South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: March 2004

March 2004

   MEMORANDUM TO:  Jim Hagen

   DATE: April 7, 2004

   FROM: Patricia Van Gerpen

   SUBJECT: Tourism’s March Monthly Status Report

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


2010 Initiative
Rural Tourism Development
Public Relations
Group Tour
Film Office
Information Centers
Lewis and Clark Promotions
Native American Tourism
Travel Market Advertising

Travel News Television
World Wide Web

Great Shoulder Events
Department Funding


Continued drafting action plans for various Goal 1 objectives, which included compiling a list of niche markets and publications and drafting a request for proposal.  Held meeting to discuss Goal 4E: Capitalize on the existing outdoor opportunities in our state.  Continued to develop action plans. Major progress will be noted on

Organized meetings to be held in April in each of the four tourism regions – Sioux Falls, Aberdeen, Rapid City, and Pierre – to follow up on requests from attendees of the August 2003 2010 pre-summits for more “idea exchanges.”  Agenda items include updates on Goal 1, informational sessions on Tourism marketing programs, co-op advertising campaigns, and financial programs in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.  Will also gather input for 2010 goals.  Letters were sent to each region’s list and information on the meetings has been added to 

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Attended the Value Added Ag Conference in Brookings and shared a booth with representatives from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.  Spoke at three of the breakout sessions regarding marketing programs that are available through the Office of Tourism and agri-tourism. 

Attended a Northern Route to the Black Hills (NRBH) meeting in Bismarck.  Members of the NRBH committee briefed the group on their objectives.  Representatives from the Bismarck Chamber of Commerce and CVB, North Dakota Tourism, Theodore Roosevelt Foundation, former North Dakota Governor Ed Schaeffer, and the Spearfish CVB director were also in attendance.  Will send information to the NRBH committee members to follow up on the meeting.

Assisted with the Little Ambassador Contest mailing for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society, Inc.  Society members will judge the contest.

Kerry Frei, former Rural Tourism Assistant, has been hired to replace Cindy Tryon as Rural Tourism Manager.  Nicole Soukup has been hired as the new Rural Tourism Assistant.  She is a graduate of the University of South Dakota and is originally from Wagner.  Nicole starts her job on April 5. 

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Worked on designing individual CVB newspaper ads for the National Tourism Week promotion, “Have you been to…?” campaign.  The 2004 campaign will include a “photo hunt game” as part of each CVB’s ad.  Will route ads to each CVB for their review.  Researched media teasers for the promotion.  Reviewed TV spots.  Placed radio buy to run May 10-16.  Will design lapel buttons for each CVB to distribute.  Began making media appointments.

Designed “save the date” cards for the Governor’s Buffalo Roundup and the Governor’s Invitational Pheasant Hunt.  Will send cards to international and domestic journalists, and film, airline, and group tour contacts in April.

Met with more than 70 media members at the 4Parks’ New York City media blitz.  Completed follow-up to all who attended as well as those unable to attend.  Will contact those who expressed interested in traveling to South Dakota.  Completed follow-up with media contacts from the SHOT show, and will contact those interested in traveling to South Dakota.

Met with committee that is developing a bicycle ride across South Dakota for June 2005.  Ride will begin in Mobridge and end in Yankton.  Agencies involved in assisting the Sioux Falls Argus Leader with this event include the Department of Game, Fish and Parks, Department of Transportation, and the Office of Tourism.

Hosted a photographer and writer on a late-winter watchable wildlife tour in Faulk and Spink counties.

Made preliminary arrangements for media members to ride the Lewis and Clark Trail via the Missouri River on jet skis in July.

Began acquiring tapes from the meteorologists fam in January.  Worked on plans for the January 2005 fam.

Worked with a Black Hills organization to increase awareness of the Mickelson Trail.  Continued contacting media about the trail.

Fact checked South Dakota copy for new Rand McNally road atlas; drafted copy for Midwest Living e-newsletter; provided South Dakota attractions information for the Briggs & Stratton Top 10 Lawns for Family Fun contest.

