South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports: September 2005

September 2005

   MEMORANDUM TO:  Jim Hagen

   DATE:  October 7, 2005

   FROM:  Billie Jo Waara

   SUBJECT:  Tourism’s September Monthly Status Report

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


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

Film Office
Information Centers

Lewis and Clark Promotions
Native American Tourism
Travel Market Advertising

World Wide Web
Buffalo Roundup/Invitational Pheasant Hunt
State Fair
Great Shoulder Events
Great Events 2006
Tourism Office Funding


Please refer to for updates.

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Governor's Conference on Tourism

Brainstormed on overall theme.  Continued contacting speakers and panelists for various sessions.

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Worked on updating the information in the Tourism Assistance Directory.  Drafted plan to revamp the Farm & Ranch Vacation Directory, which will be available in the spring.

Participated in a panel discussion at the Women In Ag conference, held in Watertown.  Farm/Ranch Resource Directories were included in the conference registration packets.

Met with Highmore Mayor to discuss how her community could get more involved with tourism.  Toured the South Dakota Wind Energy Center and the June Harter Waterfowl Production Area.  Provided information about programs available through Tourism, Department of Game, Fish and Parks, and the Department of Transportation.

Attended the National Beef Cook-Off in Rapid City and assisted the committee with various projects, provided materials to be included in packets, and spoke to guests on tour bus to Mount Rushmore.

Continued working on details for the Agri Cultural Alliance Conference to be held in Oacoma in October.  Staff will be a panelist and set up a booth.  Worked with South Dakotans for the Arts for an Arts/Tourism related workshop in October in Rapid City.  Will present information on Tourism’s programs and how arts organizations can get involved.

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Contacted the Redlin Art Center to coordinate filming for KSTP News out of St. Paul.  Worked with KSTP to coordinate filming at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

Hosted journalists to fams before and after the Buffalo Roundup: Midwest Living, Highways magazine, KSTP Television – Minneapolis area, The Outdoor Channel, Natural Traveler, Audubon, and American Cowboy.

Prepared media kits for Buffalo Roundup journalists.

Contacted Poker Pro magazine about South Dakota story opportunities.  Magazine plans to run a story on poker in Deadwood in an issue early in 2006.

Provided outdoor or travel media interviews/information to: KFAN Radio, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Shooting Sportsman, Mossy Oak, Realtree Adventures, Wildfowl magazine, Gun Dog magazine, Retriever Journal, Midwest Outdoors Radio, Leisurely magazine, American Cowboy, Outdoor Life, Prep Traveler, and various freelancers. 

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Will place group tour co-op ad in October in following magazines: Courier and Bank Travel Management.

Worked on draft of Spring/Summer Great News Newsletter which is mailed to 10,560 domestic and international group tour operators and writers in November.  The fall and winter issues are mailed to the domestic database.

Drafted postcards to send to 1,325 attendees of American Bus Association marketplace to notify them of South Dakota suppliers who will be attending.

Made final arrangements for the Rocky Mountain International (RMI) Megafam for 47 people from October 7 – 12.  Notified suppliers and CVBs of final itinerary.  Coordinated with Wyoming Tourism as the fam will continue into Wyoming.

Worked with Northwest Airlines, Rapid City Regional Airport, Black Hills Central Reservations, and RMI’s overseas offices for ticketing for ten international journalists, who were hosted at the Buffalo Roundup.  Adjusted itineraries to accommodate special requests for places before and after the Roundup.  One writer is from Horse & Hound Magazine, United Kingdom, whose itinerary included ranches and Deadwood.

Sent copy and changes for Real America Guide, RMI publication, to publisher.

Fulfilled requests for information to writer from Taiwan, who has been invited to the Governor’s Hunt.  Working on transportation to South Dakota.

Drafted itinerary for Voyages, Netherlands, as they were in the state in September on assignment for stories for two publications, one in French and one in Dutch.  Each has a circulation of 14,000, both to travel audiences.

