South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports

June 2006

   MEMORANDUM TO:  Richard Benda

   DATE:  July 10, 2006

   FROM:  Billie Jo Waara

   SUBJECT:  Tourism’s June Monthly Status Report

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


2010 Initiative
Governor's Conference on Tourism
Rural Tourism
Public Relations
Trade Sales Group Tour/International
Film Office
Information Centers
Lewis and Clark Promotions
Native American Tourism
Travel Market Advertising
World Wide Web
State Fair
Independence Day Celebration
Governor's Buffalo Roundup
Great Events 2006 and 2007
Tourism Office Funding


Please refer to for updates.

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Discussed speaker options and topics in addition to a print piece/mailer to potential sponsors.

Updated nomination forms on for the two annual Tourism awards: Ben Black Elk Award and A.H. Pankow Award. Deadline to submit nominations is August 30. From, forms can be accessed via the by following clicks: Reference Tools, Annual Conference, Tourism Awards, and finally Nomination Forms to find a format to e-mail the nominations or forms to download complete and send to Tourism.

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Spoke via conference call with Jacquie Fuks, Southeast South Dakota Tourism, about the Agri-cultural Heritage Conference planned for November 8-9, 2006, in Sioux Falls at the Holiday Inn Centre.

Met with a variety of officials from Yankton about the southern route to the Black Hills.

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Edited Outdoor Channel article “Discovering America.”

Fulfilled requests for information from Family Circle magazine, New York.

Worked with Rapid City CVB to line up rooms for filming crew and golf writer.

Updated with satellite coordinates for the Mount Rushmore Celebration and added a link from the homepage. Sent three e-mails in June and July to a list of 1,300 media (primarily TV) regarding the fireworks and access to the live broadcast.

Will mail 8,600 Great News Winter 2006-2007 newsletters in July to domestic and international tour operators and travel writers (1,042 are international journalists).

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Continued to update the Group Tour Planning Guide. Made follow-up calls to previous partners who had not sent information. Drafted new tours for agriculture and students for the Itineraries section.

Worked on design of the new group tour co-op ad, which will be a 4-page, 4-color piece for placement in Destinations, Packaged Travel Insider, Courier, and Bank Travel Management. Forms were mailed to South Dakota’s 75 National Tour Association and American Bus Association (NTA/ABA) members; 20 signed up for the co-op. Will order an over-print of 4,500 to mail to tour operators on our database.

Worked on the design of NTA/ABA postcards; graphics will coordinate with the 2006 group tour co-op ad. Will print 620 postcards for NTA and 1,540 for ABA – both for mailings in September to tour operators.

Obtained tour company information from Group Tour Coupon and added to database. Coupon also netted requests from consumers in other states for trips to South Dakota – these leads were mailed to 45 companies in appropriate requester’s state.

Sorted foreign press clip files and made copies of articles to mail to South Dakota businesses featured in the article.

Reviewed ad for placement in Canadian Traveler magazine, which features a Badlands image. Other South Dakota entities will run ads in the same issue.

Sent requested information to John Kelly, Delaware; Ian Stone, Illinois; Donna Wieland, Minnesota; Diane Mueller, Titan Travel, Janet Arnold, Sports Leisure Vacations, Ambler Tours & Travel Service, Inc., California; Starr Tours, Inc., New Jersey; Holiday Tours, Inc., North Carolina; Horizon Tours, Nebraska; KeRu Motorcoach, Inc, Florida; John Tan, Texas; Valley Tours, South Dakota; Najla Tanuri, Ontario; Michel Lhotellerie, Gambia; Liberty TV, France; and Weichmann Tourism Service GmbH, RMI, Germany.

Researched Native American product for tour operator, Marita Ross, America 4 You, California.

Forwarded contact information to Petrizia Pegolotti, Italian travel agent, with name of representative on the Pine Ridge Reservation regarding to assist with accommodations and working ranches that offer a bed & breakfast and real western experiences.