Provided information and/or interviews to: Men’s Journal; National Examiner; National Geographic; National Geographic Adventure; American Cowboy; Prairie Business magazine; Depot Radio; Golf Digest; Smithsonian; Midwest Meetings; National Geographic Adventure Traveler; North Platte Telegraph; PR Post; National Examiner, Florida; writers from New York, Florida, Kansas, and Maryland; Unlimited magazine; Beaches magazine; South Dakota Public Radio; KOTA Radio; Sioux Falls Argus Leader; Rapid City Journal; Mitchell Daily Republic; Bob Mercer; and Hennen Publishing, Brookings. 

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence: Rapid City Journal (35,465) with ad equivalence of $350; Sioux Falls Argus Leader (73,167) two articles for ad equivalence of $9,764; Prairie Business magazine (19,000) with ad equivalence of $2,875; and American Cowboy (98,051) with ad equivalence of $6,450.  Total ad value of $19,439.

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Continued preparations for the Spring Group Tour Operators Fam in June, which will include Rapid City, Black Hills, Badlands, Mitchell, and Sioux Falls.  Have 12 participants to date.

Mailed Great News piece to 7,600 international and domestic tour operators and journalists.

Sent Group Tour Planning Guide forms to approximately 2,700 visitor industry members.  Guide is published every two years.  Posted downloadable forms on  Provided disclaimer copy and heading for TourSDakota site to distinguish the site as being for groups.  Updated partner copy.

Sent a survey for the group tour co-op to South Dakota National Tour Association/American Bus Association (NTA/ABA) members offering three different advertising options for the 2004 advertising campaign, per request of members.  Will decide cost and scope of placement when partner surveys are complied.

Sent requested information to Progressive Travel, Wisconsin; Seniors Unlimited, Michigan; American Bus Association, Washington DC; Park Tours, West Virginia; Tours to Perfection, Georgia; Tourrific, California; Burt Marketing, Iowa; Ted Hottinger, Minnesota; Jack Rabbit Charters & Tours, South Dakota; Holiday Media, Nova Scotia; FQCC, Quebec; Cardinal Travel Tours Inc., Alberta; Jalpack, Japan; Walter Kruezer fam, Germany; and Turisme Juvenil de Catalunya, S.A., Spain. 

Added leads to Tourism’s database from a tradeshow attended by the Black Hills, Badlands and Lakes Tourism Association.

Attended a 2Nation Tours meeting of partners from North Dakota, Minnesota, and Manitoba to discuss fam tours, web sites, and group planners.  Attended Minnesota Group Tour Expo tradeshow to promote to tour operators and travel agents.

Interviewed by Group Tour magazine on American Indian attractions in South Dakota.  Sent press kit and additional information as requested.  Sent article for a South Dakota feature story in Bus Tours magazine.

Researched and requested 100 appointments for Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) Pow Wow in April.  Updated South Dakota profile on TIA’s web site.

Worked on fam arrangements for April for a writer for a Dutch newspaper, Algemeen Dagblad, in the Netherlands.  Fam will follow the Lewis and Clark Trail.

Sent information to a journalist in Norway for a fictional story about a lake in South Dakota.  Provided information on South Dakota for an article for L’Agenzia di Viaggi, Italy.  Provided copy and photos to Ralf Niemzig, Germany, for two articles he wrote about South Dakota and the Buffalo Roundup.

Gathered information for journalist Vincenzo Calo, Italy, who was in South Dakota along with photographer Aldo Pavan for the 2003 Buffalo Roundup and post fam of the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian Reservations, Badlands, and Black Hills.

Attended International Tourism Bourse (Exhibition), Europe’s largest tradeshow, as part of the Rocky Mountain International (RMI) marketing partnership.  Met with tour operators and journalists.  Sent requested information for Benelux Road Show, which is being attended by RMI staff in Benelux.

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Fulfilled requests for information from AAA/CAA offices and independent travel agencies from Canada and the following states: Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Sent e-mail blast to AAA/CAA travel counselors/subscribers nationwide.

