South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: July 2004

July 2004

   MEMORANDUM TO:  Jim Hagen

   DATE:  August 4, 2004

   FROM:  Patricia Van Gerpen

   SUBJECT:  Tourism’s July Monthly Status Report

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


2010 Initiative
Governor's Conference on Tourism
Public Relations
Group Tour
Film Office
Information Centers

Occupancy Data
Lewis and Clark Promotions
Native American Tourism
Travel Market Advertising

World Wide Web

State Fair
Logo Usage/Image Requests
Mount Rushmore Independence Day
Buffalo Roundup/Invitational Pheasant Hunt
Great Shoulder Events
Department Funding


Continued working on objectives of Goals 1 and 4E.  Progress/details can be found under headings below.

Reformatted Governor’s radio speech on 2010 updates for placement on under “What’s New.”

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Drafted tentative conference schedule and discussed session topics and speakers. Confirmed speakers for sessions on travel trends and Agritourism. Tourism conference is January 19-20, 2005, at the Ramkota in Pierre.

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Researched Tourism’s promotions and drafted marketing suggestions/ideas for Department of Game, Fish and Parks officials to consider for the future.

Sent notification to media regarding statewide events after confirming information with organizers.

Worked with an editor from Midwest Living on a story centered on South Dakota tribes and their views of Lewis and Clark.  Assisted Fred Eckert Travel with travel ideas as he travels in South Dakota later this year to research both Lewis and Clark information and the Black Hills.  Provided information and an itinerary for Family Fun magazine staff writer for travel to Great Lakes and Black Hills, Badlands and Lakes regions in mid-August.  Provided information and developed Black Hills itinerary for writer  from Texas.

Worked with radio personality from Thunderbolt Broadcasting, Tennessee, on a live remote from the Black Hills.  He plans to do live shows from Deadwood, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Custer State Park, and Wall Drug.  The show airs on WCMT AM/FM and WCDZ FM, and the signal covers all of west Tennessee and reaches into Kentucky, Missouri, and Arkansas.

Hosted writers to a Lewis and Clark Trail familiarization tour on jet skis from Farm Island near Pierre to Joe Creek Lakeside Use Area north of Pierre.  One story will appear in the September issue of RIDE magazine.

Fulfilled requests for interviews and/or information to KMIK Radio; KGFX for story on Corps of Rediscovery meeting; Argus Leader for story on Lewis and Clark; South Dakota Public Radio; Depot Radio; KOTA radio for story regarding results of Mount Rushmore fireworks satellite feed; KWAT about summer season, vacation guide, marketing efforts, etc; freelance journalists; Mark Exum, South Florida Supported Services Newsletter; Barbara Baduel, Texas; Brent Frazee, Kansas City Star; Midwest Living; Lori Van Pelt, Wyoming – writing article for True West magazine; Carl Hose, Missouri; Lorry Heverly, Louisiana; KSBN of Arkansas and Cameron Communications regarding Mount Rushmore fireworks satellite feed; Gerry Volgenau, Ann Arbor, Michigan – writing an article for Midwest Living; Rachel Rome, Rome Around, Massachusetts; Chris Brinkley, Tennessee; and Federal Reserve.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence include: Capital City Journal (4,636) for ad equivalence of $42; Daily News, New York (805,350) Thunder in the Hills by Bob Kappstatter, hosted at 2003 Buffalo Roundup, for ad equivalence of $20,064; Endless Vacation (1.5 million) Where the Buffalo Still Roam by Jackson Mahaney and Layne Kennedy, hosted at the 2003 Buffalo Roundup, for ad equivalence of $176,400; National Geographic Traveler (724,119) High Plains Driftin’ by Mel White, for ad equivalence of $83,300.  Online hits: Los Angeles Times (, 6/28/04, Set your watch to 1876, Deadwood story by Beverly Beyette; Where To Go Next Website, 6/30/04, Where The Buffalo Roam…by Rich Steck; and Where To Go Next Website, 7/7/04, Costner Dances with Buffaloes by Rick Steck and Judi Janofsky.  Total ad equivalence of $279,806.

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Contacted National Tour Association (NTA) for list of South Dakota NTA convention participants so that they can be added to postcard that will be sent to NTA tour operators to encourage them to schedule and request more information on South Dakota.

Completed follow-up to 70 appointments from Travel Association of America Pow Wow.

Mailed 869 copies of the Winter 2004-05 Great News newsletters to the international database.  Highlights included snowboarding, skiing, snowmobiling, ice climbing, sleigh rides, Christmas celebrations, mineral spas, an indoor rodeo, and nature studies.

