South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: July 2005

July 2005

   MEMORANDUM TO:  Jim Hagen

   DATE:  August 5, 2005

   FROM:  Billie Jo Waara

   SUBJECT:  Tourism’s July Monthly Status Report

You may download and print the entire July 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
Mount Rushmore Independence Day Celebration
Buffalo Roundup/Invitational Pheasant Hunt
Great Shoulder Events
Tourism Office Funding


Please refer to for updates.

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Met with the 2006 Murdo Centennial planning committee to provide resource information for funding sources in the state and discuss possible activities.

Attended Capital for a Day in Canistota.  Toured Lake Vermillion, Canistota, and the Ortman Clinic.

Attended an Agri*Cultural Alliance (ACA) meeting in Brookings to discuss the ACA Conference at Cedar Shore Resort in October. Purpose of the conference is to share information about the tourism industry with artists, to discuss agritourism opportunities with farmers and ranchers in South Dakota, and focus on the importance and value of networking and collaborating with other businesses.  Discussed purpose of the conference with members of the Southeast South Dakota Tourism Board.  Met with representatives of the Sioux Falls CVB to discuss agritourism efforts and the importance of getting producers involved in Tourism.  Plan to meet with the Sioux Falls Chamber Ag committee in August.

Working on details for the 2005 State Fair booth which will focus on fall events. 

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Reviewed past National Tourism Week campaigns to prepare for discussions of the 2006 campaign with the Association of CVBs members at their next meeting in Brookings in October.

Added Mount Rushmore fireworks photos to immediately following the display on July 3.  Created a new sub-section for visitor industry press releases.

Finalized appointments for Minneapolis media blitz: Minneapolis Star Tribune, St. Paul Pioneer Press, KSTP TV, KARE TV, WCCO Radio, North American Outdoors, North American Hunter, Pheasants Forever magazine, Good Age, Flying Adventures magazine, and Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine.  Worked on follow-up.

Fact-checked an article on the Buffalo Roundup which will appear in the September issue of Cowboys and Indians.  Writer was hosted in 2004.  Set up itinerary for August for Good Age magazine writer for article to focus on shoulder season travel.  The publication is geared to empty nesters.  Worked with writer on arrangements during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally for an article for Maxim magazine and other men’s publications.

Provided interviews/information to KSTP TV; New York Times; London Times; Sturgis Rally Guide; BBC TV, Copley News Service, Cowboys and Indians; Argus Leader; Aberdeen American News; South Dakota Public Radio; Rick Killion, Prairie Biz magazine; Nadine Godwin, Travel Weekly; Steve Walters, Chocolate Travel Guide; and various freelancers.

Working with Department of Game, Fish and Parks to include tourism information/opportunities in mailings to private shooting preserves.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence: Rapid City Journal (33,400) for ad value of $1,344 and Heartland USA (1,200,000) for ad value of $40,000.  Total ad value of $41,344. 

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Finalized Black Hills itinerary for Bel Mooney and Robin Smith fam, journalist/photographer team from United Kingdom writing for Saturday Times and the Mail on Sunday for August.  Liaised with Jennifer Gabriel of Sturgis Chamber.

Wrote itinerary, contacted suppliers, and made arrangements for 50 European tour operators and international representatives to tour South Dakota in October on the Rocky Mountain International (RMI) Megafam.  Will finalize arrangements with the Chambers/CVBs and submitted draft itinerary to RMI for bus bids.

Mailed postcards, with list of South Dakota suppliers who will be at marketplace, to 900 National Tour Association (NTA) members.  Researched and requested appointments with tour operators.

Sent partner proofs of the group tour co-op ad to each of the 18 partners to review.  Will place ad in four group trade magazines, plus an over-run of 4,500 ads for mailing to all tour operators in Tourism’s database with a coupon they can use to request more information.

