South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: October 2004

October 2004

   MEMORANDUM TO:  Jim Hagen

   DATE:  November 15, 2004

   FROM:  Patricia Van Gerpen

   SUBJECT:  Tourism’s October Monthly Status Report

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


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

Film Office
Information Centers

Occupancy Data
Lewis and Clark Promotions
Travel Market Advertising

World Wide Web

State Fair
Buffalo Roundup/Invitational Pheasant Hunt
Great Shoulder Events
Department Funding


Please refer to for goal updates.

[ back to top ]


Contacted sponsor for the Wednesday evening reception.

[ back to top ]


Participated as a panelist on cultural tourism at the South Dakota Arts Conference in Spearfish.  Met with artists and two organizations for one-on-one sessions on marketing opportunities.

Continued working with the South Dakota Department of Agriculture to compile a list of agriculture related businesses and attractions for the South Carolina Department of Agriculture for a group of 50 to 60 people who will be visiting South Dakota next summer.

Continued working with the Value Added Ag committee to plan the 2005 conference to be held in March in Brookings and with professors from SDSU to coordinate the agri-tourism session.

Met with director of the Northern Route to the Black Hills Association for updates from that group.

Participated in a scenic byway review of the proposed Highway 14A from Sturgis to Deadwood with staff members from following Departments: Transportation, Agriculture, Environment and National Resources, and Game, Fish & Parks.  Recommendations will be given to the Transportation Commission for the final decision.

Set up dates and locations for the 2005 Farm and Ranch Vacation Workshop to be held on February 17, 2005, from 9 a.m. to noon (CST) and February 18, 2005, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (CST) at DDN sites in Pierre, Rapid City, Spearfish, Vermillion, Brookings, Watertown, Aberdeen, Mitchell, Winner, Sioux Falls, and Hot Springs.

[ back to top ]


Coordinated production of photo CD for media kits for domestic and international media.

Hosted and made travel arrangements for senior travel editor at Country Living magazine in the Badlands and the Black Hills.  Accommodations were hosted by Wakpamni Bed & Breakfast and the State Game Lodge.

Mailed media kits to freelance writers from New Hampshire and Washington.

Provided general information and/or interviews to American Heritage, MSNBC, Midwest Living, Country Living, Nebraska Radio, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Argus Leader, and freelance journalists.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence: Capital Journal (4,654) for ad equivalence of $28; Rapid City Journal (31,183) for ad equivalence of $248; and Home & Away/SD (50,000) for ad equivalence of $6,186.  Total ad equivalence is $6,462.

[ back to top ]


Prepared the Group Tour Lead Book for South Dakota suppliers to record requests during appointments with bus company representatives during the American Bus Association marketplace in November.  Relayed information to South Dakota suppliers.

Mailed postcards to 1,518 American Bus Association (ABA) members encouraging them to schedule appointments with the suppliers listed on the postcard during ABA Marketplace in February 2005.

Completed preparations for sales training for tour operators and journalists in Scandinavian countries, Visit USA Showcase in Italy, and World Travel Market in London with Rocky Mountain International (RMI) partners.

Hosted following journalists and film crews: three journalists from Germany, two from The Netherlands, and one from Denmark; 3 film crews from France including French TV Channel 2, France TV Channel 3, and The Discovery Channel; and one film crew from Italy.

Hosted 50 overseas tour operators from Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, and The Netherlands to the RMI Megafam which included Montana and South Dakota.

Sent information to writer with Sunday Express (circ. 750,000) and asked Deadwood to send information.

Sent copy and photos to Swanson’s Travel, Denmark, for advertorial to promote new regional itineraries that include South Dakota.

Hosted writer for Le Chasseur Francais (circ. 600,000), France, a hunting/fishing magazine, to pheasant hunting and duck hunting, which included a guide and stay at a lodge.

Sent requested information to Nichols and Beene Tours, Texas; Big Kid Tours, Pennsylvania; Secorski Retirement Club, Connecticut; Sunrise Travel, New Jersey; and AmericaTours West, South Dakota.

[ back to top ]


Created and sent e-mail, “South Dakota: The Ultimate Road Trip,” to 140 AAA/CAA travel counselors nationwide.

Fulfilled request for information from AAA/CAA offices in Illinois, Ohio, and Oregon. 

