South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports

April 2007

   MEMORANDUM TO:  Richard Benda

   DATE:  May 07, 2007

   FROM:  Billie Jo Waara

   SUBJECT:  Tourism’s April Monthly Status Report

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


2010 Initiative
Agri-Cultural and Heritage Tourism
Media & Public Relations
Industry Relations
Trade Sales Group Tour/International
Film Office
Information Centers
Travel Market Advertising
World Wide Web
Logo Usage
Great Events 2007
Tourism Office Funding


Please refer to for updates.

Or, review Tourism`s April summary report to Secretary Benda.

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Was a member of the Sisseton Community Assessment team. Will write Tourism’s portion of the assessment based on public comments for the development and promotion of the area, community facilities, and recreation improvements. There were over 250 community members who spoke.

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Continued to work on follow-up to writers with whom staff met during the media blitz in Minneapolis-St. Paul in March. Prepared 16 Media Press Kits for journalists who were contacted, but who were unable to participate in appointments in Denver and Minneapolis.

Continued to work on content for the Media CD press kits and for the new MediaSD web site.

Handled media calls and fulfilled requests for information from the Mitchell Daily Republic, Bus Tours magazine, Bismarck Tribune, KSFY TV, AAA Home & Away magazine, and several inquiries. Interviewed with the Mitchell Daily Republic and arranged interview between KSFY, Teri Ellis Schmidt of the Sioux Falls CVB, and Tourism.

Coordinated with Aberdeen, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Yankton CVBs for media tours during See South Dakota Week, May 21-26. Began planning media receptions for in-state media during or after See South Dakota Week in May and June.

Provided referrals to New Jersey author working on book “Cooking on Location: Chefs behind Today’s Television Series and Movies.”

Wrote and distributed the following press releases: To outdoor writers: “Ice-out in South Dakota: Spring Fishing at its Best;” to national travel writers: “South Dakota Camping: Reservations Welcome;” to in-state media (posted to and the State News Web): “Office of Tourism Announces New Million Dollar Challenge Partners;” continuation of Uniquely SD series that highlights counties (Hutchinson, Hyde, Jackson and Jerauld); and nine industry releases posted to

Compilation of earned media: April – estimated ad value of $6,468 with circulation of 459,696; 2007 – estimated ad value of $164,635 with circulation of 3,695,671; and Fiscal Year 2007 – estimated ad value of $702,608 with circulation of 15,152,110.

Reserved Relay House’s satellite truck for the July 3rd fireworks at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Met with Mount Rushmore National Memorial Society to discuss video and A/V needs for the fireworks and the big screen monitors. Looked into possibilities for streaming video of the fireworks.

To develop Travel Blogs/Forums, Tourism is currently registered and has stories on and Working on submissions to Fodor’s Travel Blog, Lonely Planet Blog, Thorn Tree Forum, Travelers Point, Travel, and Virtual

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Held a conference call with Tourism Board liaison and the North Sioux City’s Million Dollar Challenge committee for their Member for a Day promotion. Discussed markets and reviewed their ad. Held a conference call with Tourism Board liaison and the River City Racin’ – Chamberlain/Oacoma committee and met one-on-one with the committee to discuss more details. Held a conference call with Faith’s T.Rex named Sue Traveling Exhibit committee. They are developing a marketing plan.

Mailed the Peak Season Tourism fyi newsletter to visitor industry members, and posted it on

Worked on CVB mailer to Tier 3 markets for See South Dakota Week.

Began discussions of the 2008 Governor’s Conference on Tourism and distributed staff assignments and the timeline. Will put nomination forms for the Ben Black Elk Award and the A.H. Pankow Award on on May 1 with the deadline of September 4 to submit nominations to the Office of Tourism.

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Gathered feedback from CVB trade blitz participants. Worked on strategy to improve the blitz format for FY2008.

Worked with South Dakota Association of CVBs on Meeting & Convention Co-op. Six CVBs are on board.

Assembled, routed, and sent the Travel Trade E-newsletter, which was received by 139 list members.

Fulfilled requests for information from AAA/CAA offices in Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin, and Quebec, Canada.

Sent requested information to: American Tours International, Trips, California; AAA Travel, Tennessee; Travel With June, Indiana; USA Tours, Missouri; Alliance Travelers, Nebraska; Lamers Tour and Travel, Wisconsin; Vern Steffen, Kansas; World Travel, Illinois; and CIAJ, Italy.

Mailed Tourism fyi, What’s New, and advertising plan to 700 tour operators in target market states. Mailed follow-up packets to 198 group leaders from leads obtained at the Bank Travel Conference. Leads will be posted on Letter and tour operator leads from all winter and spring tradeshows were sent to 580 South Dakota suppliers who are interested in international leads.

Attended Rocky Mountain International Summit and Director’s meetings to develop marketing plan for FY2008 while attending TIA Pow Wow. South Dakota booth partners met with 69 tour operators and journalists during Pow Wow.

Participated in 2Nation Tours conference call to discuss the program, make updates, revamp itineraries, and look into a stand-alone 2Nation Tours web site. Will consider producing an 8-page lure piece complete with contact and itinerary information for the three states and one province partnership of North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Manitoba.

Made final arrangements for GLAMER shows; others attending are Rapid City CVB, Crazy Horse Memorial, and Hospitality Central.

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Revamped Outdoors News from a print packet to an online packet. The April outdoor story covered early season fishing for Northern Pike, which was picked up and posted on
Assisted Ron Schara who was filming a turkey hunt in the Black Hills for his TV show and Ralph and Vicky Sensorilla who filmed a turkey hunt for Archers Choice Television. Prepared information for Ron Spomer from Pheasants Forever magazine for an upcoming article on South Dakota. Compiled information for Brett Van Waus from P2H Ultimate Outdoors magazine for the May issue headlining South Dakota as their feature state.
Researched and registered for Travel Media Showcase in Palm Springs, November 2007.

