South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports

September 2006

   MEMORANDUM TO:  Richard Benda

   DATE:  October 5, 2006

   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
Public Relations
Trade Sales Group Tour/International
Film Office
Information Centers
Native American Tourism
Travel Market Advertising
World Wide Web
State Fair
Governor's Tourism Advisory Board
Governor's Buffalo Roundup
Governor's Invitational Pheasant Hunt
Great Events 2006 and 2007
Tourism Office Funding


Please refer to for updates.

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Continued working on the Tourism Conference agenda, speakers, staff assignments, and sponsorships. Discussed décor ideas to incorporate into banquet, signage, and print materials. Registration mailers will be sent in late November or early December.

Plan to launch an updated hospitality program at the conference.

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Continued working with Southeast South Dakota Tourism on the upcoming Agri-Cultural Heritage Tourism Conference.

Drafted plan for an agri-cultural heritage tourism guide.

Attended a meeting in Rapid City at the Journey Museum about an upcoming exhibit on the history of tourism in the Black Hills.

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Hired Wanda Romkema, formerly from Sioux Falls, as the new Media/Public Relations manager.

Received 154 hosting forms from visitor industry members interested in helping host international and domestic journalists and tour operators, travel counselors and travel agents, and outdoors writers. Sent a list of lodging properties and restaurants to Rapid City CVB to assist Tourism in finding hosts for rooms and meals for Roundup journalists. Followed up with media who were invited to the Roundup to confirm details of pre-Roundup fam and Roundup hostings and to discuss possible articles they will be developing from their experience at the Roundup. Eleven domestic journalists plan to attend.

Called various media and journalist to pitch ideas for fall/winter activities. Preliminary hosting ideas have resulted.

Setup interviews with KSOO radio and SD Public Radio; edited Dan Kaercher's chapter for South Dakota in his book “Best of Midwest Parks;” disseminated Uniquely South Dakota articles that focus on one county each week; researched and acquired media clips related to the $20 bucks for the road promotion.

Fulfilled media information requests from Midwest Living magazine, Rachel Ray Show, SD Public Radio, Retirement Living Network, KSOO Radio, and Oklahoma Publishing Today.

Continued posting the releases in the Uniquely South Dakota series to for Bennett, Bon Homme, Brookings, Brown, and Brule counties. Posted 11 visitor industry press releases.

Fulfilled requests for information from and Wall Street Journal.

Hosted a journalist and a photographer from Tokyo to Laura Ingalls Wilder sites in De Smet for an upcoming news article to run in “The Asahi Shimbun” newspaper, a nation-wide newspaper in Japan (daily circ. of 12.4 million).

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Received proof copies from partners for Group Tour Planning Guide; continued making updates to guide.

Continued to work on design of a new travel show booth.

Requested bus bids for the October travel agent fam and worked on itinerary details. Have confirmed 22 travel agents for the Western Hospitality Fam Tour, October 16 – 22.

Drafted ideas for trade blitzes to present to the South Dakota Association of CVBs.

Hosted four Japanese group tour operators to walking tour of downtown Rapid City and toured Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Crazy Horse Memorial.

Attended THE TRADE SHOW in Orlando, the largest travel agent trade show in the United States. Noreen Phipps from the Black Hills, Badlands and Lakes Association attended the event as well.

Assembled, routed and sent the September Travel Trade (formerly AAA) E-newsletter to 89 recipients.

Fulfilled requests for materials to AAA/CAA offices in Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska. Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Sent requested information to Festive Adventures, New Hampshire; Lakeland Bus Lines, Inc, New Jersey; and Time Lines LLC, Oklahoma.

Researched companies and requested appointments (70) for National Tour Association (NTA) Convention in Salt Lake City in November.

Prepared itinerary for Timm Vladimir and Katrine Engberg, Denmark, who will be at the Buffalo Roundup and drafted separate side fams to include rock climbing and fly fishing.

Finalized itinerary for hosting 11 journalists to the Buffalo Roundup and drafted a separate itinerary for side fams, which included lodging, mileages and drive times, attraction passes, reconfirming arrangements with hosts, and other details for hosting. International journalists included: Savina Sciacqua, Italy; Dr. Margit Brinke & Dr. Peter Kraenzle, Germany; Ashley & Ann Gibbens, United Kingdom; Vera Spaans, The Netherlands; Lars & Anne-Marie Lindmark, Sweden; Timm Vladimir & Katrine Engberg, Denmark; and Qun Chen, China.

Approved ad for Resflex, Scandinavia

Sent Japanese translations of brochures to Tomo Takagi from the America Tours West in Rapid City, who will distribute them to group tour operators during his next trip to Japan. Sent highway maps to Osamu Hoshino of the US Western States Tourism Office in Salt Lake City, who distributed materials at the JATA travel show in Tokyo.