[ back to top ]


Coordinated mailing of the 2005 Spring/Summer Outdoor News to 3,000 writers and editors and added it to

Hosted outdoors media this fall, which includes the following television shows: Backroads with Ron and Raven, Kent Hrbek Outdoors, Gary Howey’s Outdoorsmen Adventures, Benelli’s American Safari, Tony Dean Outdoors, Beretta World, and Pheasants Forever.  Magazines include: Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, Shotgun Journal, Shooting Sportsman, Women in the Outdoors, Sporting Clays, The Retriever Journal, Sports Afield, Double Gun Journal, Safari Magazine, and Wall Street Journal.  Hosted Field & Stream Radio representatives.

Continued working with partners on the Southeast South Dakota Birding Trial guide.

Coordinated mailing of 27,200 personalized letters from Governor Rounds to hunters from Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Nebraska to invite them back to South Dakota. 

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence: Field & Stream (1,511,796) for ad equivalence of $8,000. 

[ back to top ]


Met with representative of the new Aberdeen Recording Studios and toured the facility.

Mailed requested production guides to production companies in the United Kingdom and California.

Spoke with a band member from Sioux Falls regarding opportunities for becoming more involved with film soundtracks.  Gave him contact information for several production companies.

Mailed requested photo files of the 1880 Train and Fort Robinson replica to a production company in Illinois.  Sent photo files of the 1880 Train, Fort Robinson replica, and other locations near Deadwood to a producer in California.

Spoke with a director regarding an upcoming project and the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.  Was contacted by a production company regarding a documentary production for filming this fall.  Spoke with a production company representative regarding their shoot at the Wild Horse Sanctuary.  Sent them several photo files.

Scouted locations in the Black Hills with a representative of the HBO Deadwood series and separately for a production company from Minnesota.

Spoke with a South Dakota filmmaker regarding his project which we assisted with last fall.  The program aired on KDLT in early October.

Made preparations for attending the 2004 AFI Film Festival in California in November.

[ back to top ]


Calculated car count for the month of September to be down 1.8% from September 2003; Canadian visitor numbers were up by 2.9%; and for all other international visitors, numbers were up at 8.7%.  Of 76 motorcoaches that stopped at the Centers, 22 were international bus tour groups.  Travel tape/CD usage was up 11.21%.

Hosted the end-of-the-year party for travel counselors in Hill City.  Group was hosted by Prairie Berry Winery, Mount Rushmore Brewing Company, Best Western Golden Spike, Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Super 8. 

[ back to top ]


For 2004, we currently have 414 individuals/businesses that have received recognition for hospitality with the Governor’s Certificate, 162 have received the foil star for a second recognition, and 85 have received a gold lapel pin for a third recognition.  Received 49 applications for the George S. Michelson Great Service Star award.  Those were reviewed and a list of finalists will be presented to the Governor’s Tourism Advisory Board for their consideration. 

[ back to top ]


Total FY2005 Inquiries through 11-01-04

Mail:    14,289
Internet (e-mail):
Phone:      4,222
Total:    39,370

Total FY2004 Inquiries through 11-01-03:

Mail:    29,812
Internet (e-mail):    23,678
Phone:      6,902
Total:    60,392

This is an overall decrease in inquiries of 34.8 percent over FY2004.  (Primary reason for decrease: Discontinued using Pay-Per-Inquiry TV, which was used last year.  This decision was part of change in media strategy.  Inquiries do not include hits/visits to Tourism’s Web site.)

Calculated number of page views at 629,127 on Tourism’s web site for the period of October 1-31, 2004, for a daily average of 20,294 over a 31-day period.  This compares to calculated page views of 459,140 for the period of October 1-31, 2003, for a daily average of 15,304 over a 31-day period.  This is an increase in daily average of page views of 32.6 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. 

[ back to top ]


South Dakota Tourism Research - Motel Occupancy
Region Sept. 2004 Sept. 2003 Difference
Southeast 62.6% 60.5% 2.8%
Glacial Lakes & Prairies 53.2% 52.6% 0.6%
Great Lakes 50.3% 48.8% 1.5%
Black Hills/Badlands 61.6% 64.9% -3.3%
Statewide Avg. 58.8% 60.0% -1.2%

[ back to top ]


Coordinated the Lewis and Clark Corps of Rediscovery meeting in Pollock in November.  The Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates, communities along the Trail and Tourism will provide reports on projects and events and tour local attractions.  Future projects of the Corps and how the legacy of Lewis and Clark can be kept alive in South Dakota will also be discussed.  Updated Corps of Rediscovery membership list. 

