South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: November 2004

November 2004

   MEMORANDUM TO:  Jim Hagen

   DATE:  December 6, 2004

   FROM:  Patricia Van Gerpen

   SUBJECT:  Tourism’s November Monthly Status Report

You may download and print the entire November 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
Native American Tourism
Travel Market Advertising

World Wide Web

Winter Campaign
Governor's Tourism Advisory Board
Great Shoulder Events
Department Funding


Please refer to for updates.

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Mailed applications to Made in South Dakota producers’ database.  Applicants will be juried for booth spots at the conference.  Continued work on other aspects of the conference including speakers, sponsorships, annual report, registration flyer, meals, and décor.

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Worked with South Dakota Department of Agriculture to compile a list of ag-related businesses and attractions.  Forwarded list to South Carolina Department of Agriculture for a tour of 50 to 60 people they plan to bring in 2005.

Plan to attend Agritourism workshop in Beresford in January, which is being organized by Southeast South Dakota Tourism.  Other workshops are in Yankton in December and in Howard in January.  Sent Tourism’s Annual Report and information on co-op programs for distribution to attendees. 

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Finalized dates for media blitz to Toronto, Canada, in February, planned in conjunction with a presentation during a national Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) meeting.  Researched possibilities of media blitzes to Denver in April and New York City in May.

Continued working on plans for the Winter Weather Fam for January.  Contacted media, lodging properties, and speakers.  Have five television stations on board at this time.

Mailed press kit and/or other information to writer at The Capeway Traveler, Massachusetts.

Interviewed by KYNT about the Great Service Star awards and KOTA Radio about Made in South Dakota.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence: Rapid City Journal (31,183) two articles for ad equivalence of $450; Aberdeen American News (19,178) for ad equivalence of $128; National Examiner (456,223) for ad equivalence of $10,795; and Central Coast magazine (20,000) for ad equivalence of $8,100.  Total ad equivalence of $19,473. 

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Sent requested information/assistance to The Group Travel Leader, West Kentucky Travelers, Kentucky; Fairfield Glade Ladies Club Travel, Tennessee; Arrow Stage Lines, Arizona; Elsie Randles, Michigan; Alliance Travelers, Nebraska; Ahorntours, Rauno Golf & Reisen, Germany; Nippon Express Travel, Japan; Thema Nuvoi Mondi srl, Italy; and MyPlanet Denmark A/S, Denmark.

Proofed partner changes and photo divider pages of Group Tour Planning Guide.  Updated TourSDakota.  Received 3,000 copies of Escort Notes, a booklet distributed to group travel leaders touring the state.

Attended trade missions with other Rocky Mountain International (RMI) partners and conducted training on the state and the region: In Denmark, trained tour operator product managers from four companies, held seminar for 18 travel agents and tour operators, held a meeting with Icelandair, and hosted four journalists.  In Malmo, Sweden, met with five tour operator product managers in addition to conducting staff trainings at Swanson’s Travel for their new promotion to the RMI Region.  In Stockholm, Sweden, met with eight tour operator product managers and gave presentation at Hilton Stockholm to 40 tour operators and travel agent guests and four journalists.  At Visit USA Showcase in Italy, met with 25 tour operators and travel agents.  At World Travel Market Tradeshow in London, met with 82 tour operators, journalists, and travel agents.

Attended National Tour Association (NTA) marketplace in Toronto.  NTA announced name change and new logo to fit a more worldwide market: CrossSphere.  Met with 49 domestic tour operators.  Leads from the other 21 South Dakota attendees’ appointments will be combined with Tourism’s and sent to the NTA/ABA suppliers. 

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Created and sent a November/December holiday message on events and packages to the AAA e-mail database.

Fulfilled requests for information to AAA/CAA offices in Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Manitoba.

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Placed a birding ad to run in the March/April and May/June issues of Audubon.

Continued work with the Department of Game, Fish & Parks and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the Southeast South Dakota Birding Trail Booklet which will list 33 birding locations.

Hosted Outdoor Expeditions on a writer camp in Meade County.  Hosted the television shows, Benelli’s American Safari and Beretta World, in the Onida and Highmore areas.  Shows to air on the Outdoor Life Network in third quarter of 2005.

Finalized plans to host goose and pheasant hunts in the Pierre area and in the Joe Creek area on Lake Sharpe for six to eight journalists in December.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence: North Platte Telegraph (13,722) for ad equivalence of $400; Wisconsin Outdoor News (46,630) for ad equivalence of $1,150; The Traveling Wingshooter (41,000) for ad equivalence of $17,000; and Cabela’s On-line Field Guide.  Total ad equivalence of $18,550. 