Scheduled update and reprint of Escort Notes, a booklet that contains tidbits, legends, and trivia of South Dakota.  It is given to tour operators to use as they travel in South Dakota.

Sent color copies of Outdoor magazine article to Tony Diem at Deadwood Bicycles and Harley Noem at Black Hills Trails.  Article was a result of the 2003 familiarization tour for Jacob Van Splunter, the Netherlands.

Provided requested information for group tours and/or media to Brekke Tours, North Dakota; Rill’s Bus Service, Maryland; Premier World Tours, California; TLC Travels, Minnesota; Holiday Tours, North Carolina; Diamond Tours, Florida; American Dream Tours, Indiana; Jane’s Journeys, Illinois; Swiss Valley Tours, Ohio; Heartland Tours, Nebraska; Rocky Mountain Holiday Tours, Colorado; Rockland Tours and Rosemarie Gregory, Ontario; Fehr-Way Tours, Manitoba; “Star of the Media,” France; Tourism Company, Pakistan; and MyPlanet Denmark A/S, Denmark.

Contacted Stewart Gough regarding Visit USA, United Kingdom, familiarization tour for six to seven journalists to South Dakota and Wyoming.  Group postponed trip to 2005. 

Met with and made final itinerary arrangements for a press trip for Kerstin Wahl, Giessinger Anziger, German Newspaper.  Wahl was in South Dakota in July visiting Lewis and Clark sites, Badlands National Park, Rapid City, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, Mickelson Trail, Hill City, Deadwood, and Spearfish.  Some of her interests include: family stories, adventure, American Indian, Lewis and Clark, and the Black Hills.

Worked on preliminary details and itinerary for tour operator meetings in Denmark and Sweden, as part of the Rocky Mountain International marketing partnership.

Developed familiarization tour for journalist from Germany.  Began making arrangements after receiving approval on the itinerary.  Journalist previously wrote about Black Hills area for Fuldaer Zeitung.

Made arrangements for South Dakota portion of Donnavventura Fam, Italy, an Italian television program.  Production manager and cameraman will film adventurous activities of six young women this fall.  The story centers around a "dream come true" theme for a young woman who wants to experience the life of a reporter and star in a television series.  Discussed coordination of this tour with U.S. Commercial Service and possible assistance for future familiarization tours.

Worked on arrangements for Phoenix Media, Italy, press trip for filming several areas in the fall, including Sioux Falls, Vermillion, Mitchell, Chamberlain, Lower Brule, Pierre, and Gettysburg as part of their "Waterways 2004/2005 Edition" which will have nine episodes dedicated to several locations internationally.  The length of each episode is 48 minutes.  The focus of their story in South Dakota will be gourmet meals, Bed and Breakfasts, American Indian culture, and Lewis and Clark.  The Hippy Gourmet, James Ehrlich, plans on joining the film crew in the Vermillion area to film the Gourmet Paddle Program.  They plan to attend the Buffalo Roundup and pre-familiarization tour in the Black Hills as well.

Drafted tentative itineraries for international journalists who will be attending the Buffalo Roundup.  Worked on itineraries/details for French film crews.  Worked to coordinate filming of bison in South Dakota for France 3 Film Crew, led by Claude Poulet.

Worked on itinerary for Special Traffic Fam, Benelux, to be held in September.  Staff will escort group of 16 tour operators throughout the Black Hills and Badlands.

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Fulfilled requests for information from AAA/CAA offices and independent travel agencies from 13 states and Canada: Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, and Manitoba.

Received reservations from ten AAA/CAA travel counselors for the “Black Hills or Bust” familiarization tour in September.  Participants are from Colorado, Kentucky, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Alberta and Ontario, Canada.

Sent e-mail blast to AAA/CAA travel counselors nationwide that highlighted the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, state parks and recreation areas, familiarization tour in September, events, attractions, and a link to’s photo gallery.

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Continued working with two communities on the bid and selection process for two outdoors writers’ conferences: Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW) in 2006 and Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) in 2008.

Completed follow up to media who attended OWAA Conference in June in Washington.   Made arrangements to attend AGLOW Conference in Iowa in September.  Made arrangements to attend SHOT Show in January 2005.  Began contacting media and scheduling meetings.

Worked with an editor from North American Hunter on a dog training and camping story in the grasslands area and a trip to South Dakota in August.  Worked with Knock ‘em Down Productions on a number of projects, including a pheasant hunting show near Clark in October and a month-long hunting expedition in southeast South Dakota.  Began making plans to host a goose and pheasant hunt in the Pierre area in December for six to eight journalists.  Provided information to Field and Stream editors regarding first-class, lower-priced hunting destinations in South Dakota.  Worked with Focus Outdoors television series on a pheasant and waterfowl hunt in the Glacial Lakes Region for fall 2004.  Provided information to Kansas City Star and lined up guides for outdoors editor to fish in the Spearfish area.

