South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: January 2005

January 2005

   MEMORANDUM TO:  Jim Hagen

   DATE:  February 4, 2005

   FROM:  Billie Jo Waara

   SUBJECT:  Tourism’s January Monthly Status Report

You may download and print the entire January 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
American Indian Tourism
Travel Market Advertising

World Wide Web
Logo Usage/Image Requests
Great Shoulder Events
Department Funding


Please refer to for updates.

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Completed final details for tourism conference.  Conference tallies included 490 full registrations, 28 for Wednesday only, 24 for Thursday only, and 45 for banquet only for 587 attendees.  There were 557 at the Gold Rush Banquet.  Presented George S. Mickelson Great Service Award to Custer State Park, A.H. Pankow Award to Gary Howey, and honored Peter S. Norbeck with the Ben Black Elk Award.  Information, photos, and reports have been added to

The 2006 Conference is January 18 and 19 at the Ramkota in Pierre.

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Continued working on details of the Farm/Ranch Vacation Workshops to be held on February 17 from 9 a.m. to noon (CST) and February 18 from 1 to 4 p.m. (CST) over DDN locations in Pierre, Rapid City, Spearfish, Vermillion, Brookings, Watertown, Aberdeen, Mitchell, Winner, Sioux Falls, and Hot Springs.  Farm and Ranch Vacation Resource Directory will be available at each site.

Continued working with the Value Added Ag committee to plan the 2005 conference scheduled for March 17 in Brookings.  Working with professors from SDSU to coordinate the agritourism session of the conference.

Spoke at the 3rd Annual Women in Blue Jeans Conference in Mitchell.  Will follow up with requested information.

Worked with the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Tourism office and a group in Timber Lake to organize agritourism workshops in their areas this spring.

Distributed the Tourism Assistance Directory (TAD) at the Tourism Conference.  Will mail a copy of the TAD, the Annual Report, and a fast fact card to Chambers of Commerce, Economic Development offices, tribal offices, RC&D offices, and other organizations.  The TAD will be distributed at the Farm/Ranch Vacation Workshops and upon request.

Attended a planning meeting for the Custer Expedition Trail Coalition.  The goal of the group is to enhance, develop, and promote educational and recreational opportunities along the trail in order to provide today’s visitor with a better understanding and appreciation of the significance of the 1874 Custer Expedition.  Presented information on the Tourism Sub Fund and distributed copies of the TAD and Annual Report.

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Interviewed by KOTA Radio, KGFX, and KCCR for stories on Tourism Conference; Yankton Press and Dakotan for story on Gary Howey as winner of the A.H. Pankow Award; and Elk Point Leader-Courier and Black Hills Pioneer Press for stories on visitor spending.  Worked with South Dakota Public Radio, KCCR, Dakota Radio Group, Capital Journal, and freelance journalist for news stories regarding the Tourism Conference.

Worked on details for Toronto Media Blitz, February 8 – 11, which includes meetings with selected writers.  Will be a presenter during the national Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) meeting in Toronto.  Plan to attend a New York City media blitz in May.

Mailed press kit and/or other information to Travel Industry Association of America, Washington, DC; and freelance writers in Indiana and Washington.

Press hits with circulation and ad equivalence include: Capital Journal (4,654) with ad equivalence of $182 and Aberdeen American News (14,170) with ad equivalence of $422.  Total ad equivalence of $604.

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Reviewed Group Tour Planning Guide pages and sent files to printer.

Sent Tourism’s list of appointments with tour companies to the 28 South Dakota suppliers also attending the American Bus Association (ABA) Marketplace in February.  Requested profile sheets from each supplier for a South Dakota booklet that will be available in the Learning Center at ABA for tour companies to reference.

Fulfilled requests for information from Dreamcatcher Motorcoach Tours LLC, Wisconsin; Nicollet County Bank, Minnesota; Capitol Tours, Inc., Illinois; Premier World Tours, California; Away We Go, Pennsylvania; Kincaid Tours, Oklahoma; Terri Kruse, Nebraska; American History Travels, Germany; Abroad magazine, Ireland; Target Benelux (RMI Benelux) and Jetair Special Brands, The Netherlands; Thema Nuovi Monde (RMI Italy) and KEL 12, Italy; and The Independent, United Kingdom.