Contacted Chambers of Commerce and CVBs to gather information for agriculture attractions throughout the state and compiled into a comprehensive list of those capable and willing to host group tours. The list will continue to evolve as more agriculture attractions are added. Forwarded list to Bob Oliver of Northwest Iowa Transportation who is interested in bringing agri-tours to South Dakota. He is planning to bring a group tour to South Dakota in May or June 2007. Will continue working with Oliver on itinerary options.

Contacted the CVBs in South Dakota that are members of the South Dakota Association of CVBs with regard to travel agent trade shows. Asked their advice as to which shows would be most beneficial for promoting South Dakota. Received positive feedback and information.

Worked on follow-up for African American Travel Conference (AATC). Follow-up to tour operators who were not met by the South Dakota delegation included, letter, information sheet on Oscar Micheaux, and African American history in SD by Betti Van Epps. Worked on follow-up to TIA Pow Wow from 65 appointments. Posted AATC leads, Midwest Group Tour leads, and ABA leads to industry website.

Continued to work with Rocky Mountain International (RMI) on media fam itinerary for My Planet, Denmark, a
4-state press trip in June and July. Attended Paris Country Festival to promote RMI region.

Wrote supplier letter and sent leads from spring shows to 588 South Dakota suppliers. Leads were obtained from ITB, BIT, RMI Roundup, and TIA Pow Wow.

Completed fam tour itinerary with driving directions for Osamo Hoshino who led nine Japanese group tour operators through the Black Hills and Badlands; participants are based out of Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Discussed Japanese print versions of promotional materials, including reprint of the Great Parks, Monuments and Memorials brochure.

Hosted 18 travel agents, one guide from DERTOUR in Germany, and the airline representative. Photo of the group in front of Mount Rushmore was published in Touristik Aktuell in Germany this month.

Bon Voyage, a tour operator from the United Kingdom, toured South Dakota and made site visits to attractions and other properties.

Was contacted by America, Yours to Discover regarding the mailing to South Dakota businesses interested in group tours. They will feature a full page co-op ad in their annual issue (circ 20,000) and Addison Trade Shows, Canada.

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Set up the fishing hotline for reports from Great Lakes Association and Glacial Lakes & Prairies Association.

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Traveled to Carthage for city council meeting to discuss preparations for the filming of Sean Penn’s movie “Into the Wild.”

Worked with Department of Revenue and Regulation on new Film Incentive application and FAQ sheet; which have been placed on and websites. Will mail Film Incentive Pamphlet in July. Created a PDF of the Filming Tax Refund FAQ combined with Revenue’s application form and posted it to FilmSD with links from it and from the “Filming in South Dakota / Key Benefits” page.

Posted two press releases to FilmSD, one for a casting call for “The Stone Child” and another for the start of filming for “Into the Wild.”

Worked on draft of image-based sales piece for the Film Office, which will replace the current directory; 5,000 booklets will be delivered in late September.

Added a link to Black Hills Film Resource Council from

Handled filming information requests from Into the Wild, BBC Wild West, Pixel Workshop, Discovery Channel, Original Productions (Biker Buildoff), Pow Wow Comedy Jam, Ruckussilm Film Company, Martini Productions, Dakota or Bust Film Festival, Ixtlan Productions, HGTV for show “Offbeat America,” Oscar Micheaux Film Festival, two film studio in Sioux Falls, Turkish Radio and TV Corporation, and Vancouver Location Company–working with crew of “Into the Wild.”

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Fulfilled requests for materials to AAA/CAA offices in Canada, California, Colorado, Washington DC, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and South Dakota.       

Assembled and sent the June AAA e-newsletter to 90 recipients.

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Calculated car count for May, which showed a decrease of 2.6% over May 2005; for Canadian visitors, car count was up 3.5%; and car count for international visitors was down 7.0%. For May, 73 motorcoaches/buses stopped at the Information Centers, and eight were international.

Use of Travel tapes and CDs at the Information Centers was up 21.5% over May 2005.

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To date for 2006, 75 individuals/businesses have received recognition for hospitality with the Governor’s Certificate; 13 have received the foil star for a second recognition; and five have received a gold lapel pin for a third recognition. 