Finalized contract for Japanese marketing representative, Osamu.  Sent Great Parks, Japanese translation, brochures for his mission to Japan.

Finalized details of Scandinavian Mission which included production of a DVD on South Dakota for presentations at sales training meetings.

Prepared itinerary for October for Stefan Nink will who write an article about the Black Hills and Badlands areas for ADAC Reise (circ. 225,000), a German publication like our AAA magazine.

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Researched and wrote outdoors articles for the spring edition of Outdoor News, which will be mailed in October to 3,000 media members across North America.  Stories included Lake Oahe, pheasant outlook, Glacial Lakes, turkeys, white bass, and walleyes.  Information and stories are also placed online at

Hosted the Field and Stream Radio/Cast and Blast TV crew while they were in Pierre and the Black Hills region.  They filmed fly fishing in the Black Hills and upland bird hunting in the Pierre area.

Made final preparations for 2005 Association of Great Lakes Outdoors Writers (AGLOW) Conference, in October in Alexandria, Minnesota.  Will host hospitality suite.

Continued working with Mobridge Chamber of Commerce on an early October hunting and fishing writers’ camp to promote the area. So far, nine writers are on board.  Finalized plan for Raghorn News television and magazine on an archery antelope hunt in October in the Mobridge area.  Mike Schoonveld, Game and Fish Publications, will be in the Mobridge area on an antelope hunt.

Finalized location for media camp for five media in October in the Aberdeen area.   Was interviewed by American Outdoors radio, and will host the television show on a hunt in the Aberdeen area in November.

Continued work with Cabela’s and the Corn Palace CVB on a writer camp to take place near Mitchell in November 2005.  Have Sporting Classics, Cabela’s, NRA publications, and the Omaha World Herald on board at this point.

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Selected Electric Pulp in Sioux Falls for the redesign of  Notified all vendors of decision.

Fulfilled requests for production guides to Film Garden Entertainment, June Road Productions, and Summit Entertainment Group, California; Picture Club Productions, Florida; and Dort Keiper, South Dakota.

Met with several people in the Aberdeen area working in or interested in the film industry.  Discussed opportunities for growth in the film industry in South Dakota, tax incentives, crew database, establishing a film department at Northern State University, promoting films shot in South Dakota, and individual projects the group is working on.

Contacted the associate producer for “America’s Heartland.”  Crew filmed segments in South Dakota in April.  Drafted a press release announcing the premiere of the show in October.

Met with writer from California regarding a script based in South Dakota.  Will work on cost comparisons regarding shooting the film in South Dakota over Los Angeles or elsewhere – list will be provided by the writer.

Followed up with a filmmaker working on a PBS series, “Seasoned with Spirit.”  They filmed an episode focusing on buffalo at the Cheyenne River Reservation.  Episode is scheduled to air in 2006.

Fulfilled requests for specific information to South Dakota Public TV for chuck wagon and costumes, photos and contact information for ranches to Centropolis Entertainment in California, NBC’s “Three Wishes,” production company in the United Kingdom for equipment to use during their filming of the Buffalo Roundup, and BBC regarding information on incentives and locations.

Completed questionnaire and provided copy and photos for the December issue of Production Update magazine for a feature article that spotlights the Northern Plains states, including South Dakota. 

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Fulfilled requests for information to offices in Illinois, Michigan, and Washington.

Created a September issue of the AAA e-newsletter (The Ultimate Road Trip) and sent to 108 recipients.

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Closing dates for the Interstate Information Centers: September 5 – New Effington; September 11 – Wasta; and September 18 – Wilmot, Valley Springs, Vermillion, Salem, Vivian, Tilford, and Spearfish.

Car count at the Centers for August was down 3.4 % from August 2004; for Canadian visitors, it was up 11.1 %; and for other international visitors, it was up 10.7%.  There were 146 motorcoaches and 96 were international.

