South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: March 2005

March 2005

   MEMORANDUM TO:  Jim Hagen

   DATE:  April 7, 2005

   FROM:  Billie Jo Waara

   SUBJECT:  Tourism’s March Monthly Status Report

You may download and print the entire March 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
Focus Groups
Governor's Tourism Advisory Board
Great Shoulder Events
Department Funding


Please refer to for updates on all goals.

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Participated in the Custer Community Assessment with the South Dakota Rural Development Council.  Community groups were asked to identify Custer’s strengths/assets, weaknesses/limitations, and their visions for Custer in the next 20 years.  A final report will be presented to the community leaders.

Met with members of the Casey Tibbs Foundation Board of Directors to discuss the future of the Rodeo Center in Fort Pierre and the Foundation’s vision for the facility once it’s completed.  Discussed marketing opportunities with Tourism and funding opportunities through Economic Development.

Presented at the Entrepreneurship Showcase, organized by South Dakota State University, in Timber Lake.  Discussed marketing opportunities, business startup information, and resources available.  Attended the Value Added Ag Conference in Brookings and assisted in coordination of the Agritourism session. Items covered: startup tips, marketing opportunities, involvement in communities/Chambers, and networking.  Presented at the Indians and Pioneers Tourism Conference, organized by the Badlands RC&D, in Chadron, Nebraska.  Discussed startup and resource information as well as Tourism’s marketing programs.

Toured Dakota Prairie Ranch B&B near Oelrichs with owners.  B&B works with local businesses to offer horse drawn wagon rides and trail rides for visitors. 

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Updated promotional plan “Explore South Dakota…let your CVB guide you” for National Tourism Week (NTW), May 7-15.  Plan includes newspaper ads in each CVB community, fast fact cards, trivia and Internet-based promotions, and media interviews.  Activities include group tour interviews, press event for erection of new “Filmed in this Area” signs, open houses at Information Centers, and scenic byway promotions.  Citibank will hold a South Dakota Vacation Planning Expo for their employees in Sioux Falls on May 12.

Fulfilled requests for information with press kits and/or specific information to Craig Heimbuch, Ohio; Ann Nolin, editor of Plymouth Magazine, Minnesota; Luc Briere, journalist with Moto Mag, Canadian motorcycle magazine; travel writers Judith Fein and Paul Ross, New Mexico; Smithsonian; Heartland USA; Country Living; Outdoor USA; Fishing Buddy; Voice of America Television; Field and Stream; Omaha World Herald; Sioux City Journal; Spartas Photo; Shooting Sportsman; National Rifle Association; Outdoor Life; Northland Adventures television; Outdoorsmen Adventures Television; North Country Adventures Television; and South Dakota Outdoors.

Made arrangements/itinerary for writer with True West magazine for late March for article in 2006.  Made arrangements and contacts for Voice of America producer and cameraman in May, a world-wide syndicate news program that is translated to more than 30 languages.  Made preliminary arrangements for travel editor at Toronto Star for May.  Provided additional information to Country Living magazine for a feature on South Dakota in a late-summer edition of the magazine.  Made plans with outfitter to host Outpost magazine, a Canadian-based adventure publication, on a hiking and climbing trip in the Badlands in May.  Worked on summer fam on the Missouri River for kayaks, to include camping and fishing in July.  Trip includes Pickstown area to Greenwood or Running Water.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence include: Argus Leader (52,850) for ad equivalence of $800; Smithsonian (2,048,142) for ad equivalence of $140,790; PhotoMedia (21,000) for ad equivalence of $4,800; American Cowboy (98,051) for ad equivalence of $4,303; True West (157,000) for ad equivalence of $5,640; and Copley News Service, on-line version sent to their 1,500 subscribing newspapers, magazines, newsletters, web sites, etc.  Total ad equivalence of $156,333.

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Fulfilled requests for information to Connection Tours, Alabama; DJ’s Tours, Alaska; Travelco USA, Inc., Florida; Northwest Iowa Transportation/Northland, Iowa; Joyful Tours, Kansas; All Star Charters and Tours and AAA (Youngstown), Ohio; Sister City Association of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Hyde’s Encore Tours & Travel, Utah; The Dairyland Walkers, Wisconsin; Meyer-Franklin Travel, Bermuda; Fehrway Tours, Canada; Comptoirs and RMI Office in France; Thema Nuovi Monde, (RMI Italy) Italy; Jan Doets American Travel and Target Benelux (Rocky Mountain International <RMI> office in Benelux), The Netherlands; American Travel Service, Norway; and Robert Shipley, Virginia, for Visit USA Travel Fair in Kiev, Ukraine.

Gave presentation to attendees of the Yankton Convention & Visitors Bureau meeting on the importance of hosting familiarization tours for groups and international journalists.