Fulfilled requests for information/tour helps to Design Destinations, Gwen Mehta, California; Lamers Tour & Travel, Badger Coaches, Inc., Wisconsin; SkyWest Airlines, Utah; Travel With Joan, Texas; Calkins Nature Area, Iowa; S & S Travel, Indiana; Roy Cushing, University of Nebraska, Nebraska; Bus Tours Magazine, Illinois; Veterans Tours, Michigan; Golden Eagle Tours, Pennsylvania; All About Travel, Kansas; Peterson Tour & Travel, Minnesota; Mae’s Travel, Ontario; and Rita Vanruckegh, Belgium.

Assisted Godfrey Hall, United Kingdom, with edits to a South Dakota feature in Essentially America magazine, a result of Hall’s press trip this past spring.

Provided James Rider, Exploring America/Adventure Student Travel, Missouri, with suggestions for student tours.  Exploring America is one of the top web sites for student travel.  Rider and Matt Brennecke, Family Vacations Network, visited the Black Hills area in July and August.

Provided Rocky Mountain Holiday Tours, Colorado, with itinerary suggestions for August for Isabella Weber, Comptoir, France, and François Caumartin.

Provided film permit contacts, lodging contacts in Sturgis, itinerary ideas, etc. to the four-person film crew from Getaway, Australia’s highest rated travel program, for filming at the Sturgis Rally.  The program has two million viewers in Australia and 10 million viewers world-wide.  Ad value is $36,000 per 30 seconds.  An international feature story typically runs 6-8 minutes. 

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Finalized story ideas to present during the Travel Writers Marketplace at the Society of American Travel Writers Conference in September and began making media appointments.  Plan to attend Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW) conference in October in Alexandria, Minnesota.  Followed up with contacts made at the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) Conference.

Hosted Jim Zumbo, Outdoor Life magazine editor and host of Jim Zumbo Outdoors, and executives from The Outdoor Channel in the Pierre area.  Show to air in September.

Continued working with Cabela’s and the Corn Palace CVB on a writer camp to take place near Mitchell in November.  Contacted outfitter and working on attracting additional media.  Have Sporting Classics, Cabelas, NRA publications, and the Omaha World Herald on board at this point.

Provided interviews/information to Pierre Capital Journal, Minnesota Co-op, ESPN Inc., Outdoor Life, and various freelancers.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence: Capital Journal (4,654) two articles for combined ad value of $237.

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Worked with organizer Tom Black to finalize details of the 48 Hour Film Project, an international event hosted by Aberdeen.  Seventeen filmmaking teams entered the competition.  Attended the event and addressed the filmmakers at the kickoff party.  Distributed packets with information about the Film Office and how to be listed in the crew/service database.  Distributed media kits to press with information about the Film Office and the competition.

Spoke with Lise King of the Native Voice Film Festival to review this year’s event and ideas for next year’s festival.  Wrote an article for the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian regarding Chris Eyre’s film, A Thousand Roads.  The article focused on the film’s screening at the Native Voice Film Festival in Rapid City and the importance of American Indian culture and arts in South Dakota.

Interviewed by the Argus Leader for a story on South Dakota filmmakers, in particular, Ben Swan of Sioux Falls who is finishing his first feature film in Sioux Falls.

Received proposals from six South Dakota agencies for the makeover of  Reviewed proposals and sent additional questions to agencies.  Will invite selected agencies to give presentations in August.

Reviewed needs for new production guide, discussed design options, and drafted crew/service form and letter, which will be mailed to all crew/service members on that database in early August.

Met with staff to discuss film office incentives to better allow South Dakota to compete with other locations to attract film and commercial projects.

Fulfilled requests for production guides to companies in California, Minnesota, and South Dakota.

Spoke with representative of “Three Wishes” of NBC and coordinated a casting call in Brookings.  Researched a production company for a filming opportunity in Aberdeen.  Contacted Badlands National Park regarding a photo shoot for “My Ford” magazine on the scenic byway in the park; obtained permit information and specifics and passed information on to NLP Productions.  Researched locations for a vehicle commercial; contacted the city of Edgemont for photos of their airport as a location possibility and forwarded their photos to the requesting company.  Researched private ranches near Badlands National Park for a company.  Sent an e-mail to Broadview Media in Minneapolis regarding permit requirements for shooting a reality show during the Sturgis Rally.

Participated in a conference call with marketing partners from the Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana Film Offices to discuss co-hosting a reception at American Film Institute Fest in Los Angeles in November.

