South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: April 2005

April 2005

   MEMORANDUM TO:  Jim Hagen

   DATE:  May 6, 2005

   FROM:  Billie Jo Waara

   SUBJECT:  Tourism’s April Monthly Status Report

You may download and print the entire April 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

World Wide Web
Logo Usage/Image Requests
Staff Updates
Summer Interns
Great Shoulder Events
Tourism Office Funding


Please refer to for updates on all goals.

[ back to top ]


Submitted report, as will all team members, on the Custer Community Assessment for the South Dakota Rural Development Council, based on themes noted as the most important for this community.  Addressed main street revitalization, hiking and biking trails, convention center, signage, RV parking, the role of arts in the community, establishment of a welcome wagon, impact of tourism on a local economy, hospitality training, and current tourism trends.  A final report will be put together and presented to the community at a later date.

Met with Chairman Crawford of the Sisseton-Whapeton Tribe and tribal members to discuss future plans for the Native American Holocaust Memorial and other projects on which the tribe is working.

Participated in a panel discussion at the Minority Business Seminar in Rapid City.  Spoke at the Association of South Dakota Museums annual meeting in Sturgis.  Presented information on Tourism’s marketing programs and the value of cooperative advertising and networking.  Presented information on agri-tourism at Leadership Plenty in Chamberlain.  Attended Capital for a Day in Vermillion.

Coordinated a Cultural Tourism workshop with Yankton Area Arts Council to educate local artists about the importance of the arts in the tourism industry.  Twenty-five artists from the Yankton area attended the workshop.

[ back to top ]


Finalized promotional plan for National Tourism Week.  Sent media teasers to 43 in-state contacts.  Mailed fast fact cards to CVBs.  Designed a 22.8’ x 10.5’ billboard for the Rapid City CVB.  Continuing to work on arrangements for Citibank Vacation Planning Day: letter of invitation from the Governor, city ads, staff assignments, booth details, media appointments, and open houses at Information Centers.  Set up interviews in Deadwood, Spearfish, Rapid City, Aberdeen, and Mitchell.  Confirmed installation of signs promoting filming locations of Skins and Hidalgo with Department of Transportation.

Finalized communications plan for Lake Oahe promotion, including press releases, media hostings, web promotions, article in Outdoor News and NTW web site.  Attended Game, Fish and Parks and Corps of Engineer meetings regarding water level issues.

Finalized arrangements for the following hostings: freelance writer and photographer for Outpost magazine, Toronto, Canada, in the Black Hills and Badlands areas; travel writer on assignment for Copley News Service for a feature article on Custer State Park; writer and  photographer in the Black Hills area for a story for the July 3 travel section of the St. Louis Post Dispatch; and Weather Channel for five segments to be filmed in late May for airing in early June during various ‘Road Crew’ segments: Lewis and Clark, Badlands, archaeological digs, and state parks.

Fulfilled requests for information/press kits to Aberdeen American News; Argus Leader; freelance writer for Midwest Living; Heartland USA; Voice of America Television; writer/photographer, Colorado; and Flying Adventures magazine.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence include: Rapid City Journal (31,183) for ad equivalence of $992; Aberdeen American News (16,915) for ad equivalence of $964; and Wild Bird, May/June issue, (151,756) for ad equivalence of $22,740.  Total ad equivalence of $24,696.

[ back to top ]


Mailed the 2005-2006 Group Tour Planning Guide and coupon to request additional information to 2,770 tour operators from surrounding states on our database.  Mailed coupon to request Group Tour Planning Guide and additional information to 1,689 tour operators on our database.

Sent travel information, booth details, and appointments to South Dakota suppliers who are also attending Travel Industry Association of America Pow Wow.

Met with 106 tour operators, travel agents, and group leaders at the Midwest Group Tour Expo in Minneapolis.  Attended a 2Nation Tour partner meeting held during Expo with representatives from Minnesota, North Dakota, and Manitoba to discuss upcoming 2Nation Tour fams and the 2006 program.  Sent invitations to 900 tour operators for the 2Nation Tours “Legends, Landscapes and Lewis and Clark” fam in the Black Hills, Badlands National Park, and a portion of the Lewis and Clark Trail in June in both South Dakota and North Dakota.