Notified American Bus Association and National Tour Association (ABA/NTA) members that leads from these two marketplaces are available online at via password.

Mailed South Dakota’s ad campaign information/markets and Giant Step to 1,460 tour operators in South Dakota’s target market states.  Sent Great News Newsletter to 2,250 international journalists and tour operators on database.

Sent requested information to representative of the US Western States Tourism Office for annual seminar in Las Vegas and for the New York Sales Mission: JTB International, Nippon Express Travel, Jalpak International America, Kintetsu International Express, and Tokyu Travel America.  Representative reported that 23 presentations on South Dakota and the other Back to Nature states were conducted in Tokyo in February.

Attended France mission and ITB in Berlin, Germany, with RMI partner states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.  Conducted meetings with 10 travel agents from Jetset in Lyon; held training sessions for 24 staff with Boomerang; held dinner for 15 travel agents in Nice; conducted training sessions for 30 staff of Vacances Fabuleuses & Kuoni in Paris and held for 30 tour operators.  Met with 62 journalists/media, tour operators and travel agents.

Placed ad in May/June issue of America Journal magazine (circ 30,000), Germany.  A Badlands article will also be featured in the May/June issue.  Circulation of this magazine includes 1,400 in the group trade, and the rest are consumers.  It is printed in English and 90 percent of its readers travel to the United States.

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Followed up with organizer of Black Hills’ mountain biking group and discussed ways to assist in their plans to map mountain bike trails in the area.  All entities are working with the Black Hills National Forest.

Drafted press release regarding low water on Lake Oahe for Outdoor News as well as on the National Tourism Week web site.  Contacted regional newspapers and informed them of Lake Oahe fishing and water access.

Designed direct mail fishing postcard to be sent to 10,000 fishing enthusiasts, and which will prompt recipients to visit to complete a survey, request more information, and enter to win a fishing trip.

Worked with Fun Time Travel in the Mobridge area on a prairie dog shoot/tournament in June. Assisted organizers with contacts and media.

Worked on stories for the spring 2005 Outdoor News, which is mailed to 3,000 members of the outdoor press.  Stories will be on fall opportunities and summer outdoor activities.

Met with Sioux Falls CVB regarding the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW) Conference in 2006.  Continued working with communities on sponsorships and fams.  Will attend the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) Conference in 2005 in Madison, Wisconsin, to assist Rapid City CVB on securing the bid for 2008.  If Rapid City receives the bid, Tourism staff will be the local chairperson.

Planning to host Pheasants Forever executives in the Sioux Falls area this fall.  Will pitch Sioux Falls as the site of the National Pheasant Fest. The Pheasant Fest drew 30,000 people to Omaha in 2005.

Assisted Northland Adventures and Outdoorsman Adventures television as well as WildFowl magazine on spring snow goose hunts.  Worked with a Cabela’s publication for a hunt in early April.  Working to secure three locations in the Mitchell and Chamberlain areas for Orion Multimedia, the company that produces World of Beretta, Denelli’s American Safari, Safari Club International, and A Dog’s Life.  Lined up locations for a media trip in the Black Hills in May for fly-fishing; currently have one television program and two writers on board.  Worked with Outdoor Life, Cabela’s Outfitter Journal, ESPN Outdoors and Heartland USA on a turkey hunt in the Black Hills at various times in April.  Finalized a turkey hunt for media on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in April.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence include Sioux City Journal (48,175) three articles for total ad equivalence of $6,030; Ames Tribune (12,000) for ad equivalence of $980; Globe Gazette-Mason City (20,000) for ad equivalence of $1,259; Heartland USA (1,200,000) for ad equivalence of $47,250; and In-Fisherman (301,258) for ad equivalence of $2,540.  Total ad equivalence of $58,059.

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Fulfilled requests for production guides to the Hawaii Film Office and a production company in California.

Spoke with representatives of the Department of Transportation (DOT) about installing 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 be installed during National Tourism Week, May 7-15.  Drafted a preliminary itinerary for filming destinations to be promoted during National Tourism Week.

Attended the Big and Rich music video shoot for their new single, “Big Time” at Moonshine Gulch in Rochford, Deadwood, and Tatanka.  Spoke with Big and Rich’s manager and a producer about possibly doing a one-hour television special with Big and Rich in June during Wild Bill Days in Deadwood.  Along with featuring the concert, the special would highlight Big and Rich at different spots throughout the Black Hills.

Attended a meeting in Aberdeen with officials of the 48 Hour Film Project, which is an international event being hosted by Aberdeen in July.  Will work with local officials to promote this event.  Met with screenwriter regarding a screenplay on the life of Gutzon Borglum.  Read a script submitted by a producer and followed up to offer location assistance.  Continued working with a production coordinator for a PBS series, “America’s Heartland,” on agriculture and agriculture lifestyles as he requested.  Worked with independent filmmaker on a project for late May and early June; drafted a press release for a casting call to take place in April.

