South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: May 2005

May 2005

   MEMORANDUM TO:  Jim Hagen

   DATE:  June 7, 2005

   FROM:  Billie Jo Waara

   SUBJECT:  Tourism’s May Monthly Status Report

You may download and print the entire May 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
Governor's Tourism Advisory Board
Mount Rushmore Independence Day Celebration
Great Shoulder Events
Tourism Office Funding


Placed link from to view 2010 DVD. 

Please refer to for updates on all goals.

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Participated in a Value Added Ag Conference meeting to discuss the 2006 conference, March 14, in Brookings.

Toured a ranch bed and breakfast near Faith, which offers a number of different hunting packages, horseback riding, and ranch experiences.  Discussed a variety of marketing opportunities available.  Toured lodge near Belle Fourche to discuss the international market and how to become involved in Tourism’s programs.

Met with the Edgemont Chamber and members of the community to tour and discuss the development of a recreational trail in Craven Canyon.  Provided resource information to assist in the development process and discussed marketing opportunities once the trail is completed.

Attended the Trail Capital of South Dakota Steering committee meeting in Pierre to discuss promotions of the recreational trails that are found in the Pierre area and activities of the Tour de Kota bike ride.

Participated in a conference call for the newly formed Agricultural Alliance to discuss ideas for an agricultural conference in Chamberlain in the fall.

The Agri * Cultural Alliance (ACA) was formed from individuals that attended the Yankton Arts and Tourism Workshop in April.  The first ACA meeting was held in Brookings.  The group, made up of arts and tourism representatives and professors from South Dakota State University, discussed a proposed Cultural/Heritage and Agri Tourism conference to be held in October in Chamberlain at Cedar Shore Resort.  Will assist the funding committee to find financial resources and the program committee to identify speakers for the conference.

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Completed activities/ads planned for National Tourism Week.  Campaign was based on an “Explore South Dakota” theme, and included newspaper advertisements, media interviews, fast fact cards, trivia and Internet-based promotions.  Staff also assisted in Vacation Planning Day at Citibank in Sioux Falls.

Finalized arrangements for the following hostings: Travel writer Fred Eckert, Copley News Service, for a feature on Custer State Park.  Tom Uhlenbrock and a photographer for the July 3 travel section of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Finalized itinerary for The Weather Channel.  Segments to air at various times during programming in a ‘Road Crew’ segment: Lewis and Clark, Badlands, archaeological digs, and state parks.  Lined up interview subjects and locations for KSTP Television for filming segments called “On the Road.”  Developed itinerary for TravelAmerica magazine editor on a horseback and history trip in the Great Lakes region.

Fact checked copy on a South Dakota profile for writer for Canadian Traveller magazine.  Forwarded information on Deadwood’s Oktoberfest to freelance writer on assignment for Trailer Life magazine. 

Provided information on a variety of topics and/or live interviews: KSOO Radio, KXRB, WNAX, KELO AM, Dakota Radio Group, KCCR, KSDR, KWAT’s What’s Up?, Watertown Public Opinion, KSOO’s Viewpoint University, KCCR’s morning show, KJJQ's Afternoon Smorgasbord, South Dakota Public Radio’s Forum Newshour, KWYR, and Michigan Talk Radio Network’s The Travel Queen.  Total ad equivalence of $2,755.

Sent press kit and/or information to Ruth Chin, freelance writer/photographer, Indiana; Jason Davis, KSTP-TV, St. Paul, Minnesota; Lake Life magazine; The Mini Page; Midwest Living; AAA Living; and Cosmopolitan.

Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence include: Rapid City Journal (31,183) four articles for ad equivalence of $2,023; Aberdeen American News (16,915) four articles for ad equivalence of $2,592; Capital Journal (4,654) two articles for ad equivalence of $168; Mitchell Daily Republic (11,650) for ad equivalence of $372; Argus Leader (52,850) three articles for ad equivalence of $1,038; St. Paul Pioneer Press (254,078 – Sunday) for ad equivalence of $17,762; Heartland USA (1,200,000) May/June 2005 for ad equivalence of $110,250; and The Upland Almanac (75,00) Summer 2005 fir ad equivalence of $1,500.  Total ad equivalence of $135,705.

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Submitted three South Dakota events for American Bus Association’s top 100 Events in North America for 2006.

