roundup.  They plan to join ABA to promote to domestic group tour operators.

Provided information on the RMI Roundup in May to South Dakota businesses that are interested in working with European tour operators.  Twenty-five to 35 international tour operators will attend the Roundup and meet one-on-one with suppliers from the partner states of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and South Dakota.

Will attend Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) Pow Wow in May with co-op partners: Rapid City CVB, Durst Investments, Creekside Dining/Rushmore View, Rapid City Hospitality, Crazy Horse Memorial, and Tourism.

Received articles written by Dirk and Adriane Koester, which was one result of the 2003 Buffalo Roundup: four-page article with pictures on ATV riding in Quadwelt, a four-wheel drive and TV magazine.  The book they wrote, “Faszination Quad” (4-wheel drive), features a six-page article on South Dakota entitled “Heaven On Earth.”

Sent requested information to: Bieber Tourways and Anderson Coach, Pennsylvania; BBC Tours, Texas; Family Friendly Vacations Inc, Arizona; Lamers Tour & Travel, Wisconsin; Brekke Tours, North Dakota; Flemming Tours, Missouri; Park Tours, West Virginia; Burt Marketing, Iowa; AAA Travel, Indiana; AmericaTours West, South Dakota; Greatway Vacations Inc., Canada; Nautica magazine, Italy; Karl Teuschl for ADAC Magazine and  Algemann Dagblad, Germany; “Star in the Media” fam, France; Korea Daily, Korea; and Bleau Claire, France.

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Fulfilled requests from AAA/CAA offices and independent travel agencies in Florida, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.

Held two, two-hour seminars at the AAA Cincinnati Club in Cincinnati, Ohio, for 29 travel counselors; and one at the AAA Miami Valley Club in Dayton, Ohio, for 16 travel counselors.  Held two seminars at the AAA Reading-Berks Club in Reading/Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, for 12 travel counselors.  These clubs have a membership of 660,000.  Attended the AAA Odyssey in Reading/Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, a four-hour show geared toward their AAA members.  It was well attended and there was a great deal of interest in South Dakota.

Drafted and sent the e-newsletter to AAA/CAA travel counselors nationwide. 

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Contacted entities regarding the plans for development of a birding trail in southeast South Dakota.  Will follow plan similar to that we used in developing the Glacial Lakes and Prairies Birding Trail.  Plans include a fam tour of birding locations, a guide to lead the group, lodging, and other trip details for May.  Wrote copy for ads that will appear in the May issue of Audubon and June issue of Birder’s World.

Continued following up on Outdoor News requests.

Continued contacting media regarding the 2004 Governor’s Hunt.  Contacted trick shooters to perform at the trapshoot, and there are two possibilities at this time.

Attended SHOT Show and met with a number of media and manufacturers to promote South Dakota’s outdoors and general travel.

Finalized plans to host media on a turkey hunt in the Black Hills in April.  Currently have three representatives on board.  Worked with media and corporations to bring a large-scale turkey camp to Rosebud in April.

Assisted in hosting a group of media and guides on an ice fishing trip on Waubay Lake.  Followed-up with all participants to assist in gathering additional story material.

Met with Field and Stream (F&S) Radio producer to bring them to the state in October for remote broadcast.

Continued working with media for a spring snow goose hunt near Aberdeen.  Continued plans for a June fishing/Lewis and Clark Trail fam.  Continued contacting guides, sponsors, and speakers.

Provided information and/or interviews to:,, Jameson Parker, Wild Dakota, Knock ‘em Down Productions, Birdscapes, Sportsman’s Channel, Pointing Dog Journal, Focus Outdoors, Field and Stream, Outdoor Life, Sporting Classics, outdoor writer Bob Bledsoe from Oklahoma, and outdoor writer Jack Ballard and photographer Michael Francis from Birding Guide in Montana.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence: Aberdeen American News (18,000) for ad equivalence of $1,056 and Sioux Falls Argus Leader (73,167) for ad equivalence of $3,168.  Total ad equivalence of $4,224. 

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Contacted by a production firm in Los Angeles and New York and assisted with final preparations for an ad campaign they shot in the Badlands.  Contacted motels in Wall regarding motel rooms for 100-member film crew; properties opened up to accommodate the crew.  Followed up with the production coordinator after the shoot.  He said that everything went very smoothly, and the director was pleased with the way things went.  Their financial statement revealed that they spent over $100,000 while in South Dakota.