Drafted and mailed letters and media kits to industry partners in the Rapid City area regarding the Native Voice Film Festival, encouraging them to support the festival.

Discussed plans for the AFCI Locations Tradeshow in Santa Monica, California, in April with partners from other states.  Will co-host a brunch in Malibu at the tradeshow with seven other film offices, with invitations to 50 film industry contacts.  Developed an image piece of filming locations that will be distributed at the Tradeshow.

Placed ad in April issue of Markee magazine; June issue of NY 411; and the 2006 Kemps Production Guide, published in October.  All ads feature the new “Great Faces. Great Filming Places” theme.  Submitted copy for “The Location Guide 2005” for a free listing and which will be placed on their web site:

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Fulfilled requests for information from 22 AAA/CAA offices and independent travel agencies in Iowa, Indiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Ontario, Canada.

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Conducted most interviews one-on-one at Information Centers and a few for seasoned staff by phone.  Sent hire letters to 83 applicants.  Worked on details of the Information Center familiarization tour, April 30 – May 5, which will be in 16 communities and include both lit swaps.  Worked on updating the 2005 Information Center Handbook.

Registered 59 partners in the poster program.  Space is still available at Salem EB and Wasta EB.

Invited Chambers to participate in the upcoming Grand Opening of the Centers during National Tourism Week.

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For 2004, 990 individuals/businesses received recognition for hospitality; 726 received the Governor’s Certificate, 302 received the foil star for a second recognition, and 183 received a gold lapel pin for a third recognition.  For 2005, 36 received the Governor’s Certificate, two stars and one pin.

Scheduled separate frontline and management training for the same days as the lit swaps in Sioux Falls (May 3) and Rapid City (May 4). The third session will be in Pierre May 2.  Will mail registration flyers in April for the training seminars conducted by Randy Morgan, Idaho, “Astonishing Service.”

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Total FY2005 Inquiries through 4-01-05

Mail:    22,930
Internet (e-mail):
Phone:    10,683
Total:    93,343

Total FY2004 Inquiries through 4-01-04:

Mail:     64,538
Internet (e-mail):     64,314
Phone:      13,879
Total:    142,731

This is an overall decrease in inquiries of 34.6 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 987,199 on Tourism’s web site for the period of March 1-31, 2005 (missing two days), for a daily average of 34,041 over a 29-day period.  This compares to calculated page views of 1,011,558 for the period of March 1-31, 2004 (missing two days), for a daily average of 34,881 over a 29-day period.  This is a decrease in daily average of page views of 2.5 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.

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Began receiving entries for the Lewis and Clark Essay Contest for fourth grade students.  Purchased prizes for the 1-5th place winners.

Will mail letter to Lewis and Clark database to inform them of cancellation of the May 5 Corps of Rediscovery meeting in Vermillion, Bicentennial Commemoration updates, and Tourism’s Trail promotions and co-op programs along with a 2005 Lewis and Clark Calendar of Events and event submission form.

Placed ad for South Dakota Lewis and Clark Trail in the Lewis and Clark Trail Guide.

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Met with members of the Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates in Rapid City to learn about their future plans and current projects.

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Fulfilled requests for photos to TDG Communications and South Dakotans for the Arts, Deadwood; Rose Tree Advertising, Elk Point; Prairie Berry Winery, Hill City; Senator Jim Dunn, Lead; Mitchell Chamber of Commerce; Days Inn Range Country, Murdo; State Publishing, Pierre; Travel Host magazine and HMS Enterprises, Rapid City; South Dakota National Guard, Brookings and Rapid City; The Outdoor Campus, Insight Marketing Design, Paulsen Marketing, Midland Life Insurance, Lawrence and Schiller, and Wild Horses agency, Sioux Falls; South Dakota Public Television, Vermillion; author David Quinn and Forever Resorts, Arizona; Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Minnesota; Men’s Journal magazine and Country Living magazine, New York; and RMI, Italy.

Fulfilled video requests to TDG, Deadwood, for promotions on the Michelson Trail Coalition; Hot Pink, Rapid City, for a Big Brothers/Big Sisters video; Midland National, Sioux Falls, for a convention recruitment video and Paulson Marketing, Sioux Falls; Creative Differences Productions, California, of Mount Rushmore to be used on the Made in America show on the Travel Channel; and Travelocity, Texas, for their Local Secrets promotion.

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March programming schedule for the South Dakota Road Trip TV co-op: Historic Deadwood Gaming; Ride on the Wild Side (Custer); Wildest Pair Vacation (Rapid City); and Symphony and City Lights (Sioux Falls).

Reviewed progress of the Four Parks Online Campaign on Google on a number of occasions, but have seen little activity due to prohibitively high “per-click” costs. 