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Designed and placed full-color fishing ads for the May/June issue of Walleye Insider and the July/July issue of In-Fisherman.  Wrote and coordinated mailing of 31,000 “You’re always welcome” fishing-themed letters from the Governor. 

Researched and wrote stories and for the Fall/Winter 2004 Outdoor News mailing that will be sent to 3,000 outdoor writers and editors in April.

Reviewed proposed summer spot for outdoor television.  Worked on media plan for Lake Oahe.

Worked with three television programs on the Black Hills turkey season, including Outdoorsmen Adventures, Backroads with Ron and Raven, and Taxidermy Trails.  Set up hunt for North American Hunter on ESPN.

Worked with media and corporations to bring a large-scale turkey camp to Rosebud in April.  Tourism will present statewide travel and outdoor opportunities to journalists and corporations.

Hosted a spring snow goose hunt near Aberdeen for a photographer and two writers; two photographers on a late-season pheasant hunt; and Wild Dakota on a fishing trip on Lake Francis Case, to air in April.

Continued contacting media for a spring fam of birding locations in the Southeast in May.  Tour includes sites near the following: Sioux Falls, North Sioux City, Lake Andes, and Mitchell.  Secured optic sponsor for the event.  Worked on setting up a meeting with the entities who involved in developing the birding trail.

Received copies of articles from writers involved in Ice Fishing Press Trip.  Show will air next fall, prior to first ice on area lakes.

Finalized details with Field and Stream Radio producer to bring F&S Radio to the state in October for remote broadcast, which includes a broadcast during the Governor’s Invitational Pheasant Hunt.

Worked with the Aberdeen American News to invite media to attend their charity event in October for American Diabetes Association Pheasant Hunt.

Continued plans for a fishing the Lewis and Clark Trail fam in June in Pierre, with lodging at Horsefeather’s Lodge.

Provided information and/or interviews to: Pointing Dog Journal; Focus Outdoors; Sporting Classics; Grays Sporting Journal; Walleye North America; Outdoorsmen International; Traveling Wingshooter; Backroads with Ron and Raven; and Wild Dakota.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence: Aberdeen American News (18,000) with ad equivalence of $576; Globe Gazette, Iowa (20,000) three articles for ad equivalence of $2,446; Ames Tribune, Iowa (12,000) for ad equivalence of $1,344; Omaha World-Herald (241,137) for ad equivalence of $11,840; Menominee County Journal (5,450) for ad equivalence of $120; Heartland USA, May/June 2004, “Walleye Factory – South Dakota’s Lake Sharpe” (1.2 million) for ad equivalence of $31,500.  Total ad value of $47,826.

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Wrote copy and selected pictures for the 2004 locations postcards.

Followed up with Disney Productions and Buena Vista regarding press kits for the release of Hidalgo.  Attended a special screening of Hidalgo in Rapid City, which was sponsored by screenwriter John Fusco.  As of March 29, Hidalgo had made approximately $55 million in sales in the United States.

Contacted by a Los Angeles film studio regarding locations for a commercial.  Sent photo files and crew lists and discussed crew and extras.

Attended a meeting with state and city officials regarding the use of the Tourism Sub-fund.

Contacted by a San Francisco film studio regarding an independent feature film based on a book of the same name.  They are looking at South Dakota for filming either in 2004 or 2005.  Sent a production guide, crew list, and location photos. 

Was interviewed for radio in regard to Hidalgo and Deadwood by KYNT, Yankton; KOTA, Rapid City; and South Dakota Public Radio; and by Sioux Falls Argus Leader and Screen magazine.

Sent production packets to film studios in New York, Georgia, California, and Arizona.

Researched a western mini-series for locations.  Discussed this project with a landowner who has been working on getting this project to South Dakota. 

Worked on preparations and arrangements for the 2004 Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) Locations Expo to be held in California.  Discussed several new marketing opportunities for the Northern Plains and Rockies consortium with partner states of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho.