Attended Rocky Mountain International (RMI) Summit meeting in Idaho.  Met with 62 tour operators and overseas representatives as did the nine South Dakota suppliers who attended Roundup.

Fulfilled requests for information/assistance to Top Tours, Texas; Vermillion Cajun Tours, Louisiana; Rightway Bus Service, Wisconsin; Orange County Metro and Janet Arnold, California; freelance writer for United Kingdom and New Zealand; writer for Sunday Times, United Kingdom; Suntrek Tours Ltd, Germany; AmeriCan & Worldwide Travel, Belgium; and Rocky Mountain Holiday Tours, Australia.

Sent 42 RMI Roundup leads, 62 leads from ITB, and the Meier’s Weltreisen discount card program proposal to 584 South Dakota suppliers interested in the international market.

[ back to top ]


Began distributing the new Southeast Bird Trail GuideContinued work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which awarded this project an $8,000 grant.

Hosted Penn’s Woods Television on a turkey hunt in the Black Hills for shows that will air with South Dakota credits the third and fourth quarters of 2005.  Assisted in hosting ESPN’s Ultimate Outdoors with Wayne Pearson on a turkey hunt in the Hot Springs area.  Hosted Outdoor Life, Cabela’s Outfitter Journal, Wisconsin Outdoor News, and Heartland USA on a turkey hunt in the Black Hills. Hosted media on a turkey hunt on the Rosebud Indian Reservation.

Worked on details to host Ron Schara and a film crew in the northeast region in May, show will air in June.

Fulfilled requests for information/press kits to South Dakota Outdoors; Outdoor Life; Omaha World Herald; Sioux City Journal; Outdoorsmen Adventures Television; Penn’s Woods; Ducks Unlimited; North American Hunter; American Birding Association; Winging It; and Ron Schara Outdoors.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence include Outdoor Life, May 2005, (950,879) for ad equivalence of $22,300. 

[ back to top ]


Drafted a press release promoting a music video that was mostly filmed in the Black Hills.  Country music duo Big and Rich’s latest video “Big Time” is currently playing on Country Music Television (CMT).  It begins with a picture of a South Dakota map letting viewers know where the scenes take place.

Participated in a conference call with state and regional tourism offices as well as local tourism officials and other representatives of the Aberdeen community regarding the promotion of 48 Hour Film Project, an international event being hosted by Aberdeen in July.  State Tourism distributed 48 Hour Film Project brochures at the Locations Tradeshow, provided event organizers with regional film industry contacts for their mailings, placed a link to the 48 Hour site on, will send Travelsmart e-mail in May and June promoting the event, and will mail letters to industry contacts encouraging them to support/sponsor the event.

Drafted and mailed letters to industry partners in the Rapid City area regarding the Native Voice Film Festival.

Attended the Association of Film Commissions International (AFCI) Locations Tradeshow in Santa Monica, California.  Partnered in a “Film the West” booth with Wyoming, Montana and Idaho Film Offices.  Spoke with location scouts, producers, and others in the film industry regarding filming opportunities and distributed materials.  Group co-hosted select film industry members to a brunch where we met with a director regarding a project.  Followed up with photos and information on several locations for his project. 

Awards: The “Film the West” booth looks like an Old West town and won first prize for “most creative.”

Fulfilled requests from Locations Expo; sent photos of Badlands to production company in California; and sent information on locations of old mansions to another production company in California.

Worked with independent filmmaker on a project planned for late May and early June, with plans to film it entirely in Sioux Falls.  Sent press release for the casting call.  Interviewed on KWAT radio in Watertown regarding the casting call, film, and auditions.  Contacted locations in Sioux Falls to coordinate filming schedule.

[ back to top ]


Completed details for the Information Center Fam tour for 40 travel counselors, with stops in Pierre,

Completed details for Information Center Grand Openings, May 14 – 15, in conjunction with National Tourism Week activities.

[ back to top ]


Completed details for training sessions in Pierre, Sioux Falls, and Rapid City for front-line employees and managers. 