During National Tourism Week, we arranged a “meet and greet” to welcome motorcoach groups that were in the state.  Chambers and property owners were invited for the activity.  Three of the eight groups were international: Anaheim – a mixed group from the United Kingdom, Australia, and Germany; Rochester, Minnesota – German; and a group brought by American Ring Travel.

Along with five South Dakota visitor industry partners, we met with 66 international tour operators and journalists during the Travel Industry Association of America Pow Wow in New York.  As a side note, representative from Crazy Horse reported that she tracks their group tours and 20% of their motorcoach groups are international.

Received verbal report from Avis/Budget representative in Rapid City that their international FIT numbers are a significant portion of their business, especially in shoulder seasons.  In September/October he reports also that DERTOUR, one of the largest tour operators in Germany, rents at least one car per day. 

Sent requested information to Humble Travel and Northland Tours, Iowa; Bilbrey Tours, Texas: Shubat, Group Travel Masters/FEAST group, Minnesota; Cajun Tours, Louisiana; Kerr Holiday Tours, Michigan; Roy Cushing, Nebraska; Capitol Tours, Illinois; Jetsave, Inc. and Carol McLoud, California; Hagerstown Friends Tour Company, Maryland; Wells Gray Tours Ltd, British Columbia; Fehr-Way Tours and Donna Billey, Manitoba; John Vetch, John Lewis Partnership, Sunday Times, Mail on Sunday, and Horse & Hound, United Kingdom; William Hide, Australia; Turisme Juvenil de Catalunya, S.A., Spain; Vacances Air Transit, France; and Matteo Brogi, Italy.

Received inquiries from 11 tour operators as a result of the ad in Group Travel Organiser and article written by Godfrey Hall, United Kingdom.

Registered 18 participants for the 2Nation Tours to take place in June called Legends, Landscapes and Lewis and Clark.  Stops include the Black Hills, Badlands National Park, and a portion of the Lewis and Clark Trail.

Prepared itinerary and escorted United Airlines Fam tour of eight tour operators and media from Taiwan to Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, and Rapid City for a chuck wagon dinner and overnight.

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Created an online survey form on for those requesting fishing packets from the fishing postcard direct mailing.  Contest was posted on a sweepstakes site so received large volume of surveys.

Worked with Pierre-based outfitter on trails along the Missouri River to attract media to this new trail ride opportunity.  Assisting in the development of horseback and hiking trails in the Badlands and Custer State Park.

Sent Outdoor News to approximately 3,000 outdoor writers.  Stories include Lake Oahe, late-season pheasant hunting, bald eagle watching, goose hunting, biking across South Dakota, and the Fort Pierre National Grasslands.

Hosted Backroads with Ron and Raven and film crew on a trip to the Glacial Lakes Region on fishing South Dakota’s Glacial Lakes for footage for two shows, “Backroads with Ron and Raven” and “Minnesota Bound.”  Minnesota Bound will air in June.  Missouri River Fishing in June to showcase fishing on the Missouri River for seven media to target larger market newspapers in Fargo, Omaha, and Minneapolis.

Mailed press kits and/or other information to Dennis Scharadin, outdoor writer, Pennsylvania; and Rich Patterson, outdoor writer, Iowa.

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Coordinated installation of signs promoting filming location for Hidalgo.  Possible installation of the signs for Skins will be coordinated with Pine Ridge officials.

Researched and drafted proposal for changes to  Drafted RFP.  Researched film guides from other states and charted differences and similarities to review for possible changes to Office
of Tourism’s next directory.

Placed ad in LA411.

Spoke to 48 Hour Film Project event organizer and requested information on a sponsorship package.  This is an international event being hosted and planned by Aberdeen representatives in July.  Tourism will distribute a press release that will serve as a call to filmmakers for the event.  Attended the Native Voice Film Festival in Rapid City.  Was a sponsor of the event.  Attended a reception for the filmmakers of “A Thousand Roads.”

Continued working with an independent filmmaker from Sioux Falls, who is currently filming a movie in Sioux Falls.  Discussed the upcoming CMT filming of Big and Rich’s concert on Main Street of Deadwood with Deadwood Chamber Director.  Spoke with contact from The Journey Museum regarding their reception to be held before the premiere of Into the West at the Elks Theater.