Sent 4,140 group tour operator address labels to Mount Rushmore National Memorial Society to use to announce parking fee increases for motorcoaches beginning May 2005.

E-mailed Spring Group Tour Operator Fam Tour information to Destinations and Courier magazines.

Mailed individual follow-up letters and information to leads gathered from the Rocky Mountain International (RMI) trade mission in November: 28 Scandinavian tour operators and journalists; 25 tour operators and journalists from Italian Showcase; and 82 tour operators, travel agents, and journalists from World Travel Market in London.

Completed preparation for Benelux Show that was attended by representatives from the RMI states: Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and South Dakota.  Met with 28 tour operators and journalists.  Sent leads and RMI Roundup information (a show where we bring 30-40 overseas tour operators to the RMI region to meet with suppliers) to 584 South Dakota suppliers who have requested international leads.

Contacted following regarding various familiarization tours in South Dakota: Godfrey Hall, Ashley Gibbins, and Bob Spooner, United Kingdom; Mark Williams of Equestvent, Australia; and Christian Kitzier, Austria.

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Attended 2005 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show and met with media representing many of the top outdoor magazines and television shows in the country, as well as some international journalists.  Lined up a number of outdoor hostings for spring and fall.  Staffed booth along with staff from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

Attended the 2005 National Pheasant Fest in Omaha.  Attendance at the three day show was approximately 26,000.

Began researching stories for the Spring 2005 Outdoor News, which is mailed to 3,000 members of the outdoor press.  Stories will include fall opportunities, plus summer outdoor activities.

Worked with Wildfowl and Ducks Unlimited editors for a spring snow goose hunt in the Glacial Lakes and Prairies region in March.

Worked with an outfitter to promote free-ranging buffalo hunt near Rapid City in February.  Finalized itinerary for Buck McNeely who will be filming the hunt for his TV show.  It will include Rapid City attractions and Black Hills destinations as well.

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.

Press hits with circulation and ad equivalence include: Sports Afield (50,000) with ad equivalence of $1,235, February/March 2005, “The Huntin’ Governor” by Michael D. Faw. 

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Continued calling company listings in the current Film/Video Directory to verify and update their information for the new directory.  Will contact additional advertisers regarding ad space in the new guide.

Mailed requested production guides to companies in California, Tennessee, Illinois, and South Dakota.  Sent production guide and names of area production managers to company planning a music video shoot in Deadwood in March.

Attended the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, and hosted a joint reception with Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho film offices.  The group is collectively known as “Film the West.”  Approximately 200 filmmakers, directors, producers and actors attended the event.

Was contacted by representative of Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) and informed that South Dakota’s film office membership will be in interim status until the educational component of the membership is completed by the new film office manager.

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Requested that Bureau of Personnel list job openings for seasonal travel counselor positions at the Interstate  Information Centers and sent press releases to in-state newspapers with announcement.  Have received 53 applications to date.  Plan to interview in early March.

Drafted itinerary for familiarization tour for travel counselors, April 30 – May 6.

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Contacted speakers and requested information in order to select presenter for the front-line training and management training seminars.

Presented the George S Mickelson Great Service Award to Custer State Park.

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Total FY2005 Inquiries through 2-01-05

Mail:    17,924
Internet (e-mail):
Phone:      6,622
Total:    61,898

Total FY2004 Inquiries through 2-01-04:

Mail:     52,624
Internet (e-mail):     42,833
Phone:       9,685
Total:    105,142

This is an overall decrease in inquiries of 41.1 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 830,260 on Tourism’s web site for the period of January 1-31, 2005, for a daily average of 26,783 over a 31-day period.  This compares to calculated page views of 753,238 for the period of January 1-31, 2004, for a daily average of 26,901 over a 28-day period.  This is a decrease in daily average of page views of 0.4 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.

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Participated in a conference call with the Circle of State Advisors (COSA), made up of representatives from each of the Lewis and Clark (L&C) Trail states.  Discussed national ad campaign, heard reports from federal agencies involved with the L&C Bicentennial commemoration, and planned the future of the group. A survey was sent to all states involved in COSA to determine what each state will be doing to promote L&C through 2006.