Contacted Roscoe Productions (HBO’s Deadwood) regarding future assistance with HBO. 

Attended Korean War Memorial meetings to discuss general planning, public relations, entertainment, infrastructure, power concerns, and logistics of various booths.  Contacted by USO International, which is the organization in charge of the USO and received permission to use the USO name.  Will obtain USO memorabilia and information to help with authenticity.  Confirmed an emcee for one of the USO tents.

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Conducted interviews for the travel counselor positions at the Information Centers by phone and by appointment in Spearfish, Mitchell, Vermillion, Sioux Falls, and Chamberlain.  Worked on details for the Information Center training tour, May 3-7.  Tentative itinerary includes Pierre, Sioux Falls, Canistota, Wall, Rapid City, Spearfish, Deadwood, and Hot Springs.

Worked on Lewis and Clark artwork design for Information Center travel counselors’ uniforms.

Sent the poster co-op program letter to the tourism industry.  Space is still available at Salem EB and Wasta EB.

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For 2004, we have 32 individuals/businesses that have received recognition for hospitality with the Governor’s Certificate, and two have received the foil star for a second recognition.

Designed and mailed 2,155 registration flyers for the Spring Fling Management Training Workshop which will be held in Pierre at the Best Western Ramkota on April 22.  Judy Randall will be the speaker.  Placed information on

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Total FY2004 Inquiries through 04-01-04

Mail:   64,538
Internet (e-mail):
Phone:    13.879
Total:  142,731

Total FY2003 Inquiries through 04-01-03:

Mail:  42,860
Internet (e-mail):  55,341
Phone:   15,910
Total:  114,111

This is an overall increase in inquiries of 25.1 percent over FY2003.  (This does not include hits/visits to Tourism’s Web site.)

Calculated number of page views at 1,011,558 on Tourism’s web site for the period of March 1-31, 2004, (missing two days) for a daily average of 36,127 over a 29-day period.  This compares to calculated page views of 527,974 for the period of March 1-31, 2003, (missing three days) for a daily average of 18,856 over a 28-day period.  This is an increase in daily average of page views of 85 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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Drafted plan for revision of Lewis and Clark web pages on

Began design of oversized art show ticket for the Lewis and Clark Signature Event.  Received artwork from artist Don Montileaux for use on the ticket, invitation, and brochure.

Have begun receiving entries for the Lewis and Clark Essay contest.

Worked on speakers and logistics for the program for the “First Day of Issue Ceremony” for the Lewis and Clark Commemorative Stamp on May 14, 11 a.m., at the Capitol Building.

Have scheduled the next Lewis and Clark Corps of Rediscovery meeting for May 6 at Freeman.  Topics for the meeting include updates on the Discovery Expedition from St. Charles, Missouri; Corps II – the National Park Service Traveling Exhibit; and the Signature Event.  A representative from the National Guard will be presenting information on what the Guard plans to do to help with the Bicentennial Commemoration.  Met with representatives of the National Park Service to do a site visit at Fort Pierre and Eagle Butte for Corps of Discovery II – the traveling exhibit.

Met with two landowners about hosting the Discovery Expedition members in Gregory County in September of this year.  

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Attended an Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates meeting at Fort Randall Casino and gave updates on the Signature Event.

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Fulfilled requests for slides to State Publishing, Department of Game, Fish and Parks, and State Fair Board, Pierre; South Dakota magazine and freelance designer Mary Ann Hoebelheinrich, Yankton; Lawrence and Schiller, Outdoor Campus, and American Coalition for Ethanol, Sioux Falls; Dan Grigg Images, Mitchell; freelance writer Tom Domek, Custer; Gettysburg Chamber of Commerce; Prairie Berry Winery, Hill City; Aberdeen CVB and Aberdeen American News; and newspaper writer Gordon Charles, Michigan.

Because South Dakota images are available at Tourism’s online photo gallery, fulfilling slide requests by mail has decreased.