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Total FY2006 Inquiries through 07-01-06

Mail:      26,452
Internet (e-mail):     101,079
Phone:       15,095
Total:      142,626

Total FY2005 Inquiries through 07-01-05:

Mail:       51,077
Internet (e-mail):       94,990
Phone:        17,729
Total:      163,796

For fiscal year 2006, there is an overall decrease in inquiries of 12.9 percent over FY2005. 

Calculated Web stats for for June: Not Available at this Time.  

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Fulfilled requests for information.

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Finalized copy for new brochure, Guide to the Great Sioux Nation, which is a combination of the previous Guide to the Great Sioux Nation and Guide to Indian Reservations and Art.

Hosted a group from Midwest Living and Iowa Public Television on the Native American Scenic Byway. Worked with Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and the Akta Lakota Museum.

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Fulfilled requests for photos/slides to TDG Communications, Deadwood; Southeast South Dakota Tourism Association, South Dakota magazine, Yankton; McQuillen Design, Aberdeen; Sylvan Rocks Climbing School, Hill City; Mark Kayser Enterprises, Oahe Speedway, Game, Fish and Parks, Central South Dakota Enhancement District, Pierre; Register-Lakota Printing, Chamberlain; U.S. Geological Survey South Dakota Water Science Center, Black Hills, Badlands and Lakes Tourism Association, Rapid City; Lawrence and Schiller, USD School of Medicine, Outdoor Campus, Prime magazine, U.S. Postal Service, Sioux Falls; Holiday Inn, Spearfish; U.S. Forest Service, Fort Pierre; Bluebonnet Pictures, Texas; Tyrone Hospital, Pennsylvania; Biker Buildoff TV show, California; National Conference of Bar Examiners, Virginia; freelance writer Bernie Behnke, Michigan; Grand Forks Herald, North Dakota State University, North Dakota; Native Peoples magazine, New Mexico; and AOL Travel, Midwest Vacation Guide, Iowa.

Fulfilled requests for video footage: sent stock footage and Sturgis Rally footage to Screaming Eagle Films, Sioux Falls; sent stock footage to TripFlix in Columbia, Maryland; and sent stock footage to contact in Sioux Falls.

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Approved peak season ads for placement: newspaper ads in Fargo, Sioux City, and Sioux Falls; and ads in newspaper inserts or tabloids in Sioux Empire City Weekly and Argus Leader Link.

Approved themed ads for Giant Step in shoulder season magazines: Child – Badlands, Ladies Home Journal – History, Parents – Sailboat, Better Homes and Gardens – Pow Wow, and Cabela’s Outfitter Journal – hunting.

Drafted timeline for shoulder season Great Getaways newspaper insert in the following markets: Sunday, August 27 – Worthington Daily Globe (circ 10,500), Marshall Independent (circ 8,200), West Central Reminder (circ 28,000), Albert Lea Tribune (circ 7,800), Minnesota; Bismarck Tribune (circ 33,000), North Dakota; Des Moines Register (circ 219,300), Iowa; and Omaha World Herald (circ 186,000); week of August 28 – Sheldon Mail/Sun (circ 2,800), Le Mars Daily Sentinel (circ 3,500), Ames Daily Tribune (circ 15,500), Council Bluffs Nonpareil (circ 22,200), Fort Dodge Messenger (circ 18,000), Mason City Globe Gazette (circ 21,500), Sheldon NW Iowa Review (circ 5,000), Spencer Daily Reporter (circ 4,400); and Sunday, September 10 – Sioux Falls Argus Leader (circ 82,000) and Sioux City Journal (circ 45,350). Circulation of 714,750 includes 713,050 for insertion, 1,500 for partners, and 200 extras for Tourism. Researched web TV options.

Worked on firming up locations for 2007 TV shoot, which includes new opening sequences. Locations will be across the state, summer and fall.