The next statewide Lewis and Clark meeting will be held May 5 in Vermillion.

Sent packets to South Dakota fourth grade teachers urging them to have their classes participate in the 2005 Lewis and Clark (L&C) Essay Contest on the topic titled: “Write about your favorite Lewis and Clark adventure while the expedition traveled through present-day South Dakota.”  Entries will be judged by Tourism.  Mailing included letter, contest rules and entry form, L&C background and highlights, L&C Trail Guide, state map, and Department of Game, Fish and Park’s L&C Bingo and Kids in the Park with L&C Activity Book.  The Cultural Heritage Center provided four tickets to the museum to be used as prizes for the winning essayist.  Fulfilled requests for more L&C information from fourth grade teachers in Sturgis, Brookings, and Madison as a result of the mailing. 

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Will continue attending Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates meetings and providing assistance to the organization as applicable.

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Fulfilled requests for photography to State Publishing, Department of Game, Fish and Parks, and Department of Health, Pierre; Northstar Publishing and Lawrence and Schiller, Sioux Falls; South Dakota magazine, Yankton; Western Souvenirs, Fenske Media, and Rushmore News, Rapid City; Group Tour magazine, Michigan; and, Alaska.

Fulfilled requests for stock video footage and Sturgis Rally footage to Broadview Media in Minneapolis; stock footage to the Polish Television Channel in Chicago for a travel segment; Black Hills footage to the $40 Dollar a Day show; Great Lakes area footage to Midcontinent; and stock footage to South Dakota Public Broadcasting. 

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As part of the Giant Step magazine insert co-op, Meredith Publishing Company offered links to partners from their online slide show on  Created landing pages for the Giant Step partners.  Sent appropriate partner files containing their copy and photos to Meredith for production.  Worked with Bureau of Information and Technology to set up tracking for newly created pages.

Distribution of the Great Getaways newspaper insert will be to 1.4 million households in markets in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Manitoba, and new this year is Saskatchewan.

Finalized magazine ad plan for 4Parks co-op.  Partners include the state tourism offices in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana; Xanterra Parks & Resorts – Yellowstone; and the Grand Teton Lodge Company.  Campaign will reach a combined audience of nearly 5.5 million readers in the following publications: March issue of Natural History; March/April issue of AARP: The Magazine; and April issues of Reader’s Digest, Travel and Leisure Family, Ladies Home Journal, and Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel.  Online marketing is also planned.

Updated and sent electronic newsletter to subscriber-based list of more than 122,000 addresses.  Approximately 35 links are provided from the newsletter to a variety of sites/tourism partners.  Responded to requests and comments. 

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Distributed 2004 Annual Reports at Tourism Conference and placed information on where previous reports/sections can also be downloaded.

Finished design and corrections of the Tourism pages for the South Dakota Vacation Guide and sent to publishers.  Expected delivery of guides is February.

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On, updated Visitor Services Directory to show 4,834 entries; 652 listings for the statewide Calendar of Events; Kid Zone stories for February are on the Sertoma Butterfly House in Sioux Falls, the Black Hills Stock Show in Rapid City, and winter in South Dakota; and 63 vacation packages and 24 coupons are listed in 25 cities and 23 categories.  Submitted packages to

Mailed 2005 online package information to tourism industry members, which included information on how industry members can put “At Par” packages together.

Notified South Dakota Road Trip co-op partners of the January programming schedule: Gold Dust Gamblers Getaway, Deadwood; Symphony and City Lights, Sioux Falls; Real America, Rapid City; Historic Deadwood Gaming, Deadwood; and Ride on the Wild Side, Custer.

Researched new features that were offered after MSN’s revamped search engine was officially launched.  Revisited Amazon’s search engine,, to investigate recently added features.  Continued to monitor the performance of Tourism’s text ads with Google after switching the ads from hunting to snowmobiling and tweaked keywords and phrases.  Received over 3,500 clicks to new hunting section and 1,600 clicks to snowmobiling/winter information.