Contacted by a production firm in the United Kingdom regarding assistance for a portion of a documentary to be filmed in Sioux Falls about the life of and inspiration for actor David Soul, one of the original actors in the television show “Starsky and Hutch” and a Sioux Falls native.  (Soul’s father was a professor at Augustana.)  Assisted with permits and crew.  The crew filmed during two days in the Sioux Falls area.

Attended the 2004 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.  Invited members of the film industry to a reception hosted for 250 people by Tourism’s partner states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.  Attended the 2004 Native Voice Film Festival in Rapid City.  The Department of Tourism and State Development was a sponsor, and the festival brought in several big name actors, directors, and producers.  Over 2,800 people attended the festival.

Contacted by HBO Deadwood producer regarding winter location shots of Spearfish Canyon and Custer State Park.  Took location shots and e-mailed the photos to the production company.

Contacted by a production firm in Los Angeles regarding film footage of the Black Hills for the beginning of the new HBO Deadwood series.  After calling several sources, footage was located with a South Dakota firm.  Gave the contact information for this firm to production contact.

Worked on preparations for April’s 2004 American Film Commissioners International (AFCI) Locations Trade Show in Santa Monica, California.  Worked on arranging meetings during this trip and a visit to the set of HBO’s Deadwood series.  Worked with the Deadwood CVB on preparations for the upcoming HBO Deadwood premiere.  Discussed travel writers’ invitations as well as cross promotions within Tourism and Lottery.  Attended a meeting regarding the Deadwood HBO promotion plan.  Representatives from the city of Deadwood will be meeting in March to discuss this promotional plan.

Contacted by a production firm in Iowa regarding cast and crew for an independent feature to be shot in Sioux City, Iowa, this summer.  Talked about the film, the possibility of shooting in South Dakota, locations, film rebates, crew, and support services.   Sent them a production packet and location photos.  Contacted by a California firm regarding a specific location in the Badlands for an album cover and possible music video.  Sent list of local photographers and location people.

Contacted by a production firm in Tennessee regarding locations for a music video.  Sent production guide and sample locations.

Contacted Disney Productions in regard to the use of still photos and other images from the feature film Hidalgo.  They are sending a press kit, along with photos that we will be able to use for our own promotions.

Contacted by a Columbia University film student regarding shooting his senior thesis film in South Dakota.  Sent ideas on locations and agreed to meet for a location scout.  Had a meeting with student regarding a shoot sometime this summer.  Discussed accommodations, transportation, locations, craft services, and support services.

Contacted by a documentary film maker from Oregon regarding a documentary he hopes to shoot in eastern South Dakota this summer.

Contacted by a firm regarding a possible commercial shoot.  Gave them ideas on where to find locations they identified.  Also working with a local landowner on this project.  He needed actors for a bid proposal.

Contacted by a staff member with the South Dakota Department of Transportation regarding the creation and placement of highway signs in the Hot Springs, Buffalo Gap, and Pine Ridge areas to promote movie locations for Hidalgo and Skins films.

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Received 131 applications for the seasonal travel counselor positions at the Interstate Information Centers.  Will send letters to new applicants in early March to set up times for personal interviews.  Sent letters to returning applicants to set up times for phone interviews.  Researched possible uniforms for the Travel Counselors.  Worked on itinerary for the Information Center training tour in May.

Attended a meeting regarding the Lewis and Clark Travel News Television video, which will be available to visitors at the Chamberlain and Vermillion Information Centers.  Format will be both VHS and DVD.

Will send information on the poster co-op program to the industry in March.

Attended a meeting with representative from the Department of Transportation in North Sioux City to discuss a possible new visitor center.

Met with representatives from Milbank regarding plans for a new visitor center.

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Finalized plans for the management training seminar, which will be held in Pierre at the Best Western Ramkota on April 22.  Judy Randall will be the speaker, one of the presenters at the 2004 Governor’s Conference on Tourism.  Will mail registration flyers in March. 

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Total FY2004 Inquiries through 03-01-04

Mail:   57,439
Internet (e-mail):
Phone:    11,292
Total:  121,064

Total FY2003 Inquiries through 03-01-03:

Mail: 34,585
Internet (e-mail): 45,692
Phone:  12,365
Total:  92,642

This is an overall increase in inquiries of 30.7 percent over FY2003.  (This does not include hits/visits to Tourism’s Web site.)