[ back to top ]


Fulfilled requests for slides/photos to State Publishing, Pierre Optimists, Comprehensive Media Group, and Great Lakes Association, Pierre; Rapid City Journal; South Dakota magazine, Yankton; Travel Industry Association of America, Washington D.C.; Sports Afield magazine; Encyclopedia of the Midwest, Nebraska; Chattanooga Times-Free Press, Tennessee; online publication; and Gentleman magazine, Italy.  Sent a link to the photo gallery and directed two requests to the photo gallery.

Continued to implement digital imaging database by adding additional photographs.  This includes cataloging each photo and attaching pertinent information and keywords to assist in searches.  Over 2,900 photos have been cataloged.

Photographed autumn scenics and hiking in the Black Hills, Webster’s Pumpkin Festival, Sica Hollow scenics, autumn leaves around the Capitol building, Wind Cave, Lower Brule Tribe’s Buffalo Interpretive Center, petroglyphs and pictographs on Cheyenne River valley cliffs near Edgemont, pheasant hunting, and animals in Custer State Park and Bear Country USA.

Presented slide show/lecture on internship to photography class at Black Hills State University, and discussed intern candidate with art professor at Dakota Wesleyan University.

Fulfilled requests for video footage dubs to Comprehensive Media, Pierre; Henkin/Schulz, Sioux Falls; Wolf Creek Productions, Minnesota; $40 a Day Productions, California; and Phoenix Media, Italy.

Shot video of the Sertoma Butterfly House's bird watching classes and fall colors at the Outdoor Campus and Big Sioux River, Sioux Falls; State Capitol Building with fall colors in Pierre; bus tour group at the Buffalo Interpretive Center near Fort Pierre; fall colors on Iron Mountain Road and the Needles Highway in the Black Hills; and wildlife and fall colors in Custer State Park.

[ back to top ]


May programming schedule for the South Dakota Road Trip TV Co-op included following packages and partners: On the Trail with Lewis and Clark – Sioux Falls Ramkota Hotel and the Washington Pavilion; Deadwood History and Gaming – Deadwood Chamber and Visitor Bureau; Gutzon Borglum’s Trails and Rails – Miner’s Resort, Rushmore Borglum Story and Museum, and 1880 Trail; Brookings Getaway – Brookings Inn, Agricultural Heritage Museum, and South Dakota Art Museum; and Mitchell Family Mini-Vacation – Holiday Inn, Starlight Drive-Inn or Luxury 5 Cinemas, and the Enchanted World Doll Museum.

Updated and arranged for the printing of the Great News newsletter, and mailed 7,208 newsletters domestically and 3,081 internationally. 

[ back to top ]


For updated Visitors Services Directory to show 4,818 listings; 70 vacation packages and 31 coupons are listed online in 33 cities and 26 categories; updated the South Dakota Road Trip web pages; and updated or added approximately 350 events to the 2005 Calendar of Events database.  A total of 109 people/businesses have signed up for accounts with the User Maintenance System for the Visitor Services Directory.  Submitted new vacation packages to

Removed two and added three new Kid Zone homepage (landing page) feature stories into the rotation on, including accompanying photos. The November stories cover Harry Potter Day in Hill City, Holiday Lighted Parade in Watertown, and the Dickens Christmas Festival in Hill City. 

[ back to top ]


Compiled data for the 2004 third quarter consumer Web survey report.  Sent prize packages to winners from Wisconsin and New York.  Survey results for the third quarter were compiled from 130 respondents and include:

66 percent had been to South Dakota before

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

75 percent said answered all of their travel questions

99 percent said they would recommend the site to another traveler

35 percent were referred to by a search engine

46 percent indicated it was their first time visiting

66 percent of the respondents are female; 32 percent are
            male; 2 percent declined to answer

64 percent are married

34 percent have children under 18 living at home

48 percent of the respondents are from the target states
            of Minnesota (13 respondents), Illinois (11), Iowa, Missouri,
            and Wisconsin (7), Texas (6), Colorado (5), North Dakota
            (4), and Nebraska (3).

