South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: February 2005

February 2005

   MEMORANDUM TO:  Jim Hagen

   DATE:  March 7, 2005

   FROM:  Billie Jo Waara

   SUBJECT:  Tourism’s February Monthly Status Report

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


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

Film Office

Information Centers

Travel Market Advertising

Winter Campaign
World Wide Web
Logo Usage/Image Requests
Focus Group
Great Shoulder Events
Department Funding


Please refer to for updates on all goals.

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Compiled comments from 80 evaluation forms that were returned by conference attendees.  Discussed comments at a wrap-up meeting.

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Continued working with the Value Added Ag committee to plan the 2005 conference scheduled for March 17, in Brookings and worked with professors from South Dakota State University to coordinate the agritourism session to be held during the conference.

Conducted the Farm/Ranch Vacation Workshops on February 17 in Pierre, Watertown, Spearfish, Vermillion, Winner, and Hot Springs and on February 18 in Pierre, Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Brookings, Aberdeen, and Mitchell for 70 people.  Distributed Farm/Ranch Resource Directory at the workshop, and directories will be distributed upon request and at agritourism related conferences. Other handouts at the workshops included Tourism Assistance Directory and the 2004 Annual Report.  Representatives from the Departments of Agriculture, Health, Revenue, Division of Insurance, and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development were on hand to give regulation and program information.  Judy Parker from the Barn B&B in Geddes and Joe and Lynne Duling from Mulehead Ranch Adventures in Dixon gave first-hand experiences about operating an agritourism business.  Russ Stubbles, agritourism consultant with South Dakota State University, also provided information about agritourism business and marketing ideas.  Contacted by Aberdeen American News and KELOTV.  Sent information about the workshops for an Eye On Keloland segment to run prior to the workshop.  Worked on report per the evaluations received from workshop attendees.

Mailed Tourism Assistance Directory, Annual Report, and a fast fact card to 325 Chambers of Commerce, Economic Development Offices, RC&D offices, and other organizations for use as a reference throughout the year.

Will be a presenter at two sessions on agritourism during an upcoming Entrepreneurship Conference in Timber Lake in March, per invitation of the local committee.

Met with representative of Yankton Area Arts Council to discuss plans for a Cultural Tourism workshop in Yankton in April. Discussed the layout of the program and identified possible topics and speakers.  Contacted Dennis Holub, Director of the South Dakota Arts Council.  Target attendee list will be those involved in the arts within a 60-mile radius of Yankton.

Attended a Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway meeting in Custer.  Committee asked Tourism to review and comment on design and content of their new brochure which is in development.  Will continue working with the Byway Coordinator to put copy and images together to add to South Dakota’s pages on 

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Reviewed promotion plan for National Tourism Week.

Fulfilled requests for information/press kits to travel writers from Oakland, California; Cary, North Carolina; Springfield, Ohio; Bend, Oregon; and tourism industry member from Mobridge.

Hosted luncheon for nearly 30 members of the Canadian chapter of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) as part of the media blitz in Toronto.  Held individual meetings with National Post, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and Outpost magazine.  Highlighted affordable family vacations in South Dakota, including the new “at-par” online vacation packages on  Worked on follow-up to the event and locations/itineraries for writers.  Gave presentation during SATW conference.

Continued working on itineraries for media appreciation day, river kayak hosting, and a biking press trip.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalency include: Aberdeen American News (14,170) four articles for ad equivalency of $3,488; Rapid City Journal (31,185) two articles for ad equivalence of $2,297; Capital Journal (4,654) for ad equivalence of $84; and Argus Leader (52,851) for ad equivalence of $200.  Total ad equivalence is $6,069. 

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Made final corrections to Group Tour Planning Guide, which should be completed and delivered to Tourism in late March.

Fulfilled requests for information to Countryside Travel, Iowa; Sunshine Travel, Illinois; 4 Corners Senior Travelers, Colorado; Golden Gate Tours, Inc., California; First Choice Tours and Sunshine Travel, Minnesota; Connection Tours, Alabama; Janet Wolis, group leader, Florida; Olga’s Worldwide Travel, Arizona; S&S Travel, Indiana; Jack Rabbit Charter & Tours, Sioux Falls; Beverly Noyes-Hanson, Sisseton; Embassy Tours, Manitoba;  Peter Frischmuth and Dirk Engelhardt, Germany; Travel, Greece; HIEPSO, Belgium; Hunter Travel, Australia; Target Benelux (RMI Benelux) and Visit USA See America Center, The Netherlands; Versus Wiechmann (RMI) in Germany for ITB Trade Show in March; Thema Nuovi Monde (RMI Italy) for BIT trade show; and RMI United Kingdom.

Contacted Franklin Hotel, Red Rock River Resort, Wakpamni Bed & Breakfast, Cross S Ranch, and Handboy Creek Ranch and asked them to send brochures and CD images to RMI Italy per their request.

Sent commission/rate information sheet to tour companies in Faith and Aberdeen.