Fulfilled request from an individual in California for an indoor photo of an older arena – contacted photographer in Sioux Falls.  Compiled a list of production assistants and sent to Top Spin Creative, a Japanese television company based in New York City, for a shoot in the Black Hills.  Mailed posters of Dances with Wolves to the Watertown Mall for a summer promotion.  Compiled a list of production companies in the Southeast region and sent to a filmmaker planning a documentary.  Faxed a letter to the BBC in the United Kingdom, regarding film permit requirements in South Dakota, for possible shoot in June.  Discussed possible funding sources in South Dakota with contact from AFCI Locations Tradeshow.   Researched filming locations and production companies per request from South Dakota Public Broadcasting and sent information along with how to get permission to use footage.

Mailed productions guides to AFCI Tradeshow contacts and film producer and production company, California.

Sent a letter to lead location scout for HBO’s Deadwood encouraging him to visit South Dakota and offered support of the Film Office on any of his projects.

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Fulfilled requests for information from 12 AAA/CAA offices and independent travel agencies in Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Washington, and Wisconsin.

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Coordinated open houses at the Information Centers for National Tourism Week.

Redesigned traveler survey that is conducted by Information Center travel counselors.  Will compile/analyze responses for an end of summer report.

Held supervisors’ meeting prior to Information Center fam.  Participants were hosted at motels Aberdeen, Watertown, Brookings, Murdo and Rapid City, attended attractions along the way, and participated in literature swaps in Sioux Falls and Rapid City.

Made site visits with representatives of the Department of Transportation to Chamberlain and Vivian.  Remainder of Centers will be visited in June.

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Held frontline training workshops on May 2 in Pierre at the Ramkota RiverCentre with 45 in attendance; May 3 in Sioux Falls at the Convention Center with 75 people in attendance; and May 4 in Rapid City at the Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn with 230 people in attendance.  The speaker was Randy Morgan from Boise, Idaho.

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Total FY2005 Inquiries through 6-01-05

Mail:    46,984
Internet (e-mail):
Phone:    15,876
Total:  146,367

Total FY2004 Inquiries through 6-01-04:

Mail:     91,334
Internet (e-mail):     86,864
Phone:      20,533
Total:    198,731

This is an overall decrease in inquiries of 26.3 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 1,426,898 on Tourism’s web site for the period of May 1-31, 2005, for a daily average of 46,029 over a 31-day period.  This compares to calculated page views of 1,199,926 for the period of May 1-31, 2004, for a daily average of 39,998 over a 30-day period (missing one day).  This is an increase in daily average of page views of 15.1 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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Notified winner of the Lewis and Clark Essay Contest, a fourth grade student at Canistota Elementary School.  He received $100, a two-night stay in a camping cabin at one of South Dakota’s state parks or recreation areas along the Missouri River for his family, a South Dakota state park entrance license, four tickets to the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre, a Lewis and Clark book, and other Lewis and Clark items. The essay is posted on Travel and South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s Web site, and the winner will also read his work on South Dakota Public Radio. Sent prizes to second and fifth place essay contest winners.  Sent notification letters and participation prizes to all participating teachers and classes.

Worked on updates to the Lewis and Clark Trail Guide.  Plan to have 50,000 guides delivered in late summer.

Was interviewed for an article in the Argus Leader.  Provided the writer with contact information for Lewis and Clark committees along the Trail.

Participated in South Dakota Forum on South Dakota Public Radio during National Tourism Week and discussed South Dakota’s portion of the Lewis and Clark Trail and the bicentennial commemoration.

Provided Lewis and Clark Trail materials for participants in the HOG Rally – a group of motorcyclists following the Lewis and Clark Trail in June. 

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Met with Tourism Director of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and discussed the Tribe’s efforts to attract more visitors and groups to the area.  Currently the Tribe offers tours to their elk, buffalo, and wild horse pastures.

Arranged meetings with Tribal Tourism Directors and Tribal Chairmen from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Oglala Sioux Tribe, and Rosebud Sioux Tribe.  Tourism staff and members of the Tourism Advisory Board will be meeting with tribal representatives to discuss current tourism efforts taking place on the reservations and how Tourism and Tribal tourism offices can work cooperatively on projects in the future.