Provided information and/or interviews to BASS Times, Tony Dean Outdoors, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota Cable, and various freelance journalists.

Press hits online: Natural Traveler Website, 7/19/04, South Dakota’s World Class Birding by Tony Tedeschi, hosted during the 2004 Southeast Birding Fam. 

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Hired Ann Garry, Sioux Falls, who will start in August as the marketing assistant.

Assisted with the organization of and attended the Black Hills Microcinema Festival in Rapid City.  Over 40 filmmakers from across the United States and Canada attended.  Coordinated and hosted nine filmmakers to a locations tour of the Black Hills.  Festival wrap-up is available on their web site at

Hosted members of a production company from Minneapolis on a scout for an independent feature.

Attended a meeting in Rapid City with other staff and several members of the production community in the Black Hills to discuss several aspects of the film office.

Contacted by a filmmaker from New York regarding a documentary being considered on the Oscar Micheaux film festival in Gregory.

Contacted by HBO regarding an upcoming feature project.  Contacted by a production company from Utah, regarding a project during the Sturgis Rally.  Assisted him with location ideas, crew, and lodging.

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The car count at the Information Centers for the month of June was down 3.4 percent over June 2003; Canadian visitation was down over June 2003 by 1.1 percent; and visitation from other international locations was down over June 2003 by 4.8 percent.  There were 131 motorcoaches/buses and 21 were international.

Use of travel tapes and CDs was up over June 2003 by 38.4 percent.

For July, we received 276 comment cards from visitors.  Following are sample comments:

"Great asset to South Dakota tourism.  Really is valuable to traveler.  Would not have seen or stayed at Badlands without this service."  Pennsylvania

"In all of the traveling I've done this is absolutely the best rest area I've seen."  Ohio

"Traveled much! Absolutely the best State Information Centers in the USA. This was so in 2000 and again in 2004!"  Michigan

"Staff members were exceptionally friendly and helpful—the best we have encountered in our visit to eight western states!"  Maryland

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Reviewed nominations for hospitality recognition.  To date, 181 individuals/businesses have received the Governor’s Certificate, 46 have received the foil star for a second recognition, and 20 have received a gold lapel pin for a third recognition.

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Total FY2005 Inquiries through 08-01-04

Mail:     2,426
Internet (e-mail):
Phone:     1,773
Total:   13,279

Total FY2004 Inquiries through 08-01-03:

Mail:   13,656
Internet (e-mail):   10,298
Phone:     3,456
Total:   27,410

This is an overall decrease in inquiries of 51.6 percent over FY2004.  Primary reason for decrease: Discontinued using Pay-Per-Inquiry TV, which was used last year and brought in about 8,690 inquiries last July.  This decision was part of our change in media strategy.  (This does not include hits/visits to Tourism’s Web site.)

Calculated number of page views at 1,081,292 on Tourism’s web site for the period of July 1-31, 2004, for a daily average of 34,880 over a 31-day period.  This compares to calculated page views of 850,694 for the period of July 1-31, 2003, for a daily average (missing three days) of 30,382 over a 28-day period.  This is an increase in daily average of page views of 14.8 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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South Dakota Tourism Research Motel Occupancy
Region May 2004 May 2003 Difference
Southeast 57.0% 59.1% -2.1%
Glacial Lakes & Prairies 48.3% 48.9% -0.6%
Great Lakes 38.6% 44.5% -5.9%
Black Hills/Badlands 45.0% 51.6% -6.6%
Statewide Avg. 47.1% 52.3% -5.2%
South Dakota Tourism Research Motel Occupancy
Region June 2004 June 2003 Difference
Southeast 66.9% 75.8% -8.9%
Glacial Lakes & Prairies 55.8% 54.5% 1.3%
Great Lakes 57.6% 55.7% 1.9%
Black Hills/Badlands 70.5% 73.1% -2.6%
Statewide Avg. 65.2% 69.0% -3.8%
South Dakota Tourism Research Campground Occupancy
Region June 2004 June 2003 Difference
Southeast 44.3% 44.8% -0.5%
Glacial Lakes & Prairies 51.6% 49.1% 2.5%
Great Lakes 43.6% 47.0% -3.4%
Black Hills/Badlands 44.5% 53.7% -9.2%
Statewide Avg. 44.9% 51.2% -6.3%

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Coordinated and attended the Lewis and Clark (L&C) Corps of Rediscovery meeting held at the South Dakota Hall of Fame in Chamberlain.  Group was given updates from trail communities on the progress of their events, attendees were briefed on status of Signature Event and locations of Corp of Discovery II, and group toured the facility.  The next meeting will be held November 6 in Pollock.  Continued to compile a L&C e-mail database.