Mailed Spring Group Tour Operator Fam Tour invitation for the Arts, Parks and Pioneers Eastern South Dakota Loop Tour, May 12-18, to 900 domestic tour operators on our database.

Attended American Bus Association (ABA) Marketplace in Chicago, where 28 South Dakota suppliers were represented.  Started with 29 appointments and ended up with 52 leads.  Led caucus where DMO’s (South Dakota destinations) shared their best leads before they went to their appointments.  Added information on leads to fam database, which can be access by ABA and CrossSphere members via password.

Presented itinerary ideas to Mark Williams, Equestvent, Australia, for his March fam to South Dakota.  Worked on itinerary for Godfrey Hall, United Kingdom, for his late March/early April trip to South Dakota.  One of his articles will be published in Group Travel Organiser magazine.

Presented information on international marketing, pricing, and commissions at Farm/Ranch workshops.

Sent information to South Dakota suppliers regarding Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) Pow Wow in May. 

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Met with organizer of Black Hills mountain biking group and discussed plans to map and plan mountain bike trails in the area.

Hosted 11 writers as well as a television crew to ice fishing in the Glacial Lakes and Prairies region.

Continued working on plans for hostings/itineraries for fishing, spring snow geese, archery deer, writers’ camp, spring turkeys, and buffalo for production companies and magazine editors and writers.

Fulfilled requests for information to Outdoor Guide magazine, Penn’s Woods, Shooting Sportsman, Pointing Dog Journal, Focus Outdoors, NRA publications, Wildfowl, Raghorn News Outdoors, Fischer Productions, Sports Afield, Wings and Legs Outdoor Productions, Outdoor USA television, Wild Dakota, Argus Leader, and Pheasants Forever magazine. 

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Redesigned film office ads with a “Great Faces, Great Filming Places.” theme.  Ads will feature faces of South Dakota figures set against different scenery in the state.  The first ad will appear in the April issue of Production Update magazine, which will also be distributed at the Locations Expo; and the ad will be placed in its June issue.

Reserved advertising space in the 2006 Kemps Production Guide, which is published in October.

Spoke with staff at Department of Transportation regarding installation of two “Filmed in this area” road signs along SD 71 south of Hot Springs for the movie, “Hidalgo,” and two along US 18 by Pine Ridge for the movie, “Skins.”  The signs will remain in place for a period of four years.

Sent letter to Chris Eyre congratulating him on his success at the Sundance Film Festival per an article appearing in the Rapid City Journal on February 4.  Sent letter to Meg Warder of the 1880 Train congratulating them on the recent success of the train appearing in a TNT drama, “Into the West,” which is scheduled to air in June.

Met with Carolyn and Mike Linn of Linn Productions in Rapid City.  Discussed their plans for a new office building complete with a sound stage, film projects, and suggestions for the Film Office.  Met with Tom Griffith of TDG Communications in Deadwood.  He is working with a production company from Tennessee on a music video they are planning to shoot in Deadwood.

Spoke with a representative of a production company in Aberdeen and screen writers regarding fund raising for the production of a film.

Made follow-up calls to potential film prospects: one was for filming a music video and another for a docu-drama for the History Channel.  March weather is a concern at this time; will follow-up with them again.

Spoke with contacts regarding old buildings in the state that could be used as film locations.  E-mailed photos to representative of the production company.  Will continue working on possible locations.

Spoke with a production coordinator for Public Broadcast System’s series, “America’s Heartland,” regarding segments featuring South Dakota in April.  They will be doing one segment on Schmeckfest in Freeman and one on one-room schoolhouses.  Sent additional story ideas that involved agriculture and agriculture lifestyles as requested.

Fulfilled request for production guide to company in New York. 

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Fulfilled requests from AAA/CAA offices and independent travel agencies in California, Colorado, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, and Saskatchewan.

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Processed 125 applications for the travel counselor positions at the Information Centers.  Mailed letters to applicants and scheduled personal interviews in March.

Confirmed agenda with 15 of the 18 communities scheduled on the familiarization tour for travel counselors, April 30 through May 6.

Will mail letter and application for the poster co-op program on March 1.

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Reviewed materials sent by potential speakers for the front line training and management training seminars, which will take place in the spring.

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Total FY2005 Inquiries through 3-01-05

Mail:    19,751
Internet (e-mail):
Phone:      8,138
Total:    75,420

Total FY2004 Inquiries through 3-01-04:

Mail:     57,439
Internet (e-mail):     52,333
Phone:       11,292
Total:    121,064

This is an overall decrease in inquiries of 60.5 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.)

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Created digital slide show for use at Toronto Media Blitz.  Assisted with photo shoot of custom car for Mustangs and Fast Fords magazine, including permissions for photography at Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Badlands National Park.

Fulfilled requests for photos/slides to Office of School and Public Lands and Department of Education, Pierre; Black Hills State University, Spearfish;, Rapid City; South Dakota Pilots Association and South Dakota Ag and Rural Leadership, Yankton; Joe Duling Hunting Lodge, Gregory; University of South Dakota, Vermillion; Senator Jim Dunn, Lead; TDG Communications and South Dakotans for the Arts, Deadwood; Rose Tree Advertising, Elk Point; Outdoor Campus, Sioux Falls; Impact Photographics, California; Spectrum Promotions, Minnesota; and Men’s Journal magazine, New York.