Attended a meeting in Mission to learn about the Intertribal Economic Alliance. The group’s mission is to create 200,000 sustainable jobs in Native communities by 2010.

Worked on updates to the next Guide to Indian Reservations and Art.

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Fulfilled requests for photos to South Dakota Magazine, Yankton; State Publishing, Rural Electric Association, Cultural Heritage Center, and Department of Game, Fish and Parks, Pierre; Oscar Micheaux Festival, Gregory; Custer State Park; Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce; Rapid City Regional Hospital and Linn Productions, Rapid City; AAA Home and Away Magazine, Sioux Falls; Timber Lake Topic; Travel America magazine, Illinois; and ESPN for “Cold Pizza” program.

            Awards and honors: Chad Coppess to be featured in
            upcoming issue of South Dakota Magazine with photo
            essay on auto racing.

Fulfilled requests for video footage of the Black Hills to representative of the Mount Rushmore Marathon to use in their promotions; and sent Fort Sisseton footage to KSFY-TV to use in a promotion of the Fort Sisseton Festival. 

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Spoke with representative of about creating a microsite, an added value item from some component of the peak season buy.  Completed requested specifications for the placements and sent the finished ads for the peak season online marketing campaign.

Requested statistics from our e-mail campaign from representative at  Reviewed the low initial numbers and was assured that the clicks had been steady and that the numbers were from the first part of the campaign.  Representative guaranteed additional e-mails in the event that our initial blasts did not meet their list averages for opens/clicks.

Sent Travelsmart online newsletter to more than 133,000 addresses.  Removed or modified address list.  Responded to several inquiries from the mailing.

Compiled a list of Travel News Television (TNT) requests and mailed 118 tent cards to partners.  Completed a survey questionnaire and sent to TNT partners for evaluation of program.  Survey was added to

In the Giant Step shoulder season magazine insert, 16 of the 35 partners are participating in the online package co-op and the Meredith online slide show.  Insert will be placed in the following Meredith publications: September issues of Better Homes and Gardens, Country Home, More, and Ladies Home Journal and September/October issue of Midwest Living, reaching an audience of more than 1.7 million subscribers in the target markets of Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota,

Notified South Dakota Road Trip co-op partners of the May schedule: Wildest Pair Vacation (Rapid City); Real America Package (Rapid City); Historic Deadwood Gaming (Deadwood); Wildest Pair Vacation (Rapid City); and Ride on the Wild Side (Custer).

Worked on update of Greenhorn’s Guide to Archaeology & Paleontology brochure.  Expect July delivery date of 3,000 copies. 

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Expect delivery of one million official state highway maps in June, with shipments to Black Hills Workshop as well as other locations.  The Department of Transportation is a partner in the production and pays the printing costs.

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On updated Visitor Services Directory to show 4,900 entries; 131 packages, 20 coupons, and 18 “at par” packages are listed for 39 cities in 25 categories; and 680 listings appear on the statewide Calendar of Events.  Submitted packages to  Updated schedule for 2005 Mount Rushmore Independence Celebration. 

Created a page on for use with the fishing postcard survey/contest.

Conducted 92 test calls to online vacation package partners; 14 calls were not answered.  Will complete 53 more calls and compile into a report.

Worked with Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT) to retrieve statistics for several different reports that would have supplied statistics for the peak season e-mail landing pages.  The statistics server encountered major difficulties and many of last month’s reports were rendered inaccessible.  Have received no firm deadline from BIT on when a new server would be set up.

Completed searches with in order to test their new features.  Reviewed Tourism’s rankings on Google after they made tweaks to their ranking algorithms. 

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Logo Usage/Image Requests

Replied to specific logo requests with the proper file(s) best suited to their needs via e-mail and reference our logo web site page, including a request from the Lincoln Journal, CMPI, Huron Plainsman, and Metro Printing.

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Designed a research project to determine the impact an event has on a community for 10 events/communities that were selected.  Contacted the Department of Revenue to discuss what tax information would be available.