Have processed 900 comment cards from visitors for September.  Sample comment:

“Have never been treated like this before. They were courteous, helpful and more than willing to see we didn’t miss anything and had a good time.”  Villa Ridge, MO

Use of travel tapes and CDs at the Centers was up 10.9% over August 2004.

Working with Sioux Falls CVB on the end-of-the-year party arrangements for the travel counselors in November.

Have met with Department of Transportation regarding new welcome signs on entrances to South Dakota on Interstates and to discuss new building for Valley Springs Information Center set for 2008 completion.

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For 2005, 521 Governor Certificates for outstanding hospitality have been awarded; 183 gold foil stars have been awarded for a second recognition; and 101 pins have been awarded for a third recognition.

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Total FY2006 Inquiries through 10-01-05

Mail:      5,639
Internet (e-mail):
Phone:      3,732
Total:    27,953

Total FY2005 Inquiries through 10-01-04:

Mail:       5,799
Internet (e-mail):       17,698
Phone:       3,690
Total:     27,187

For the new fiscal year 2006, there is an overall increase in inquiries of 5 percent over FY2005. 

Calculated Web stats for for September:    

  Page Views Daily Average % Change over 2004
September (30 days) 896,355 29,879 28.8% increase

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

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The next Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Signature Event, Destination 2005 – The Pacific, will be held in Washington/Oregon, November 24-27, 2005, the 11th of 15 nationally-recognized events.

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Scheduled meeting with the Yankton Sioux Tribe in October and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in November.  Meetings with Crow Creek, Rosebud, and Flandreau remain to be set.

Will continue working with the Native American Scenic Byway (NASB) committee to market the byway.  The northern portion of the NASB has been nationally designated by the Federal Highway Administration. which begins in Fort Pierre and continues through the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Reservations.  This portion meets the previously nationally designated route from Chamberlain to Fort Pierre.  The southern segment of the route – from Chamberlain south to the Nebraska state line, designated as state byway last summer – has not yet been nationally designated.

Attended the 7th Annual American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Conference in Florida.  The conference focused on creating successful tourism experiences, creating tourism professionals, international marketing, and transportation, and arts issues. The next conference, hosted by the Quinault Indian Nation, will be held September 2006 in Washington.

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Worked on photography and video hit lists in general and per marketing projects/campaigns.

Fulfilled requests for photos to: South Dakota Board of Regents, South Dakota Municipal League, Game, Fish and Parks, author Bill Markley, Pierre CVB, Department of Health, BPro, Oahe TV, Attorney General’s Office, Pierre; Southeast South Dakota Tourism Association, Dutch Oven Cookoff, Yankton; etc. Magazine, Lawrence and Schiller, SDN Communications, AAA Home and Away magazine, Sioux Falls;, De Smet; Black Hills, Badlands & Lakes Association, Rapid City; Montgomery Living, Alabama; US Western States Tourism, Utah; Endless Vacation magazine, Indiana; Production Update magazine, California; and Visit USA Travel Planner, England.

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Designed South Dakota postcard for insertion in the Wyoming Vacation Guide.  South Dakota inserts the Wyoming postcard in its travel packets.  Printer will deliver to their fulfillment center.

Designed and placed ad in Nov/Dec issue of Midwest Living and placed separate ad in their Travel Directory section.  Sent ad for placement in AAA Campbook (circ. 189,000), an annual publication.  Placed ad in Woodalls Campground Directory.

Sent Travelsmart to an estimated 144,507 recipients.  Message included package deals, events, and Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup.

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Worked on mailing to adventure travel providers, Chambers of Commerce, and CVBs to encourage them to submit their information for inclusion into the Adventure Travel Guide or encourage adventure provider to submit their information.

Updated information on museums, golf courses, and art galleries, listings that are published in the annual Vacation Guide.