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Developed 12-month calendar of outdoors events/news pitches. Worked on possible hostings for 2006/2007 to include antelope hunts, buffalo hunt and pheasant hunting.

Finalized Outdoor News and sent to the printer. Expect to mail them the first week of October

Participated in the 2006 AGLOW conference in Sioux Falls. The Office of Tourism hosted the “South Dakota Night” banquet on September 11. Hosted Phil Larson and Adam Johnson with AGLOW to a pheasant and grouse hunt in the Mitchell and Pierre areas and Rich and Rosie Creason to crappie fishing on Lake Madison.

Met with John Geiman from G-man outdoor adventures in Rapid City.
Was a guest on Outdoor Connections, a radio show out of Dayton, Ohio, with Jerry Kripp to discuss outdoors; Outdoor Talk Radio in Minneapolis with Casey O’Day, Tim Lesmeister, and Adam Johnson; Fishing The Four States with Jim Zaleski; and guest interview on Ron Schara’s radio show regarding pheasant numbers and opening weekend outlook.

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Attended Black Hills Film Resource Council meeting in Rapid City,

Created and placed ad in LA411 Resource Production Guide. Provided information for free listing in Hollywood Reporter Blu-Book database.

Worked with Film the West group to pick format of American Film Institute.

Sent casting call press release for Rez Bomb, a potential film by Roaring Fire Films, United Kingdom. Sent press release for Native Voice Film Festival announcing call for entries.

Meet with location scout from Barry Walden Productions. Hosted Richard Klotz, location scout for the upcoming sequel to the feature film “National Treasure.”

Fulfilled filming information requests from Curious Pictures, Sommer’s Company, Anonymous Content, Retirement Living Network, Barry Walden Productions, Michael Hoff Productions, Neophonic, Inc., Westwood Studios, Gearhead, Roaring Fire Films, Independent Filmmaker, History Channel, Dustin Duprel-Schmidt, Bob Buscay, Actuality Productions, and Video Services of America.

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Calculated car count for August, which showed a decrease of 6.9 % over August 2005; for Canadian visitors, car count was up 4.6%; and car count for international visitors was down 5.5%. There were 115 motorcoaches/buses that stopped at the Centers.

Use of travel tapes/CDs was down 9.3% over August 2005.

To date, have received 1,190 comment cards for the season.

Closed all Information Centers except the Lewis and Clark Information Center at Chamberlain, which will close October 31.

Was notified by the Department of Transportation that the rebuilding of the Valley Springs Information Center is delayed until 2011.

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Reviewed hospitality nominations and sent notifications to recipients. For 2006, 334 individuals/businesses have received recognition for hospitality with the Governor’s Certificate; 34 have received the foil star for a second recognition; and nine have received a gold lapel pin for a third recognition.

Have received 19 applications for the Great Service STAR and/or the George S. Mickelson Great Service Award. Deadline to apply is October 6. 

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Sent new Guide to the Great Sioux Nation to tribal offices and other locations and information centers per request.

Sent letters to tribal tourism leaders from each tribe thanking them for their assistance with “The Great Sioux Nation” publication.

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Fulfilled requests for photos/slides to Lawrence and Schiller, Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau, Sisson Printing, AAA Home and Away magazine, Sioux Falls; Department of Game, Fish and Parks, Koupal Communications, South Dakota Cattleman’s Association, South Dakota Rural Electric Association, Bureau of Information and Telecommunications, South Dakota Retirement System, South Dakota Pharmacists Association, South Dakota Department of Agriculture, Pierre; Cedar Shore Resort, Chamberlain; Clark Printing, Spearfish; Wall Chamber of Commerce; Redlin Art Center, Watertown; South Dakota magazine, Yankton; Sisseton Chamber of Commerce; Artworks, Rapid City; Meade County Times, Sturgis; South Dakota Public Broadcasting, USD School of Medicine, Vermillion; Unicover Corp, Rocky Mountain International, Wyoming; Western Governors Association, Association of Film Commissioners International, Utah; Adventure Publications, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Minnesota; National Park Service, West Virginia; freelance writer M.D. Johnson, Iowa; Americanet, Tennessee; Potsdam Journal, Germany; and EVA Air In-flight magazine, Taiwan.

Fulfilled requests for video footage: Sent stock video footage to Actuality Productions in Woodland Hills, California, for a new series they are producing entitled "The States" which covers each of the fifty states and which will air on the History Channel. Sent stock video to High Noon Entertainment in Centennial, Colorado, for a travel show for the Retirement Living Network.

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Set up locations and models for the remaining shots for the Peak season TV campaigns. Shot film at Storybook Land in Aberdeen, the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre and hiking, fishing and kayaking along the Missouri River near Pierre. Shot video of each location.