Drafted letter to fourth grade teachers in South Dakota regarding Lewis and Clark activities/information for the fall.  Encouraged them to take advantage of the various events and suggested ways to incorporate the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration into their lessons, such as Lewis and Clark Web sites.

Made arrangements to attend the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation meeting in Bismarck in August. 

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Sent Guide to Indian Reservations and Art to printer.  Expect delivery of 17,000 copies in August.

Continued working with the Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates (ATTA) on various Signature Event details.

Worked with ATTA on itineraries for various group tour and individual requests.

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Completed photo assignments with new images of wildlife, events, Missouri River, art festivals, water recreation, attractions, scenics, fireworks, car racing, pow wow dancers, fishing, museums, etc.  Made appointments for next month’s assignments.

Worked on implementation of digital imaging and expanding the image database.

Fulfilled requests for photos from State Publishing, Department of Game, Fish and Parks, and Department of Agriculture, Pierre; Dan Grigg Images, Mitchell; South Dakota magazine and Design Solutions, Yankton; South Dakota Rural Water Association and Lawrence and Schiller, Sioux Falls; Home & Away magazine, Nebraska; Family Fun magazine, Massachusetts; and Midwest Living magazine, Iowa.

Fulfilled requests for video footage of Sturgis Rally to CNN for use in a show on which they are working and to Preferred Public Relations in Las Vegas to use in promoting the rally; sent stock video to KSFY in Sioux Falls for use in new promotion pieces and to Donnaventura in Milano, Italy.

Shot following footage to add to the video library: crowds at Mount Rushmore, camping and fishing at Stockade Lake, wildlife in Custer State Park, Capital City Queen near Pierre, Buffalo Interpretive Center, Oscar Howe/Middle Border Museum in Mitchell, boating and scenics of Lewis and Clark Lake near Yankton, and Wind Cave from the Rankin Ridge Tower. 

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Notified partners in the South Dakota Road Trip co-op of the July schedule: On the Trail with Lewis and Clark (Sioux Falls) – Sioux Falls Best Western Ramkota Hotel and the Washington Pavilion; Nostalgic Fun in Murdo – Pioneer Auto Show, The Diner, and Murdo Super 8; Ride on the Wild Side – Custer State Park Resort Company and Custer State Park; and Riverside Relaxation (Chamberlain/Oacoma) – Cedar Shore Resort, Akta Lakota Museum, and Old West Trading Post.  The co-op is a five-minute travel show that broadcasts on KELO-TV each Sunday night following the 10 p.m. news.  Each package receives one five-minute show to be broadcast four times during the program year.

Completed details in organizing final locations and models for the 2005 TV commercial shoot.

Completed preliminary research regarding other states’ vacation guides for a report.

Made final edits to Spring/Summer 2005 Great News newsletter.  Completed research and drafted stories for the Fall 2005 Great News.  Great News is produced three times a year and mailed to group tour operators, AAA/CAA counselors, and journalists – 9,800 copies of the Spring/Summer 2004 edition (included international database), 7,650 copies of the Fall 2004 edition, and 7,850 copies of the Winter 2004-2005 version.

Sent Travelsmart e-newsletter to 115,000 addresses that highlighted family travel, Kid Zone, trivia, packages and coupons, events, and a link to building your own vacation in the Black Hills.  Made changes to database and responded to several inquiries from mailing.

Designed and placed Great Events Shoulder travel directory ad in September/October issue of Midwest Living.

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On Updated Visitor Services Directory (VSD) to show 4,816 entries.  Added iPIX images for 26 partners.  Updated online vacation packages and coupons to show 149 packages and 39 coupons in 40 cities and 27 categories, and sent information to  Worked with Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT) to conduct testing sessions with Pierre businesses for the VSD User Maintenance System.  Mailed and e-mailed VSD partners about system and form to sign-up for this option.  Drafted stories for Kid Zone.

Worked on compiling responses from online vacation package partners whose packages had expired.

Called online package partners to determine level of response and knowledge of packages being offered on  Informed partners of any problems.  Information will be compiled into a final report.

Checked rankings for various keywords with and search engines.

Mailed Calendar of Events sign-up forms to event coordinators on our database. Added links to the User Maintenance System from the homepage and the “Programs” homepage.  Added Calendar of Events registration forms.

Researched online booking, drafted Travelsmart e-mail forms that will be distributed at Information Centers, and worked on other requests/projects from staff and BIT, including a new photo CD.