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On updated Visitor Services Directory to show 4,955 entries; 113 packages, 18 coupons, and 15 “at par” packages are listed for 41 cities in 26 categories.  Changed the mapping features on the “Maps” page (under Planning) from MapsOnUs to MapQuest.  Added two new landing page feature stories into the rotation on Kid Zone, including accompanying photos: Gathering of the Children Powwow in Chamberlain and the Spirit of the West Festival in Sioux Falls.  Processed 494 submissions for the 2006 statewide calendar of events and added to  Deadline for submissions was in September, but submissions will continue to be processed as received.

Worked with consultant and Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT) to properly insert conversion code for both Google and Yahoo in order to help track campaign performance/keywords.

Completed set-up and launch of new sections under and  The hunting section included the online sweepstakes entry.  Submissions are being captured in an Access database.  As of September 27, 285 submissions had been received.

Created an online sweepstakes entry for the “Sculpture Walk Adventure Package Giveaway” advertised in the special eastern newspaper insert.  Submissions are being captured in an Access database.  As of September 27, 415 submissions had been received.

Contacted various people regarding fall foliage information, and added updates to appropriate web pages as reported. 

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Prepared login page for, so panelists participating in the Travel Monitoring System (TMS) could begin inputting data.  Will distribute complimentary seasonal vacation package co-op registration coupons to panelists after they have entered their data.  Drafted letters to Departments of Transportation, Revenue, and Game, Fish and Parks and airport managers in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Pierre requesting data for TMS.  Information from these entities is another layer of the TMS.

Researched Telemarketing Sales Rule.  Worked with Call Center on plan to survey tourism inquirers on their potential for purchasing vacation packages.  Surveys will be completed by the end of September on 125 in-bound calls and 125 out-bound calls.

Worked on compiling results of the 2005 Intercept Study, which included moving Michigan survey responses to in-target market category.

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

Finalized details of Roundup hosting.  Notified media contacts of coordinates of Buffalo Roundup satellite feed.  Updated with information for reference.

For Hunt, finalized invitations, vehicle decals, license plates, boxes and labels, logo embroidery, and menus.  Continued work on finalizing print materials, decorations, etc.

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Held drawings for the event tickets donated by event organizers and mailed to winners:  (Spirit of the West Festival, Fezziwig Festival, Geddes Demolition Derby and Eureka’s German-Russian Schmeckfest).

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Wild Bill Hickok Days, June 17-19, Deadwood: Local committee reported an estimated attendance of 50,000 to 60,000, up from 20,000 to 30,000 that was estimated for 2004, per police reports and photographs of the event.  They are not able to track state/nation of origin of guests.  Free concerts on Main Street attracted the most visitors.  Visitors commented most on the quality of the shows.  Event received national exposure because of entertainment.  Four businesses responded to the evaluation survey – all reported visitation up from two to five times over previous year.  Seven accommodations responded – each reported increases in business, ranging from 20% to 200%.

Pierpont Storytelling Festival, August 13-14, Pierpont: Sent evaluation forms and will compile report.

Oak Lake Bluegrass Festival, August 19-21, Astoria: Sent evaluation forms and will compile report.

Great Plains Bison-tennial Dutch Oven Cook-off, August 27-28, Yankton: Sent evaluation forms and will compile report.

Great Dakota Wine Fest, September 3-4, Vermillion: Mailed evaluation and will compile report. 

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Program will be application-based.  Sent a press release to all in-state media on program changes.  Sent letters and application information with criteria to all South Dakota Chambers of Commerce, CVBs, tourism regions, and event coordinators.  Created a page about the program and placed on

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for August was up 3.7 percent at $259,821, as compared to $250,450 for August 2004.  The tourism tax deposited for August 2005 was up 8.5 percent at $786,265, as compared to $724,686 for August 2004.  The deposits in FY06 for gaming and the tourism tax are $2,390,298, as compared to $2,242,738 for FY05.  This is an overall increase in revenue of 6.6 percent when comparing the same time period.

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