Researched food festivals plus kuchen and other popular ethnic foods in the state for the Travel Channel.

Placed ad in the September issue of Production Update magazine.

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Fulfilled requests from AAA/CAA offices and independent travel agencies in one Canadian province and 11 states: Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Virginia, and South Dakota.

Working with organizations in the Black Hills to set up three tours as part of a hosting of the top 100 MLT travel agents from across the nation in November.

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Car count at the Information Centers for the month of June was down 5.6% from June 2004; for Canadian visitors, it was up 3.9 %; and for other international visitors, it was up 8.4%.  There were 194 motorcoaches/buses, and 21 had international visitors.

Use of travel tapes and CD’s at the Information Centers was up from June 2004 by 2.2%.  Use of CDs is up with fewer being returned, so need to consider ordering more for 2006.

For July, a total of 347 comment cards were received from visitors.  Following are sample comments:

“Had a great time in your beautiful state. Will
recommend that my friends come out when they can.”

“I have traveled the world and this is without a doubt
the best I have seen for a rest stop!”  Kansas

“Al was very helpful and showed us some areas we
            weren’t aware of. We may stay longer!”  Georgia

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For 2005, 225 individuals/businesses have received recognition for hospitality with the Governor’s Certificate, 54 have received the foil star for a second recognition, and 27 have received a gold lapel pin for a third recognition.

Application forms/letter for the Great Service STAR Program will be mailed in September.  Approval of application will result in being able to use the Great Service Star in advertising and/or consideration for the annual George S. Mickelson Great Service Award which is presented at the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism in January.

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Total FY2005 Inquiries through 7-01-05

Mail:    51,077
Internet (e-mail):
Phone:    17,729
Total:  163,796

Total FY2004 Inquiries through 7-01-04:

Mail:     94,332
Internet (e-mail):     98,518
Phone:      22,702
Total:    215,542

Total FY2006 Inquiries through 8-01-05

Mail:      1,678
Internet (e-mail):
Phone:      1,515
Total:    12,112

Total FY2005 Inquiries through 8-01-04:

Mail:       2,426
Internet (e-mail):       9,080
Phone:       1,773
Total:     13,279

For fiscal year 2005, this is an overall decrease in inquiries of 24 percent over fiscal year 2004.  For the new fiscal year 2006, there is an overall decrease in inquiries of 8.8 percent over FY2005.  (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 Web stats for    

  Page Views Daily
% Change
over 2004
March (31 days)
1,044,990 33,709 -3.4%
April (30 days) 1,255,542 41,851 18.5%
May (31 days) 1,426,898 46,029 15.1%
June (29 days) 1,335,058 46,036 11.5%
July (31 days) 1,345,250 43,395 24.4%

“Page views” represents the number of times each and every page within the web site is accessed.

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Information on the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation’s 37th annual meeting, August 6-10, in Oregon can be found at

The next Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Signature Event, Destination 2005 – The Pacific, will be held in Washington and Oregon, November 24-27, the eleventh of 15 nationally-recognized events.

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Along with Tourism Board member Frank Smith, we met with Micki LaRoche of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe to discuss tourism efforts in the area.  Visited the Tribal headquarters, new community center, Golden Buffalo Casino, and the Narrows.

Have contacted Oglala Sioux Tribe asking for a meeting and August, and working to set up meeting dates for Cheyenne River, Crow Creek, Yankton, Rosebud, and Flandreau throughout the remainder of the summer.

Requested time on the agenda of the next Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates (ATTA) Board meeting to provide updates about Tourism projects. 

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Fulfilled requests for photos to Southeast South Dakota Tourism Association, South Dakota Magazine, Yankton; Governor’s Office, Oahe Speedway, State Publishing, Cultural Heritage Center, Department of Game, Fish and Parks, Department of Transportation, Pierre; TDG Communications, Deadwood; Mitchell CVB; Paulsen Marketing, AAA Home and Away Magazine, Sioux Falls Arena, Lawrence and Schiller, Sioux Falls; Abourezk Law Firm, Rapid City; Baltimore Sun, Maryland; GEICO Direct magazine, Minnesota; Omaha World Herald, Nebraska; Everything America magazine, England; and Nikonians website, Mexico.