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Logo Usage/Image Requests

Fulfilled specific logo requests from Department of Labor and Wild Water West.

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Sent prize packages to winners from Colorado and Mississippi from submissions from the fourth quarter survey results which were compiled from 94 respondents.  Compiled data for the 2004 consumer web survey report, which includes responses from 675 people:

66 percent had been to South Dakota before

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

78 percent said answered all of their travel questions

97 percent said they would recommend the site to another traveler

45 percent were referred to by a search engine (Google had 42 % of this segment.)

45 percent indicated it was their first time visiting

62 percent of the respondents are female; 34 percent
            are male; 4 percent declined to answer

69 percent are married

35 percent have children under 18 living at home

54 percent of the respondents are from the target states
            of Minnesota (73 respondents), Illinois (57), Wisconsin (51),
            Nebraska (38), Iowa (37), Missouri (28), Texas (27), South
            Dakota (25), Colorado (19), and North Dakota (10). 

Top out-of-target-market states include Pennsylvania (21),
            California (20), Florida, New York, and Ohio (14), and
            Indiana (13).

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Black Hills Quilt Show and Sale, September 12-15, Hill City: Local committee did not track attendance, but reported they were pleased since classes were full and businesses reported increased sales.  One business reported increased sales of 30 percent.  The Outdoor Quilt Show attracts the most visitors to the event.  Media covering the event were KEVN TV and KOTA TV and radio.

Last Chance Bonanza Rodeo, October 21-23, Brookings: Of 25 evaluations that were mailed, four were returned.  Committee reported that attendance was down 11 percent over 2003.  Attendees were from Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Jamaica.  One motel reported an increase of 12 percent.  One restaurant reported a 60 percent increase over 2003.

2005 Great Shoulder Events

Black Hills Horse Expo, April 8-10, Rapid City: Designed ads and placed in the Billings Livestock Commission Sales newspaper and the following magazines: Horse 'N Around, Horse Power, The Working Horse, The Wrangler Horse, Rodeo News, and Montana Horseman's Journal.  Prepped ad and sent to local organization to use.

New Frontier Bull Ride, May 20-21, Presho: Will attend committee meeting and present marketing plan.

Argus Leader Bicycle Tour, June 12-18, Yankton, Pickstown, Platte, Chamberlain, and Pierre: Worked with organizers on marketing plan.  Provided information for a press conference.

Wild Bill Hickok Days, June 17-19, Deadwood: Met with local committee and discussed the marketing plan.  Committee provided additional promotional ideas.

Pierpont Storytelling Festival, August 13-14, Pierpont: Plan to attend local committee meeting and present draft of promotional plan which includes print and radio ads; design of event logo and a rack card; event postcards for mailing to tour operators in Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota; media teaser mailing to targeted publications; and photo and video assistance as needed.

Oak Lake Bluegrass Festival, August 19-21, Astoria: Completed research on advertising prices and added to marketing plan.  Attended committee meeting and presented the initial plan to the committee for discussion.

Great Plains Bison-tennial Dutch Oven Cook-off, August 27-28, Yankton: Met with committee chair to review promotion plan and gathered additional ideas.  Added information to  Worked on design of oversized direct mail postcard, which will be mailed to tour operators in Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota.  Tourism will mail media teasers to targeted publications, provide photo and video assistance as needed, and design event logo and rack card.

Great Dakota Wine Fest, September 3-4, Vermillion: Met with committee chair to review promotional plan and made suggested changes.  Worked on design of direct mail postcard which will be mailed to tour operators in Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota.  Will send media teasers to targeted publications, provide photo and video assistance as needed, and design event logo and rack card.

Wall-Badlands Art Expo, September 6-10, Wall: Completed research on advertising prices and added to the marketing plan.

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for December 2004 was up 13.8 percent at $156,381, as compared to $137,469 for December 2003.  The tourism tax deposited for December 2004 was up 6.2 percent at $246,133, as compared to $231,833 for December 2003.  The deposits in FY05 thus far for gaming and the tourism tax are $5,208,387, as compared to $4,827,596 for FY2004.  This is an overall increase in revenue of 7.9 percent when comparing the same time period.

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