Assembled and routed the June issues of Travelsmart. The “generic” issue was received by 148,764 list members and the “outdoors niche” issue was received by 13,767 list members for a total of 162,531.

Received the final registrations for the Great Faces, Great Places Vacation Giveaway from Black Hills Central Reservations. The list was de-duped according to the Official Rules that were written by Black Hills Central Reservations, South Dakota Office of Tourism, Lawrence & Schiller, Air Service Task Force, and the New Markets Committee. A winner was drawn and contacted.

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Updated the layout of the Greenhorn’s Guide to Archaeology and Paleontology, which will again be a four- page, 2-color. Received 3,000 guides the end of June.

Distributed motorcycle map partner motorcycle dealers, through the Information Centers, and upon request.

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On updated Visitor Services Directory to show 4,990 entries; and 150 vacation packages/travel specials are listed for 31 cities in 25 categories. There are 615 listings for the 2006 statewide calendar of events. Forms for the 2007 listings will be mailed in mid-July.

Continued updating the participating ethanol retailers’ webpage (and PDF) as updates were received. There are 343 retailers listed.

Continued monitoring the receipt of registrations for the Glacial Lakes Vacation Giveaway; at deadline, 249 registrations had been received (includes the duplicate submissions). Will forward database to Glacial Lakes and Prairies Association (GL&P), per request of their director. Will conduct the random drawing and contact the winner.

Completed adding SoDakLive, a site search feature to TravelSD with assistance from Bureau of Information and Telecommunications.

Added links to access or request each region’s regional tourism guide, including Black Hills, Badlands & Lakes e-guide, a PDF of Southeast’s guide, and links to the online forms to request the GL&P and Great Lakes guides, from their region-specific web pages.

Continued working with Lawrence & Schiller to “reinstall” the photo gallery as part of TravelSD.

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Coordinated delivery of 5,000 Intercept Surveys to selected Interstate Information Centers so travel counselors can distribute to travelers in July.

Worked with Lawrence & Schiller and attended three focus group sessions in Sioux Falls with targeted age groups.

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Developed production plan/schedule. Will use the same theme as last year, “Fall Adventures/Activities in South Dakota.”

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Independence Day Celebration

Ordered printing of 10,000 flyers; 4,850 were distributed via Information Centers, 3,350 were sent to Black Hills, Badlands & Lakes, and 1,800 were sent to Rapid City Chamber for distribution.

Finalized plans for the satellite feed of the fireworks. Finalized schedule to notify media of the satellite window. Obtained parking spots and camera setup spots for the live shots. Contracted with Linn Productions to shoot a live camera for the big screen productions.

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Governor's Buffalo Roundup

Finalized Save the Date cards, which will go to the printer in July and mailed to guest list in July.

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Fish Days, June 2-4, Lake Andes: Drove the Mount Rushmore/Badlands Suburban in the parade at the request of the committee. Distributed evaluations to committee and will compile report.

Oz Festival/Dakota Heritage, June 9-10, Aberdeen: Attended festival. Distributed evaluations to committee.

Black Hills Overdrive, Black Hills, June 9-18: Attended event. Distributed evaluations to committee.

Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo, July 13-16, Mitchell: Forwarded event buttons to travel counselors at the Interstate Information Centers to wear and promote the event. Placed newspaper ads in the Sioux City Journal, The Marshall Independent, The Daily Globe, and The Pipestone County Star.

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Worked on updating the Great Event information on to reflect the FY2007 campaign. Drafted letter to events listed on TravelSD to encourage organizers to apply to be part of the 2007 campaign.

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for May was up 0.9 percent at $214,687, as compared to $197,524 for May 2005. The tourism tax deposited for May was down 0.5 percent at $190,662, as compared to $191,669 for May 2005. The deposits for FY06 for gaming and the tourism tax are $7,592,863, as compared to $7,066,271 for FY05. Promotion tax deposits for FY06 were up 7.8 percent over FY05. Gaming tax deposits for FY06 were up 6.8 percent over FY05. This is an overall increase in revenue of 7.5 percent when comparing FY06 to FY05.

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