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Fulfilled requests for production guides to Focus Features, Independent Artists, New York; Farmers Almanac TV, Tandem Productions, Georgia; May International Productions, Florida; and West New York, New Jersey.

Researched advertisers for the update of film production guide/directory and film database.

Read script for a new movie, which is set entirely in South Dakota.  Sent location photo files for consideration.

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The car count at the Information Centers for the month of October was down 10.9 percent over October 2003; for Canada, it was down 24.1 percent; and it was up 41.1 percent for all other international visitors.  In October, 32 motorcoaches/buses stopped at the Information Centers, and eight were international.

Travel tape/CD usage at the Centers was up 11 percent over 2003.

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To date, 622 individuals/businesses have received recognition for hospitality with the Governor’s Certificate, 257 have received the gold foil star for a second recognition, and 154 have received the gold lapel pin for a third recognition.

Awarded the use of the Gold Service Star to 118 businesses for use in their advertising in recognition of completing criteria of the hospitality program.

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Total FY2005 Inquiries through 12-01-04

Mail:    16,062
Internet (e-mail):
Phone:      4,973
Total:    45,075

Total FY2004 Inquiries through 12-01-03:

Mail:    32,634
Internet (e-mail):    26,380
Phone:      7,389
Total:    66,403

This is an overall decrease in inquiries of 32.1 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 581,260 on Tourism’s web site for the period of November 1-30, 2004, for a daily average of 19,375 over a 30-day period.  This compares to calculated page views of 406,690 for the period of November 1-30, 2003, for a daily average of 13,556 over a 30-day period.  This is an increase in daily average of page views of 42.9 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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Mailed trail state flags for Corps II and trail banner to North Dakota for their Signature Event.  The next National Signature Event is “Explore the Big Sky” in Great Falls, Montana, in 2005.

Held statewide meeting in Pollock with 19 attendees from Herried, Pollock, Mobridge, Pierre, and Gann Valley.  Delores Kluckman of Pollock was awarded a plaque and became the newest member of South Dakota’s Corps of Rediscovery.  The next Lewis and Clark Corps of Rediscovery meeting will be held in Vermillion, May 5, 2005.

Designed and sent half-page Lewis and Clark ad for the January/February issue of American Cowboy.

Fulfilled requests for information on Lewis and Clark and Native American Scenic Byway from an author from Omaha, Nebraska, and to a fourth grade teacher in Sioux Falls.

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Attended a Native American Scenic Byway meeting.  Denelle High Elk, Tourism Director for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is the new chairperson for the group.  Other attendees were from the Department of Transportation; Pierre Convention and Tourism Bureau; Fort Pierre Development Corporation; Cheyenne River, Standing Rock, Crow Creek, and Lower Brule Sioux Tribes; South Dakota Hall of Fame; and Great Lakes Association.  Discussed tribal and community activities along the byway, organization, and funding.

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Fulfilled requests for slides/photos to State Publishing, Easter Seals, Department of Game, Fish and Parks, Department of Agriculture, South Dakota Community Foundation, and South Dakota Rural Electric Association, Pierre; Cutler and Donahoe, LLP, Sioux Falls; South Dakota magazine, Yankton; TDG Communications, Deadwood; Custer Chamber of Commerce; Best Western Plains Motel, Wall; Hart Ranch, Rapid City; Heartland USA magazine, Connecticut; American Cowboy magazine, Wyoming; and Best Specialty Publications, Canada.

Gave presentation to photography class at Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell, as part of the intern program.

Fulfilled requests for stock video footage to KTTW-TV, Sioux Falls; Comprehensive Media, Pierre; the Weather Channel; Orion Multimedia, Colorado; and Ken Hrbek Outdoors.  Sent Buffalo Roundup footage to KTUU-TV (PBS), Alaska, and to KFYR-TV, North Dakota.   

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Fulfilled requests for the Great Faces. Great Places. logo to Pierre Drivers License Office and Department of Labor.

Mailed registration forms for the 2005 Giant Step magazine insert, which is limited to 36 partners.  The insert will reach 3.9 million magazine subscribers via five spring/summer magazines published by the Meredith Travel Group: Better Homes and Gardens, April issue; Midwest Living, May/June issue; Country Home and More, May issues; and Ladies Home Journal, June issue.  Target markets are in Colorado; Illinois; Iowa; Minnesota; Nebraska; Wisconsin; North Dakota; South Dakota; Kansas City, Missouri; Dallas, Texas; and Detroit, Michigan.  Giant Step partners who also participate in Tourism’s Online Package co-op will be featured in a slide show on Meredith’s web sites during the months the inserts appear in the magazines.