Fulfilled requests for video dubs/footage: Black Hills scenic footage to Paulson Marketing, Sioux Falls; stock footage to Sky-TV, Dallas, Texas; and outdoor video and stock footage to WP Productions, Ray City, Georgia, to complement a hunting show they did in South Dakota.

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Completed making test calls to vacation package partners and compiled a report.

Mailed 2006 peak season Giant Step information and sign-up forms to Tourism’s database.  Participation in this co-op program is on a first-come, first-served basis.  Sign-up/information is also on

Notified South Dakota Road Trip TV co-op partners of July schedule: Make a Splash With Us, Sioux Falls – three different Sundays; Ride on the Wild Side, Custer; and Real America, Rapid City.  Notified producer that Tourism would not renew the contract for the Road Trip co-op.  The last segment will air on September 12.

Sent Travelsmart, e-newsletter, to 140,927 recipients.  Message had links to upcoming events and package deals.

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Completed updates of listings for golf courses, museums, and art galleries for 2006-2007 Vacation Guide.

Met with representative of Department of Game, Fish & Parks (GF&P) to review snowmobile trail changes for 2005-2006 Snowmobile Trails Map.  Expect Black Hills trail changes in mid-Aug.  Will complete layout and order 50,000 copies for delivery in early November.  Printing is paid by GF&P.

Printed 8,300 copies of the Winter 2005-2006 Great News newsletter and mailed to group tour operators and travel agents, which included 2,200 international tour operators and journalists in our database.  Finalized copy for Spring-Summer 2006 Great News; researched stories and drafted copy for Fall 2006 issue.

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On updated Visitor Services Directory to show 4,934 entries; 139 packages, 21 coupons, and 16 “at par” packages are listed for 40 cities in 25 categories.  Submitted packages to 

Mailed information and Calendar of Events forms to 2005 contacts for updated listings for 2006.

Requested registration of four new domain names:,, and via that Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT) and asked BIT to create two sub-domains: and 

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Working with the Center for Tourism Research (CTR) at Black Hills State University to develop the South Dakota Travel Monitoring System (SDTMS).  The system will be designed to collect information from visitor industry entities (panelists) who agree to forward data (password-protected) on attraction visitation, occupancy for independent hotels/motels, campgrounds, and international guests.  The Office of Tourism is making calls to gather the minimum number of panelists in each category.  The system will also be designed so that information can be accessed via SDVisit.

Attended a presentation by CTR on a new economic impact study model, which Tourism is reviewing.

Shipped 1,200 traveler intercept surveys to the 13 staffed Interstate Information Centers for travel counselors to distribute to travelers.  After completion, travelers can return surveys to Tourism in a stamped envelop.  Have encoded 340 surveys of 700 that have been returned.  Expect to receive 1,000 from travelers.

Met with Department of Revenue staff to gather information on communities that agreed to participate in a study to determine the economic impact of an event on a community.

Observed participants of Focus Groups in Omaha, Des Moines, and Chicago arranged by Lawrence & Schiller (L&S).  Each location was divided into three age groups: 25-34, 35-54, age 55+.  Will work with L&S to draft report.

Compiled data for the 2005 second quarter consumer web survey report.  Sent prize packages to winners who were from Wisconsin and Illinois.  Survey results for the second quarter were compiled from 242 respondents and include:

61 percent had been to South Dakota before

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

76 percent said answered all of their travel questions

96 percent said they would recommend the site to another traveler

34 percent were referred to by a search engine

50 percent indicated it was their first time visiting

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

71 percent are married

43 percent have children under 18 living at home

65 percent of the respondents are from the target states of Minnesota (27 respondents), Wisconsin (24), Illinois (22), Iowa and Nebraska (16), Texas (15), Missouri (11), Manitoba and North Dakota (8), Michigan (6), and Colorado (5).

Top out-of-target-market states includes Kansas (8) and California (5).