Newspaper ads were placed in SW Minnesota (Rochester, Albert Lea, Marshall, Willmar, Worthington), NW Iowa (Sheldon, Ames, Ft. Dodge, Mason City, Le Mars, Spencer), Minneapolis, St. Paul, Sioux Falls, Sioux City, Omaha, Casper, Cheyenne, Gillette, Laramie, Denver, Deadwood Spadea, St. Paul Hunting Tabloid, East River Travel Specials/Events Insert, Pheasant Hunting Direct Mail Poster, and winter ad in Midwest Living.

Created new ads and sent for placement in the 2007 TourBook and CampBook editions. Both ads are four-color and have inside-front-cover placement. Created and placed full-page, 2-color ads in Trailer Life magazine and Woodall’s Campground Directory.

Assembled and routed the September issues of Travelsmart: the generic issue was received by 144,961 list members and the “scenic drives niche” issue was received by 9,984 list members for a total of 154,945.

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On updated Visitor Services Directory to show 5,035 entries; and 122 vacation packages/travel specials are listed for 32 cities in 28 categories. Added a graphic and link to “Black Hills Fly Drive Specials” to the /tripplanner/index.asp page. Created a webpage and banner ads for (Argus Leader) and set up tracking codes for this shoulder promotion. Between August 28 and September 27, 83 e-postcards were sent. 

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Decorated booth to promote fall adventures and activities. Provided means to register for giveaways from each of the four regional tourism associations. Notified the four winners: four complementary tickets to one of the following events – River City Band Festival, Chamberlain; Migration Celebration at the Sertoma Butterfly House, Sioux Falls; Native American Day, Crazy Horse; and Haunted Forest at Wylie Park, Aberdeen.

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Governor's Tourism Advisory Board

Held meeting in Watertown on September 6 and 7. Toured Bramble Park Zoo and Redlin Art Center. Reviewed nomination forms for the Ben Black Elk Award and the A.H. Pankow Award, both of which will be awarded at the Thursday banquet of the Governor’s Conference on Tourism. A presentation was given by a group from Glacial Lakes and Prairies region regarding the status of a National Heritage Area on a Brookings and De Smet corridor as a new visitor destination, for living history experiences/demonstrations.

Reviewed the shoulder season campaign – as noted in the mailed version of Tourism fyi. Discussed the winter campaign (still under consideration), the Tourism Conference draft agenda, ideas for a new pre- and post-Rally campaign, Tourism Sub-Fund, upcoming legislation to require passports for travel between the United States and Canada and the United States and Mexico, Mickelson Trail Survey, new travel/trade show booth, delay to build a new building for the Valley Springs Information Center, shelving of new welcome signs to the state at the interstate entrances, ethanol promotion, and fall Focus Group results/recommendations.

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Governor's Buffalo Roundup

Finalized details for the Roundup, which includes meals, tours, décor, and e-mails to media for uplinks from the satellite truck.

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Governor's Invitational Pheasant Hunt

Continued on details of arrangements, Art Showcase, Saturday afternoon options for the public, décor, and volunteer needs.

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Fish Days, June 2-4, Lake Andes: Local committee reported that attendance met their expectations. Most activities were free; however, attendance was tracked by the dance (67% increase), demolition derby (50% increase), fish dinners served (10% increase), and buffet sales (35% increase). Attendees were from Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, Oklahoma, California, Nevada, North Dakota, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, and South Dakota. One business of two that sent evaluations back reported increases, with one showing a 20% increase.

Oz Festival/Dakota Heritage, June 9-10, Aberdeen: Working on compiling a report.

Black Hills Overdrive, Black Hills, June 9-18: Local committee reported that attendance met their expectations. They registered 190 participants this year as compared to 32 in 2005 for nearly a 500% increase. Attendance was tracked by registrations and the Million Dollar Poker Run registration. Other activities associated with Black Hills Overdrive tracked their own attendance and are included in the committee’s evaluation process. Attendees were from Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, New Mexico, Ontario, and South Dakota. Rushmore Radio, Midcontinent TV, and local newspapers covered the event.

Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo, July 13-16, Mitchell: Local committee reported that attendance met their expectations. Overall attendance was slightly lower (only 200 people less than 2005) at 14,000 in 2006 due to weather (extremely hot – over 100 degrees all weekend); however, the out-of-state numbers increased. Attendance was tracked by gate and online ticket sales. Attendees were from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Jersey, North Dakota, Iowa, Virginia, Florida, Minnesota, Illinois, Washington, Indiana, Missouri, Colorado, Montana, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Wyoming, Oregon, Arizona, Maine, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alaska, North Carolina, Michigan, Ontario, and South Dakota.

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Discussed questions relating to the application process for the 2007 campaign.

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for August was up 8.2 percent at $281,207, as compared to $259,821 for August 2005. The tourism tax deposited for August was down 0.8 percent at $779,642, as compared to $786,265 for August 2005. The deposits for FY07 for gaming and the tourism tax are $2,497,101, as compared to $2,390,298 for FY06. This is an overall increase in revenue of 4.5 percent when comparing the same time period in FY06.

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