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Board met in Wall and toured the Wounded Knee Museum and Wall Drug Store.  Group was updated on the Tourism Conference Committee suggestions, discussed criteria and process for reviewing funding proposals, and was briefed on the elements of a comprehensive research proposal from the Black Hills Center for Tourism Research.  A proposal was presented regarding a co-op for travel shows with Tourism and regional offices.   Representatives from the Department of Transportation (DOT) reviewed locations and sought suggestions on design of new welcome signs that the Tourism Board had requested.  Likely locations of three of the signs on Interstates into the state were discussed.  DOT will recommend a location of the sign into South Dakota from Iowa.  Dinner was hosted by Wall-Badlands Chamber of Commerce.

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Participated in a meeting to discuss the satellite feed at the Independence Celebration.  Contacted company to reserve a satellite truck and satellite time for the show.  Contacted production company to shoot video of the entertainment for feed to big screen monitors.

Requested transfer of fireworks photos immediately following the display for placement on  Ordered 10,000 event flyers for distribution by Rapid City CVB, Black Hills, Badlands and Lakes Association, and Tourism.

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Black Hills Horse Expo, April 8-10, Rapid City: Worked on draft from evaluation comments.

New Frontier Bull Ride, May 20-21, Presho: Placed ads in The Gillette News-Record, Bismarck Tribune, Sioux City Journal, Minnesota Ad Network, Nebraska Ad Network, and Capitol Journal and Reminder.  Placed radio ads on KGWY in Wyoming, and WNAX AM-FM, Yankton.  Mailed evaluations to local organizer and businesses.

Argus Leader Bicycle Tour, June 12-18, Yankton, Pickstown, Platte, Chamberlain, and Pierre: Designed newspaper inserts that will appear in the five key towns in June.  The Argus Leader will print and coordinate insertions that contain tour information plus related activities in each city.  Designed media teaser for targeting 8-10 media.  Placed ad ran in Fargo Forum, Des Moines Register, Sioux City Journal, Rapid City Journal, and Aberdeen American News.  Five hundred riders from 21 states are registered.

Wild Bill Hickok Days, June 17-19, Deadwood: Wrote copy for newspaper ads and the media teasers, which resemble “Dead Man’s Hand” poker cards.  Placed event schedule on  Edited radio copy and coordinated with ad agency for placement.  Placed ad in Chadron Record, Newcastle New Letter Journal, Sheridan Press, North Platte Telegraph, Casper Star Tribune, Gillette News Record, and Scotts Bluff Star-Herald.

Pierpont Storytelling Festival, August 13-14, Pierpont: Finalized rack card and poster and sent to committee for printing.  Finalized buttons for Information Center staff and sent to printer.

Oak Lake Bluegrass Festival, August 19-21, Astoria: Wrote copy for media teaser.  Updated copy on  Placed ad in Bluegrass Now magazine (circ. 20,000) and in Bluegrass Music Profiles magazine (circ. 3,000).

Great Plains Bison-tennial Dutch Oven Cook-off, August 27-28, Yankton: Finalized rack card and sent to committee for printing.  Placed display ad in Bison World, Midwest Living, and August issue of We Proceeded On.  Finalized classified ad copy.  Targets for media teasers include: We Proceeded On, Omaha World-Herald, Sioux City Journal, Argus Leader, The Tribune (Ames, IA), Norfolk Daily News, Rapid City Journal, Aberdeen American News, KELO-TV, KDLT-TV, KSFY-TV, KNBN-TV, and South Dakota Public Radio.

Great Dakota Wine Fest, September 3-4, Vermillion: Finalized rack card and poster and sent to committee for printing.  Placed display ad in Midwest Living.  Designed wine label for media teasers to target media: Omaha World-Herald, Sioux City Journal, The Tribune (Ames, IA), Norfolk Daily News, Rapid City Journal, Aberdeen American News, Argus Leader, KELO-TV, KDLT-TV, KSFY-TV, KNBN-TV, and South Dakota Public Radio. 

Wall-Badlands Art Expo, September 6-10, Wall: Listed event in the Festival Listings in the August issue of The Artist’s Magazine (circ. 159,000).  Placed order for banner ad on 

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for April 2005 was up 10.3 percent at $209,232, as compared to $176,767 for April 2004.  The tourism tax deposited for April 2005 was up 5.8 percent at $190,765, as compared to $179,526 for April 2004.  The deposits in FY05 thus far for gaming and the tourism tax are $6,677,048, as compared to $6,221,151 for FY2004.  This is an overall increase in revenue of 7.3 percent when comparing the same time period.

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