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Compiled data for the 2004 second quarter consumer Web survey report.  Sent prize packages to winners from Illinois and Minnesota.  Survey results for the second quarter were compiled from 215 respondents and include:

64 percent had been to South Dakota before

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

78 percent said answered all of their travel questions

95 percent said they would recommend the site to another traveler

42 percent were referred to by a search engine

42 percent indicated it was their first time visiting

62 percent of the respondents are female; 33 percent are male; 5 percent declined to answer

73 percent are married

36 percent have children under 18 living at home

61 percent of the respondents are from the target states of Minnesota (32 respondents), Illinois (21) Iowa and Nebraska (16), Wisconsin (15), Missouri (9), Colorado and Texas (8), and North Dakota (5).

Top out-of-target-market states include Pennsylvania and Ohio (7) and Florida (4).

Contacted managers/supervisors at selected attractions/sites and events for permission to conduct intercept interviews.  Filed reports on the events’ findings and entered other data into database for compilation into the 2004 Intercept Study which will be distributed at the 2005 Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

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Completed details of booth for the State Fair, September 4 – 11.  Contacted various industry businesses statewide to solicit prizes for drawings during the Fair.

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Fulfilled requests for South Dakota logo to Lonnie Garland, Pierre, for a mention on a Broken Arrow Farms ad; Christine Hibbeler at Public Utilities Commission; Henkin/Schultz, Sioux Falls; Stacie Anderson with Orion Food Systems.  Fulfilled requests for South Dakota script to Dennis Anderson at Emergency Management for South Dakota State Fair banner; Mini Bell with the South Dakota Pork Producers – incorporating script into new logo.  Sent John Gille a link to the South Dakota logo, and researched his request for the Lewis and Clark logo for a Lewis and Clark related bicycle ride T-shirt.

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Helped set up satellite truck and equipment to project entertainment onto the big screen video displays, shot live video and transmitted it to the satellite for broadcast, and assisted in compressing a clip for use on Tourism’s Web site.

Tracking company reported 290 media hits from around the country for an estimated 18.6 million viewers.  National media included ABC, CNN, CNN Headline News, and FOX with affiliates in 37 states.  Sample of cities that carried news/clips include: Albuquerque, Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Memphis, Miami, Nashville, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Spokane, Toledo, Washington D.C.

Placed high resolution fireworks/Mount Rushmore photos on 

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

Made final arrangements for print materials for Roundup invitation.  Worked on other event details.

Worked with vendor on materials for invitation to the Governor’s Hunt.  Juried Art Showcase applicants and sent notices to all regarding status of application.  Continued working on other event details. 

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Black Hills Horse Expo, March 20-21, Rapid City: Surveyed 106 attendees during the event.  Attendees saw ads in Equine magazine (49) and newspapers (28) with word-of-mouth being highest (49) form of advertising.  Attendees were from Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Texas, Wyoming, and South Dakota.  Clinicians commented on the quality of the Expo and expressed interest in returning in 2005.

Frontier Days, August 20-22, White River: Placed ads in newspapers in North Platte, Minneapolis, and Ainsworth.

Lewis and Clark Signature Event, August 26 through September 27: Continued working with the Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates on the distribution of Signature Event brochures and used a variety of databases for mailing invitations to the Art Show and Auction.  Drafted copy for media teasers on each event/location on the River in the overall Signature Event.

Black Hills Quilt Show and Sale, September 12-15, Hill City: Finalized ad placements.

Polka Festival, September 17-19, Mitchell: Wrote copy for ads.

Old Time Fiddlers’ Jamboree, September 17-18, Yankton: Mailed copies of newspaper ad and poster to event organizer for review.

Bad River Gathering, September 24-26, Fort Pierre: Promotions for this event are included in overall promotions for the Signature Event.  Continued attending local committee meetings.

Pumpkin Fest, October 8-9, Webster: Met with local committee and shared ideas for activities to increase attendance.

Last Chance Bonanza Rodeo, October 21-23, Brookings: Finalized promotion plan.  Contacted Minnesota Ad Network to reserve ad space.

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Since the amounts listed below are deposited in the month following their actual collection, a new reporting year or fiscal year has begun.

Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for June 2004 was up 6.1 percent at $195,264, compared to $184,026 for June 2003.  The tourism tax deposited for June 2004 was up 4.4 percent at $268,398, as compared to $257,106 for June 2003.  The deposits for FY05 for gaming and the tourism tax are $463,662, as compared to $441,132 for FY2004.  This is an overall increase in revenue of 5.1 percent for fiscal year 2005 over fiscal year 2004.

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