Fulfilled requests for video footage to Travel Industry Association of America – national parks in South Dakota for a media satellite feed as a part of their See America’s Parks campaign; Lawrence & Schiller – Lewis and Clark and fishing for use in Tourism’s TV spots; and Macrovision, Deadwood. 

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Sent weekly ads to Rapid City Journal and Aberdeen American News for placement in travel sections of Sunday editions to promote online vacation packages in Sioux Falls (3), Mitchell, and Hot Springs.

Plan 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 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.

Made partner corrections for Giant Step Shoulder Season magazine insert and forwarded to partners for review.

Worked with 4Parks partners and to gather photos that were used in creating a 4Parks screensaver.  Worked with to gather statistics.

Sent Travelsmart to 99,000 subscribers with highlights of vacation packages, travel tips, and upcoming events. 

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Worked on design of Great Parks and Monuments brochure and researched costs for printing in French, German, and Japanese.   

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Worked on design for the tent cards, cases, and inserts for the TNT video and CD.  This video and CD is free to lodging properties for broadcast on in-house cable systems and to city cable channels.  The Lewis and Clark Trail is the theme for 2004.

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On, have 94 packages and 16 coupons listed; updated the Visitor Services Director (VSD), showing a database of 4,735 entries; added a Travel Bulletin on fishing into the homepage rotation; reactivated the summer images; worked on revamping the Lewis and Clark Trail section; and added the new South Dakota music.  Will mail forms in July for the 2005-2006 Calendar of Events.

Looked at rankings on Google for various keywords and phrases and tested their new “local search” feature.  Experimented with a new search engine called

On, updated the 2004 program information and forms for the WWW/VSD co-op, online packages and coupons, and the Group Tour Planning Guide.  Added information about the management training workshop, Corps of Rediscovery membership, and idea exchange meetings and locations.

Clarified the site as one for group tours by adding a disclaimer, new masthead, and default page title.

Worked to facilitate moving FilmSD and TourSDakota to state’s server. 

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Continued to monitor the capture of web survey responses on  Will compile first quarter report and draw a name for the quarterly prize from survey respondents.

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Black Hills Horse Expo, March 20-21, Rapid City: Delivered slides for use at regional movie theaters during the slide program prior to the showing of Hildago.  Sent media teasers to 23 regional and in-state media to promote the event.  Attended and assisted with set-up and helped compile 106 surveys of Expo attendees.  There were many positive comments from the stallion owners, vendors, and attendees.  Will attend a follow-up meeting in April.

Frontier Days, August 17-19, White River: Attended a meeting with local committee, and they recommended placing advertisements in the same publications as last year.

Lewis and Clark Signature Event, August 20 through October 14: Continued working on all aspects of the event with the Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates and local committees.

Black Hills Quilt Show and Sale, September 12-15, Hill City: Wrote copy for the postcard and sent it to the local committee for review. 

Polka Festival, September 17-19, Mitchell: Contacted local committee regarding their meeting dates.

Fiddlers’ Jamboree, September 17-19, Yankton: Plan to attend their meeting in April.

Bad River Gathering, September 26, Fort Pierre: Continued to work with local committee.

Pumpkin Fest, October 8-9, Webster: Contacted local committee regarding their meeting dates.

Last Chance Bonanza Rodeo, November 4-6, Brookings: Will meet with them at their first scheduled meeting. 

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for February 2004 was up 11.6 percent at $155,522, compared to $139,389 for February 2003.  The tourism tax deposited for February 2004 was up 18.3 percent at $168,495, as compared to $142,462 for February 2003.  The deposits in FY04 thus far for gaming and the tourism tax are $5,510,902, as compared to $5,166,578 for FY2003.  This is an overall increase in revenue of 6.7 percent when comparing the same time period in FY2003.

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ry 2004.  The tourism tax deposited for February 2005 was down 3.8 percent at $162,107, as compared to $168,495 for February 2004.  The deposits in FY05 thus far for gaming and the tourism tax are $5,932,985, as compared to $5,511,001 for FY2004.  This is an overall increase in revenue of 7.7 percent when comparing the same time period.

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