[ back to top ]


Total FY2005 Inquiries through 5-01-05

Mail:    27,017
Internet (e-mail):
Phone:    13,578
Total:  112,577

Total FY2004 Inquiries through 5-01-04:

Mail:     88,087
Internet (e-mail):     75,581
Phone:      17,663
Total:    181,331

This is an overall decrease in inquiries of 37.9 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 1,255,542 on Tourism’s web site for the period of April 1-30, 2005, for a daily average of 41,851 over a 30-day period.  This compares to calculated page views of 1.059,196 for the period of April 1-30, 2004, for a daily average of 35,306 over a 30-day period.  This is an increase in daily average of page views of 18.5 percent over a comparable time period in 2004.  “Page views” represents the number of times each and every page within the web site is accessed.

[ back to top ]


Received 24 entries for the Lewis and Clark Essay Contest and distributed to judges.  Winner will be announced the first week of May.

Sent updated information to the Lewis and Clark database regarding the cancellation of the May 5 Corps of Rediscovery meeting, Bicentennial Commemoration, an overview of what Tourism is doing to promote the Trail in 2005, co-op program information, a 2005 Lewis and Clark Calendar of Events and an event submission form.

Updated South Dakota’s portion of the Lewis and Clark Council’s website.

[ back to top ]


Contacted each tribal office and Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates regarding their supply of Guide to the Great Sioux Nation and Guide to Indian Reservations and Art.  Sent both guides to all offices that responded.

[ back to top ]


Fulfilled requests for photos to Western Souvenirs and Fenske Media, Rapid City; South Dakota Holstein Association, Dell Rapids; Koupal Communications and Department of Game, Fish and Parks, Pierre; USDA Ag Statistics, Lawrence and Schiller, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, and Public Advocates Office, Sioux Falls; Aberdeen American News; South Dakota magazine, Yankton; Wall Chamber of Commerce; Country Living magazine, New York; and Prairie Business magazine, North Dakota.

Fulfilled requests for video footage: sent buffalo and Black Hills footage to Orion Multimedia, Colorado; and Actuality Productions to use in the Modern Marvels television show. 

[ back to top ]


Placed ad with Iowa Newspaper association to promote the insertion of the spring Great Getaways in area newspapers.

Coordinated shoulder season Giant Step magazine co-op for 35 partners, with 16 of them participating in the online package co-op and the Meredith online slide show.  Piece will be inserted in September issues of Better Homes & Gardens, More, Country Home, and Ladies Home Journal; and September/October issue of Midwest Living to reach an audience of 1.7 million subscribers in the target markets of Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Sent April programming schedule to South Dakota Road Trip partners: Real America, Rapid City; Historic Deadwood Gaming; Ride on the Wild Side, Custer; and Symphony and City Lights, Sioux Falls.

Contacted select e-mail marketing vendors and developed an e-mail plan for a peak season online campaign.  Designed three variations: one for current Travelsmart mailings, another for target-market Travelsmart, and a third version was created for use in the vendor-supplied permission-based e-mail blast.  Designed a new landing page that would compliment the e-mails, added copy, links to packages, etc.  Sent appropriate version to vendor and requested test e-mails be sent and approved prior to any actual mailings.  Worked with Bureau of Information and Telecommunications to ensure tracking was in place for our landing pages.

Sent Travelsmart to more than 72,000 addresses outside target market cities/states and to 60,000 in-target markets.

[ back to top ]


On updated Visitor Services Directory to show 4,870 entries; 118 packages, 33 coupons, and 17 “at par” packages are listed for 41 cities and in 25 categories; 677 listings appear on the statewide Calendar of Events; replaced “highlights” with package promotions; coordinated photos on homepage rotation to resemble images from the TV spot and print materials; and rotation of stories on Kid Zone was changed.  Compiled data from web survey.  Submitted package information to  Created and posted landing page for Lake Oahe boat ramp information.

Set up several reports in NetGenesis to track new pages on  Uploaded list of potential keywords/phrases to Google.

[ back to top ]

Logo Usage/Image Requests

Fulfilled request from Hayco, North Sioux City.

Presented logo use information to state Public Information Officers.