Presented slide show to photography class at Northern State University, distributed internship information, and received several applications.  Will schedule interviews with selected applicants.

Loaned stock footage to Midcontinent Communications in Sioux Falls. Contacted agencies asking them to return stock footage they had borrowed.

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Fifteen of 36 Giant Step partners are participating in the online package co-op and the Meredith online slide show.  Mailed copies of the insert to partners along with reminder of on-sale dates of each magazine: April issue of Better Homes and Gardens, on-sale March 9; May issue of Country Home, on-sale April 13; May issue of More, on-sale April 22; May/June issue of Midwest living, on-sale April 22; and June issue of Ladies Home Journal, on-sale May 10.  Audience reach of co-op is more than 3.9 million subscribers in the target markets of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota; plus Kansas City, Missouri; Dallas, Texas; and Detroit, Michigan.

Sent Travelsmart to permission-based database of 125,000 e-mail addresses.  Responded to inquiries generated by mailing. 

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Notified winner of the Black Hills winter vacation from the postcards returned from the Snowmobile Club Mailing.  Winner from Illinois will coordinate with the Deadwood Visitors Bureau on vacation details.

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Worked with Department of Transportation on changes to map, with plans for a redesign of one panel on the back side.  Routed cover mockups for comments.   Plan to print one million maps with a delivery date in June. 

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Made updates to pages on Visitor Services Directory shows 4,835 listings; state-wide Calendar of Events shows 667 listings; 88 vacation packages, 24 coupons and 10 at par packages are listed in 33 cities and 25 categories and packages were submitted to; removed two and added three new homepage feature stories into the rotation on Kid Zone, including accompanying photos for March stories on the Sioux Falls St. Patrick’s Day Parade, outdoor fun and activities for spring, and educational/science attractions across the state;

On updated User Maintenance System to show 113 accounts; added snapshots from the Tourism Conference; and updated the Online Vacation Packages and Coupons Co-op program information and registration forms.

Researched a new, so-called “3D Search Engine” named  Checked rankings with several search engines using several different keyword combinations.

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Logo Usage/Image Requests

Fulfilled logo request to Legislative Research Council.

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Focus Group

Conducted focus groups in Minneapolis and Dallas, which was set up in three age groups: 55+, 24-34, and 35-54.  Results will be used to help make future marketing decision.  Groups commented on promotions of various states.  Results will be presented to the Governor’s Tourism Advisory Board for discussion.

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Black Hills Horse Expo, April 8-10, Rapid City: Met with local committee to finalize plans.  Developed media teaser which will be sent in March.  Mailed event postcard to 3,000 subscribers of Today’s Horse.

New Frontier Bull Ride, May 20-21, Presho: Met with event coordinator to discuss marketing plans.  Researched markets/rates for newspaper and radio advertising.  Drafted promo plan/budget for the event.  Drafted poster copy and worked on copy for web page.

Argus Leader Bicycle Tour, June 12-18, Yankton, Pickstown, Platte, Chamberlain, and Pierre: Prepared two ads for The Cyclists’ Yellow Pages & Adventure Cyclist which were sent to publisher.  Routed PDF to Argus Leader contact for review.  Designed Midwest Living travel directory ad featuring Tour de Kota and Wild Bill Hickok Days for the May/June issue.  Added event to the event list and locator page on

Wild Bill Hickok Days, June 17-19, Deadwood: Redesigned and arranged for the production of an ad for placement in the June issue of Wild West magazine (circulation of 82,597).  Added event to the event list and locator page on

Pierpont Storytelling Festival, August 13-14, Pierpont: Will attend committee meeting in March to discuss Tourism’s role in promoting the event.  Updated promotion plan.  Contacted Storytelling Magazine to get geographical breakdown on its subscribers.

Oak Lake Bluegrass Festival, August 19-21, Astoria: Updated marketing plan.

Great Plains Bison-tennial Dutch Oven Cook-off, August 27-28, Yankton: Created a logo.

Great Dakota Wine Fest, September 3-4, Vermillion: Finalized promotion plan.

Wall-Badlands Art Expo, September 6-10, Wall: Updated the marketing plan.  Researched additional arts magazines in which to run ads and listings in their calendar of events.  Sent list of arts publications in the state and Arts Councils to local committee for postcard promotion, which they plan to expand to surrounding states. 

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for January 2005 was up 16 percent at $163,631, as compared to $141,074 for January 2004.  The tourism tax deposited for January 2005 was up 9.0 percent at $237,864, as compared to $218,214 for January 2004.  The deposits in FY05 thus far for gaming and the tourism tax are $5,609,882, as compared to $5,186,884 for FY2004.  This is an overall increase in revenue or 8.2 percent when comparing the same time period.

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