Calculated number of page views at 731,241 on Tourism’s web site for the period of February 1-29, 2004, (missing two days) for a daily average of 27,083 over a 27-day period.  This compares to calculated page views of 452,807 for the period of February 1-28, 2003, (missing two days) for a daily average of 17,416 over a 26-day period.  This is an increase in daily average of page views of 55.5 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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Smith Travel Research
State January
% change compared to January 2003
Iowa 43.3% 7.7%
Minnesota 46.1% 4.1%
Nebraska 39.5% 2.9%
South Dakota 35.8% 2.3%
Wyoming 40.5% 1.0%
North Dakota 47.9% -0.2%
Montana 38.6% -0.3%

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Mailed Lewis and Clark Essay (L&C) packets to over 500 fourth grade teachers in South Dakota.  Packets included a letter explaining the contest, contest rules, facts about the expedition, a L&C resource list for teachers, L&C schedule of events, a L&C poster from the Washington Pavilion, and a L&C activity booklet for children published by Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a division of the U. S. Department of Agriculture.

Held statewide Corps of Rediscovery meeting at the Pierre Chamber, with over 30 people in attendance.  Updates were given on the Circle of Tribal Advisors, Circle of State Advisors, and Signature Event Coordinators meetings that were held in St. Louis in January.  Representatives from the Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates (ATTA) gave updates on the Art Show/Auction that will kick off the Signature Event in August.  Updates were given by attendees on their community’s Lewis and Clark projects.  Errol Medicine, Wynona Medicine, and Nicole Nordbye were awarded membership plaques.  The next Corps of Rediscovery meetings will be held April 1 in Freeman and July 10 in Chamberlain.  The National Park Service has a video available to anyone interested in information about CORPS II – the traveling exhibit hosted by certain communities along the Lewis and Clark Trail during the Bicentennial.  Tourism has two copies available upon request.

Worked with the United States Postal Service to organize the “First Day of Issue Ceremony” for the Lewis and Clark Commemorative Stamp that will be held May 14, 11 a.m., at the Capitol Building.

Mailed Lewis and Clark materials to the Western Governor’s Association for display at a South Dakota table at the National Governor’s Conference.  Valiant Vineyards,, and Mary Gunderson donated products to be displayed and used as door prizes.

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Held a Signature Event planning meeting in Chamberlain.

Attended an ATTA meeting in Ft. Thompson.

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Fulfilled requests for photo files to State Publishing, Department of Game, Fish and Parks, Department of Transportation, and South Dakota Historical Society, Pierre; South Dakota magazine and Southeast South Dakota Tourism Association, Yankton; Lawrence and Schiller and KELO-TV, Sioux Falls; HMS Enterprises, Fenske Media, and RapidNet, Rapid City; a freelance writer from Texas; and Prairie Business magazine, North Dakota.

Loaned stock footage to America Tours, Rapid City, for a group tour video they are producing; Missouri River footage to Tony Dean Outdoors, Pierre; stock footage to Department of Transportation for a conference; and Lewis and Clark Trail footage and stock footage to Lawrence and Schiller, Sioux Falls.

Sent staff suggestions for changes to Lewis and Clark Minutes to representative at South Dakota Public Broadcasting.  Sent a file of the new Lewis and Clark Guide to incorporate into the end of the broadcasts.

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Created banner and tower ads for use in the online portion of the 4Parks co-op campaign.  Routed a link to the ads to the partners in Wyoming and Montana.  Will draw winners for the sweepstake package on May 3; information is online.  Created an HTML-enriched e-mail that will be sent to Away Network subscribers.

Sent permission e-mail Travelsmart to 92,000 subscribers.  Message contained Black Hills Horse Expo event information; vacation packages from Deadwood, Mitchell, Hot Springs, Black Hills, Sioux Falls, and Watertown; coupons; and upcoming events.  Responded to several inquires from mailing.  E-mailed weekly South Dakota Road Trip information to South Dakotans on Travelsmart.

Plans are in the works to run newspaper ads in Chicago, Des Moines, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Milwaukee, Omaha, Kansas City, Fargo, Sioux City, and Sioux Falls that feature four to five different online vacation packages per week per market.  Each vacation package promoted in the ads will include the package provider’s phone number so potential visitors can contact them directly to book the package.  In addition, 30-second niche television ads will air in the same markets plus Denver.  The TV ads will feature vacation packages that fit into fishing, Lewis and Clark, family, gaming, and motorcycle rally niches.  Vacation packages that offer a unique experience will be featured in advertisements.  Continued to place ads for vacation packages in travel sections of Aberdeen and Rapid City newspapers.   