[ back to top ]


Compiled data for the 2005 first quarter consumer web survey report.  Sent prize packages to winners from Wisconsin and Minnesota.  Survey results for the first quarter were compiled from 155 respondents and include:

61 percent had been to South Dakota before

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

82 percent said answered all of their travel questions

98 percent said they would recommend the site to another traveler

43 percent were referred to by a search engine

39 percent indicated it was their first time visiting

59 percent of the respondents are female; 37 percent are
            male; 3 percent declined to answer

71 percent are married

40 percent have children under 18 living at home

55 percent of the respondents are from the target states
            of Minnesota (17 respondents), Wisconsin (16), Illinois (13),
            Iowa (9), Nebraska (8), Missouri and Texas (5), Colorado
            and North Dakota (4).

Top out-of-target-market states include Indiana (6),
            New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Oregon, and Ohio (4).

[ back to top ]


Stephanie Magedanz, graduate of the University of Minnesota-Duluth and a Pierre native, joined the Creative staff as a graphic designer.  She replaced Camille Kirchhoff who joined the staff of Nebraska Life magazine.

[ back to top ]


Have hired the following interns, who will begin in May: Alexandra Albrecht, University of South Dakota, from Doland for the Film Office; Jael Trieb, South Dakota State University, from Gary for photography; Andrea Stalheim, University of South Dakota, from Sioux Falls for creative; Karly Winter, University of South Dakota, from Aberdeen for Public Relations; and Jon Kotilnek, South Dakota State University, from Pierre for research.

[ back to top ]


Black Hills Horse Expo, April 8-10, Rapid City: Assisted local committee during the event.  Local committee reported that more than 2,000 people attended the Horse Expo.  Interviewed 126 attendees for an Intercept Survey.  Mailed 24 evaluation forms to local committee and area accommodations and businesses.  Those surveyed were from were from Washington, Utah, Nebraska, Montana, Iowa, Wyoming, North Dakota, Colorado, and Wisconsin.

New Frontier Bull Ride, May 20-21, Presho: Newspaper ads will run in May in Gillette News-Record, Bismarck Tribune, Sioux City Journal, Minnesota Ad Network, Nebraska Ad Network, and Capitol City Journal and Reminder.  Radio spots will run in May.  Sent event buttons to Information Center travel counselors.

Argus Leader Bicycle Tour, June 12-18, Yankton, Pickstown, Platte, Chamberlain, and Pierre: Designed event specific buttons that Information Center travel counselors will wear.  Worked on newspaper inserts that will be placed in the five key towns listed above with tour information and related event activities.  Placed newspaper ads in Fargo Forum, Des Moines Register, Sioux City Journal, Omaha World Herald, Rapid City Journal, Aberdeen American News, Capitol City Journal, and Reminder.

Wild Bill Hickok Days, June 17-19, Deadwood: Completed design of event poster and forwarded to local committee as they will pay cost of printing.  

Pierpont Storytelling Festival, August 13-14, Pierpont: Mailed postcards (950 printed) to tour operators and sent extra postcards to event coordinators for distribution at a national conference.  Placed ad in July/August issue of Storytelling magazine.

Oak Lake Bluegrass Festival, August 19-21, Astoria: Finalized media plan and wrote copy for newspaper and magazine ads.

Great Plains Bison-tennial Dutch Oven Cook-off, August 27-28, Yankton: Finalized ad copy and sent to designer.  Mailed postcards (1,530 printed and shared with Great Dakota Wine Festival) to tour operators and sent extra postcards to event coordinators.

Great Dakota Wine Fest, September 3-4, Vermillion: Finalized magazine ad copy and copy for classified ad and sent to designer.  Mailed postcards (1,530 printed and shared with Bison-tennial Dutch Oven Cook-off)  to tour operators and sent extra postcards to event coordinators for mailing to their database.

Wall-Badlands Art Expo, September 6-10, Wall: Finalized media plan and wrote copy for magazine ads.  Placed ads in July issue of Artist’s Magazine, (circ. 159,000), and placed a listing in the Festival Listings section; and placed ad in July/August issue of American Artist magazine, (circ. 88,976).

[ back to top ]


Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for March 2005 was up 7.1 percent at $181,900, as compared to $169,881 for March 2004.  The tourism tax deposited for March 2005 was down 11.9 percent at $162,167, as compared to $184,076 for March 2004.  The deposits in FY05 thus far for gaming and the tourism tax are $6,277,025, as compared to $5,864,958 for FY2004.  This is an overall increase in revenue of 7.02 percent when comparing the same time period.

[ back to top ]