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Coordinated set-up of camera gear for the fireworks, satellite truck and placement of the camera, set-up of cameras for the Daktronics video screens, and shot video of the fireworks display and transmitted via satellite.  Added Mount Rushmore fireworks photos to immediately following the display on July 3.  Tracking service reported that an estimated 27 million viewers in 38 states saw the display.

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

Compiled a list of print needs for each event and worked on other details for both events, such as meals, decorations, satellite feed, and transportation.  Completed jury process for the art showcase, led by Jean Rounds.  Artists will be notified in early August.  Details of tours for the Roundup have been completed and contacts made with local people involved.

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Argus Leader Bicycle Tour, June 12-18, Yankton, Pickstown, Platte, Chamberlain, and Pierre: Will compile report from evaluations.

Wild Bill Hickok Days, June 17-19, Deadwood: Will compile report from evaluations.

Pierpont Storytelling Festival, August 13-14, Pierpont: Placed newspaper ads in July editions of Wahpeton Daily News and Fargo Forum, North Dakota and West Central Sunday Reminder, Fergus Falls Daily Journal, Jamestown Sun, and Marshall Independent, Minnesota.  Placed radio spots for August with KDJS-FM in Willmar, Minnesota and KYNU-FM in Jamestown, North Dakota.

Oak Lake Bluegrass Festival, August 19-21, Astoria: Placed newspaper ads through the Minnesota Newspaper Network for Central West and South regions in August for a total circulation of 287,000.  Placed radio ad for July and August on the “Bluegrass Saturday Morning” radio show on KBEM-FM in Minneapolis.

Great Plains Bison-tennial Dutch Oven Cook-off, August 27-28, Yankton: Sent media teasers to Omaha World-Herald; Sioux City Journal; Argus Leader; The Tribune (Ames, IA); Norfolk Daily News; Rapid City Journal; Aberdeen American News; Yankton Daily Press and Dakotan; O’Neill Frontier/Holt County Independent; Mitchell Daily Republic; Vermillion Plain Talk; KELO-TV, KDLT-TV, and KSFY-TV in Sioux Falls; and South Dakota Public Radio.  Placed travel directory ad in July/August issues of Midwest Living and Bison World and August issue of We Proceeded On.  Placed classified ads in Minneapolis Star Tribune and Omaha World-Herald for August dates.  Placed display ads in Sioux City Journal, O’Neill Frontier/Holt County Independent, Norfolk Daily News, and The Tribune, Ames, Iowa for August.  Developed 30 second radio ads for placement in Sioux City (KGLI), Iowa; and O’Neill (KBRX) and Norfolk (KUSO), Nebraska for August.

Great Dakota Wine Fest, September 3-4, Vermillion: Sent wine labels for the media teasers to Valiant Vineyards Winery for printing and production and coordinators sent media teasers as they were wine bottles: Omaha World-Herald; Sioux City Journal; Argus Leader; Yankton Daily Press and Dakotan; Vermillion Plain Talk; The Tribune (Ames, IA); Norfolk Daily News; Rapid City Journal; Aberdeen American News; KELO-TV, KDLT-TV, and KSFY-TV in Sioux Falls; and South Dakota Public Radio. Ran magazine display ads in July/August issue of Midwest Living and the August/September issue of The Wine News.  Placed classified ads in Minneapolis Star Tribune and Omaha World-Herald for August editions.  Placed display ads in Sioux City Journal, O’Neill Frontier/Holt County Independent, Norfolk Daily News, and The Tribune in Ames, Iowa for August.  Developed 30 second radio ads for Sioux City (KGLI), Iowa and O’Neill (KBRX) and Norfolk (KUSO), Nebraska for August and September.

Wall-Badlands Art Expo, September 6-10, Wall: Worked on design for media teasers that will be sent in August.

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At the beginning of a new fiscal year, Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for June 2005 was up 15.5 percent at $225,588, as compared to $195,264 for June 2004.  The tourism tax deposited for June 2005 was up 4.4 percent at $280,171, as compared to $268,399 for June 2004.  The deposits in FY06 for gaming and the tourism tax are $505,759, as compared to $463,663 for FY05.  This is an overall increase in revenue of 9.1 percent when comparing the same time period.

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