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Received 2004-2005 South Dakota Vacation Guides.  Partners include the four regional tourism associations.  Of the 500,000 printed, Tourism will distribute 300,000 and the rest will be distributed by the four tourism regions and their advertising partners/members in the Vacation Guide.

Designed Great News and sent to printer.  Will send over 7,500 newsletters to domestic and international tour operators, travel writers, and travel counselors.

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Held a meeting to discuss the script, packaging, and timeline for this year’s show.  Updated the script outline and the planning sheet.  Started digitizing video into the editor for the show.  Researched DVD costs and production methods and researched packaging ideas for the DVD and VHS versions of the program.

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On, completed approximately 125 updates to the Visitor Services Directory (VSD) for a total of 4,685 entries and continued to work on the self-maintenance system for the VSD; added nine online vacation packages to show 68 vacation packages and seven coupons in 22 cities and 22 categories; submitted new packages to; worked on adding features to the “Planning” section; fixed Calendar of Events search problem; and added 90 images to the photo gallery.

Checked Tourism’s rankings for search engine registrations with various keywords.

On, added PDFs of the 2004 Tourism Assistance Directory and 2004 Annual Report.  On MediaSD, added feature articles and photos.  On, added all of the 2Nation Tour itineraries, including links to the other participating states/province and a listing of relevant events.

Mailed information on co-op programs to tourism industry members.  Sign-up forms were enclosed for the Visitor Services Directory, online vacation packages, and online coupons. 

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Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant, July 11-13, 18-20, and 25-27, De Smet: Received four evaluations from 15 evaluations that were mailed to contacts in the De Smet, Huron, and Brookings area.  Conducted two phone interviews.  Attendance increased from 2002 at 5,630 (one night with 1,000+ people) to 5,777 in 2003.  Attendees were from 1.) South Dakota, 2.) Minnesota, 3.) Nebraska, 4.) Iowa and 5.) North Dakota.  Others were from Canada, the UK, Japan, Brazil, Korea, the Bahamas, Norway, Denmark, and Africa.  Three accommodation evaluations were collected.  Two had guests staying overnight at their establishments because of the festival.  One said they had no overnights.  One mentioned they have no way of tracking any visitation or overnights due to the festival. 

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Black Hills Horse Expo, March 20-21, Rapid City: Placed newspaper ads to run March 4-11 in Alliance and Scottsbluff, Nebraska; Gillette, Newcastle, Sheridan, and Sundance, Wyoming; and Miles City, Montana.  Worked with five movie theaters to promote the event with on-screen advertising: Northern Hills Cinema in Spearfish; Rushmore 7 and Carmike Cinemas in Rapid City; and Foothills Twin in Gillette and Centennial 5 in Sheridan, Wyoming.  Media teasers will be sent to South Dakota and regional media to encourage them to promote the event.

Frontier Days, August 17-19, White River: Will attend committee meeting in March to review promotional ideas.  Worked on the marketing plan.

Lewis and Clark Signature Event, August 20 through October 14: Placed event schedule on  Finalized event plan.  Photographed artwork at Akta Lakota Museum of the nine artists who’ve submitted their artwork for the Signature Event.  Submitted ad to Lewis and Clark Trail Guide.

Black Hills Quilt Show and Sale, September 12-15, Hill City: Attended a committee meeting and relayed marketing changes to staff.

Polka Festival, September 17-19, Mitchell: Worked on marketing plan.

Fiddler Jamboree, September 17-19, Yankton: Contacted committee regarding a meeting.  Researched event information.

Bad River Gathering, September 26, Fort Pierre: Added event information and logo to  Met with the marketing committee to discuss promotions for the event.  Finalized marketing plan.

Pumpkin Fest, October 8-9, Webster: Contacted committee regarding their festival.

Last Chance Bonanza Rodeo, November 4-6, Brookings: Contacted committee chair, and plan to meet later in the spring.  Requested event information/press kit.

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for January 2004 was down 0.5 percent at $141,074, compared to $141,866 for January 2003.  The tourism tax deposited for January 2004 was down 1.5 percent at $218,213, as compared to $221,542 for January 2003.  The deposits in FY04 for gaming and the tourism tax are $5,186,884, as compared to $4,884,757 for FY2003.  This is an overall increase in revenue of 6.2 percent when comparing the same time period in FY2003.

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