Notified South Dakota Road Trip partners of November schedule: Ride on the Wild Side – partners:  Custer State Park and Game Lodge; Wildest Pair Vacation – partners: Town and Country Best Western Hotel, Reptile Gardens, and Bear Country USA; Gold Dust Gamblers Getaway – partners: Gold Dust and Holiday Inn Express; and Symphony and City Lights – partners: South Dakota Symphony and Holiday Inn City Centre.

Sent Travelsmart to more than 121,000 online subscribers.  Responded to several inquiries from the mailing.

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WORLD WIDE WEB updates: Visitor Services Directory shows 4,838 entries, 56 vacation packages and 30 coupons are listed in 32 cities and 22 categories, Kid Zone stories,  and other pages/links as needed.  Submitted packages to

On added people/businesses to User Maintenance System for the Visitor Services Directory for a total of 122 accounts.

Continued checking rankings on search engines for hunting keywords/phrases following the recent updates to the hunting/fishing sections.  Have seen substantial improvement in our rankings on Google.  Contacted Argus Leader and requested that a link be placed on, which will take visitors to the new hunting section on   

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Sent pertinent pages of 2005-06 Vacation Guide to partners for review.

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Contacted the surrounding states to request their snowmobile club mailing lists for use in the snowmobile packet mailings.  Designed a winter postcard to include in packet mailings which can be returned for more information and to be entered in a drawing for a Black Hills winter package giveaway.

Designed and sent full-page ad for the January/February issue of Midwest Living to promote four winter vacation packages, which are listed on

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Governor’s Tourism Advisory Board

Held meeting in Fort Pierre with agenda items that included business updates, Tourism’s budget, winter and 2005 peak season campaigns, 2005 Governor’s Conference on Tourism, and annual tourism awards.  The group was updated on the status of the “One Click, One Call” reservation system.  After researching success/failure of other states’ systems and requesting proposals from reservation companies, the “One Click, One Call” project has been put on hold at this time.  Findings that led to this decision included: large reservation systems said that there was not enough product in South Dakota for them to be interested in our business, many state businesses were already part of a reservation system, and several of the states that had established such a system had closed out their programs or are planning to do so, due to problems and lack of use/success.

The Visitor Industry Alliance (VIA) reported on issues they were researching, which included a school start date after Labor Day.

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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: Evaluation report being prepared.

Bad River Gathering, September 24-26, Fort Pierre: The Bad River Gathering committee received an attendance report from the National Park Service (NPS) for CORPS II while the exhibit was in Fort Pierre: 2,792 visitors passed through the exhibit tent, 5,141 attended presentations in the Tent of Many Voices, 2,706 visited the tipi, and 2,543 learned about the replica keelboat.

Attendance was not tracked separately at the Bad River Gathering event, but the local committee responded that visitors came from many states.  Media that covered the event included Capital Journal, Patriot, KGFX and KCCR radio in Pierre, and KWYR in Winner.  Visitors commented most on how great the Brule’ performance was, the excellent quality of the pageant, and the vendors.  Three of 35 evaluations sent to businesses were returned.  One reported that the event met their expectations, while the other two said it did not.

Pumpkin Fest, October 8-9, Webster: Will compile report from evaluation forms.

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

2005 Great Shoulder Events

Selected following events and contacted local committees regarding promotional assistance for 2005:

Black Hills Horse Expo, April 8-10, Rapid City; New Frontier Bull Ride, May 20-21, Presho; Pierpont Storytelling Festival, August 13-14, Pierpont; Oak Lake Bluegrass Festival, August 19-21, Astoria; Great Plains Bison-tennial Dutch Oven Cook-off, August 27-28, Yankton; Great Dakota Wine Fest, September 3-4, Vermillion; and Wall-Badlands Art Expo, September 6-10, Wall. 

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for October 2004 was up 13.8 percent at $250,761, compared to $220,399 for October 2003.  The tourism tax deposited for October 2004 was up 18.5 percent at $471,107, as compared to $397,527 for October 2003.  The deposits in FY04 thus far for gaming and the tourism tax are $4,235,129, as compared to $3,955,647 for FY2003.  This is an overall increase in revenue of 7.1 percent when comparing the same time period.

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