Top out-of-target-market states include Washington (6),
             Indiana (5), Pennsylvania and Utah (4), and California,
             Massachusetts, and Georgia (3).

[ back to top ]


Sent congratulation letters to the four package winners from Huron (2), Emery, and Sioux Falls.

[ back to top ]

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

Hosted journalists and key prospects as well as finalized details for both events.

[ back to top ]


Frontier Days, August 20-22, White River: Attendance over the past three years has shown a 63% increase overall.  Attendees were from Wyoming, California, Nebraska, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Kansas, Texas, and South Dakota.  Of six evaluations returned from businesses, two reported increases in sales.

Lewis and Clark Signature Event, August 26 through September 27: Mailed evaluations to Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates chambers, tribes, and businesses.  Will compile report from returned forms.  Mailed Trail State flags for Corps II and Trail Banner to North Dakota for their Signature Event.

Black Hills Quilt Show and Sale, September 12-15, Hill City: Mailed follow-up evaluations and a letter to the local committee, businesses, and hotels in the Hill City area.

Polka Festival, September 17-19, Mitchell: Mailed follow-up evaluation forms to the local committee, businesses, and hotels in the Mitchell area.  Will compile report.

Bad River Gathering, September 24-26, Fort Pierre: Mailed evaluation forms to local committee and area businesses.  Will compile report.

Pumpkin Fest, October 8-9, Webster: Mailed media teasers to 10 media outlets to entice them to cover the event: KELO TV, KSFY TV, KDLT TV, Aberdeen American News, Watertown Public Opinion, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Mitchell Daily Republic, Huron Plainsman, Fargo Forum Paper, and KBWS Radio, Sisseton.  Sent follow-up evaluations to the local committee, businesses, and hotels in the Webster area.

Last Chance Bonanza Rodeo, October 21-23, Brookings: Prepared and mailed evaluation forms to the event organizer and Brookings businesses.

[ back to top ]


Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for September 2004 was up 3.5 percent at $272,452, compared to $263,160 for September 2003.  The tourism tax deposited for September 2004 was up 4.5 percent at $998,070, as compared to $955,413 for September 2003.  The deposits in FY04 thus far for gaming and the tourism tax are $3,513,258, as compared to $3,337,721 for FY2003.  This is an overall increase in revenue of 5.3 percent when comparing the same time period.

[ back to top ]

span style="font-family: Arial; font-weight: 700; text-transform: uppercase"> Governor’s Buffalo Roundup and Governor’s Invitational Pheasant Hunt

Hired company to track media hits from satellite feed of Buffalo Roundup.  Company reported that over a two-day period, images ran during nearly 170 broadcasts, reaching an audience of more than 28 million viewers.  Finalized details of print materials, décor’, volunteer needs, meals, etc. for Governor’s Invitational Pheasant Hunt

[ back to top ]


Pierpont Storytelling Festival, August 13-14, Pierpont: Sent evaluation forms and will compile report.

Oak Lake Bluegrass Festival, August 19-21, Astoria: Local committee reported that attendance increased 17% over the 200event.  Visitors were from North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Florida, and South Dakota.  South Dakota Public Broadcasting and local newspapers covered the event. 

Great Plains Bison-tennial Dutch Oven Cook-off, August 27-28, Yankton: Sent evaluation forms and will compile report.

Great Dakota Wine Fest, September 3-4, Vermillion: Mailed evaluation forms and will compile report.

[ back to top ]


Sent press release to in-state media, letters to Chambers of Commerce, CVBs, tourism regions, and event coordinators regarding the revamped campaign.  Created a web page about the new Great Events program on SDVisit.  Fielded questions on the new program.  Reviewed applications that have been submitted. 

[ back to top ]


Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for September was up 9.6 percent at $298,492, as compared to $272,452 for September 2004.  The tourism tax deposited for September was up 5.2 percent at $1,050,452, as compared to $998,071 for September 2004.  The deposits in FY06 for gaming and the tourism tax are $3,739,242, as compared to $3,513,261 for FY05.  This is an overall increase in revenue of 6.4 percent when comparing the same time period.

[ back to top ]