Sent Travelsmart e-newsletter to more than 128,000 addresses on the permission-based database.  Responded to several inquiries from mailing.

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New cover design has been finalized for official state highway map.  Tourism designs one side of the map and the Department of Transportation (DOT) designs the map side and pays for the printing.

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Made updates to Visitor Services Directory shows 4,855 listings; state-wide Calendar of Events shows 675 listings; 110 vacation packages, 24 coupons, and 17 at par packages are listed in 36 cities and 26 categories.  Submitted packages to

Developed direct mail piece with information and sign-up forms on the four online co-op programs and mailed to Tourism industry database: package and coupon co-op programs each cost $35; Visitor Services Directory is free; and World Wide Web is free except for those requesting two 360-degree photo and homepage rotation on, which costs $100.

Discussed changes to the homepage on in order to refine the focus of the site.  Began transitioning pages to the new look.  Added a logo and link for the Made in South Dakota site on 

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Logo Usage/Image Requests

Fulfilled logo requests to Heartland Promotions and Fast Signs in Sioux Falls.

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Focus Groups

Conducted focus groups in Dallas and Minneapolis.  Participants included people from three specific age groups, had household incomes of $45,000+, and took an annual vacation of three nights or more outside their home state.  Goals were to test South Dakota and Black Hills messaging against other states, understand key motivators for travel decisions, gauge perception of South Dakota and the Black Hills, and what message would be most successful.  From the Key Insights and Trends page: “Overall, both markets preferred the South Dakota broadcast message compared to other states’ messages.  Both markets identified Mount Rushmore as the most recognizable symbol of the state, as the key reason to visit South Dakota.  The vacation guide is a very important part of the decisions-making process.  In each market, participants stated that they would come to South Dakota to visit the historical attractions of the state first, and then to participate in the outdoor activities South Dakota has to offer.”

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The Board met in Brookings on March 16 and 17.  Discussions included welcome signs at entry points to the state on the Interstates, design of new license plates, working committees for such things as the Tourism Conference, marketing, industry reporting and tracking, budget and expense reporting, and Tribal Tourism.  Results of the Focus Groups in Dallas and Minneapolis were discussed and aspects of the peak season campaigns were detailed.

Since that meeting, Governor Rounds appointed Jim Entenman from Sioux Falls to fill a Board vacancy.

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Black Hills Horse Expo, April 8-10, Rapid City: Emailed ads to seven different regional newspapers: Alliance Times Herald, News Letter Journal, Sundance Times, Sheridan Press, Miles City Star, Scottsbluff Star Herald, and Gillette News RecordMailed media teasers to 22 media contacts in South Dakota and regionally.  Developed survey to conduct during event.  Plan to assist local organizers with economic impact study on the community after the event with details to follow from organizers.

New Frontier Bull Ride, May 20-21, Presho: Prepared final promo plan/budget.  Designed event poster and sent to printer.  Posted event information on  Will place newspaper ads and radio spots in early May.

Argus Leader Bicycle Tour, June 12-18, Yankton, Pickstown, Platte, Chamberlain, and Pierre: Finalized marketing plan.  Festivities are planned at each location.

Wild Bill Hickok Days, June 17-19, Deadwood: Placed ad in May/June issue of American Cowboy (circ 103,348).

Pierpont Storytelling Festival, August 13-14, Pierpont: Met with Storytelling Festival Committee and discussed promotional assistance offered by Tourism.  Discussed a variety of promotional options/ideas.  Submitted marketing plan and copy for  Designed postcard direct mail piece and will route to local committee for review.  Will mail postcard to tour operators and committee’s database.  Committee will distribute postcard at the Northland Storytelling Network’s annual conference in Madison, Wisconsin, in April.  Submitted information to Northland Storytelling Network’s online calendar of events.  Placed ad in April issue of Storytelling magazine.

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

Great Plains Bison-tennial Dutch Oven Cook-off, August 27-28, Yankton: Designed oversized postcard to promote this event with the Wine Fest and will send it to tour operators and the wine club database.

Great Dakota Wine Fest, September 3-4, Vermillion: Submitted copy for placement on  Direct mail postcards also promote Cook-off and will be mailed to tour operators and Valiant Vineyard’s wine database. Copy has been finalized for the event page on

Wall-Badlands Art Expo, September 6-10, Wall: Continued working on marketing plans. 

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for February 2005 was up 3.5 percent at $160,996, as compared to $155,522 for February 2004.  The tourism tax deposited for February 2005 was down 3.8 percent at $162,107, as compared to $168,495 for February 2004.  The deposits in FY05 thus far for gaming and the tourism tax are $5,932,985, as compared to $5,511,001 for FY2004.  This is an overall increase in revenue of 7.7 percent when comparing the same time period.

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