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Wrote and distributed the following press releases on media projects: Filming Location Destination: South Dakota, Film Permits at National Parks, What’s Happening in the South Dakota Film Office, Come See Us: South Dakota Film Office at AFCI Locations Trade Show, and Hayze Entertainment Group, LLC merges with Jet Co.

For National Treasure: Book of Secrets: fielded 63 calls related to casting call and contacted KEVN-TV and KOTA-TV in Rapid City regarding stories on Casting Call.

On FilmSD: updated six listings, completed enhancement scope #1 for, and began reviewing items to include on enhancement scope #2.

Prepared shipment of promotional items and materials for AFCI Locations Trade Show in Santa Monica. Met with film producers, directors, production managers, writers, location managers, and others interested in shooting in South Dakota. Shared booth space with Idaho, Montana and Wyoming as part of Film the West consortium. Worked on specific requests from contacts made at Locations Trade Show.

Worked with Rapid City CVB to fulfill request for homes in the Black Hills and Native American museums for the PBS show “History Detectives.”

Worked with representative from Rapid City to bid a future Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) Cineposium.

Submitted press release to Art of the Hills magazine for summer issue, showcasing What’s Happening in the South Dakota Film Office. Visited with representative of Sioux Falls Women magazine regarding requirements for filming in state and national parks in South Dakota.

Received script for feature film looking at South Dakota as a filming location, began working on gathering location information and film incentive and permit requirement information. Visited with director of photography for studio in Colorado, looking to film part of a feature film in South Dakota in July or August of 2007. Mailed media kit, location ideas, and film guide information; information about filming in Badlands National Park and film permit requirements; and gave contact information to South Dakota industry.

Designed new ad for placement in the Kemps Directory.

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Invited supervisors for the 2007 Information Center travel counselors to Pierre for training and briefings by the Tourism staff, Bureau of Information and Telecommunications, and Bureau of Personnel. Each Center will have computers and a new reporting system for data being collected by Tourism.

The 2007 Interstate Information Center staff toured the northwestern part of the state this year on their annual familiarization tour with stops at Eagle Butte, Mobridge, Lemmon, Faith, Belle Fourche, Spearfish, Lead, Sturgis, Deadwood, Hill City and Rapid City. Information Centers open May 12.

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Designed new logo, seal, information packet, certificate and nomination form for the Great Service Star hospitality program. Will add information/forms to

For 2007, 120 individuals/businesses received recognition for hospitality with the Governor’s Certificate and three received the foil star for a second recognition.

Tourism is helping sponsor spring hospitality training seminars either through the hospitality program or the See South Dakota Week promotion: Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Chamberlain, Watertown, Yankton, Mobridge, Winner, Brandon, and Pierre.

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Total FY2007 Inquiries through 05-01-07:

Mail: 19,448
Internet (e-mail): 88,741
Phone: 10,761
Total: 118,950

Total FY2006 Inquiries through 05-01-06:

 Mail: 21,241
Internet (e-mail): 74,972
Phone: 11,904
Total: 108,117

For fiscal year 2007, there is an overall increase in inquiries of 10 percent over FY2006.

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Fulfilled requests for photos/slides to Lawrence and Schiller, Outdoor Campus, Sioux Falls; South Dakota magazine, Yankton; Grapevine, Spearfish; HMS Enterprises, Rapid City; Game, Fish & Parks, South Dakota Telecommunications Association, South Dakota Arts Council, Governor’s Office, Mickelson Trail Trek Committee, Pierre; Watertown Outdoor Expo, Watertown Public Opinion, Redlin Art Center, Watertown; American Legion, New Effington; American Cowboy magazine, Colorado; Virginia Sportsman magazine, Virginia; and several film office requests.

Fulfilled requests for video dubs and loans: Sent stock footage to Family Focus Productions in Brandon for a speaker presentation they are producing. Sent grasslands and prairie footage to Media One in Sioux Falls for a video they are producing for the Land Preservation Society. Sent stock footage to Rehab Productions in Denver for a promotion video they are doing for Qwest. Sent stock footage to Kirsten Larvik in New York City for a travelogue she is producing.

Developing photo and video hit lists for upcoming campaigns and publications.

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Proofed magazine and newspaper ads, Free Standing Inserts (FSI), direct mail, and TV graphic donuts. Finalized and shipped for the following campaign elements: Weekly newspaper ads in Eau Claire, Green Bay, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Des Moines, Mankato, Omaha, Bismarck, Fargo, Sioux City, and Sioux Falls. Tourism FSI # 2 – drops in Chicago (zoned), Eau Claire, La Cross, Green Bay (zoned), Appleton, Oshkosh, Fon du Lac, Sheboygan, and Manitowoc on 5/13/07. Chicago will also have zoned FSIs on 4/29 and 5/27. Golf ad for Summer Golf Guide – distributed to Appleton, Wisconsin, newspaper subscribers on 4/26. Eau Claire Vacation Getaways ad – inserts 5/9. USA Weekend tabloid ad – inserts 5/20. Direct Mail photo packet – mail date TBD. Text and graphic shells for TV spots. Tier 3 radio spots. Local-Flavor Events Mailer – mail date TBD. Deadwood Giant Step ad – Midwest Living magazine, on sale 6/21. For Deadwood Co-op: Weekly newspaper ads in Cheyenne, Casper, Denver, and Minneapolis. Advertorial for Denver. FSI #2 – drops May 6th in Denver (zoned), Casper, and Cheyenne.

There are 29 full partners and seven B&B/Waterfront listings in the 2007 Peak Great Getaways Newspaper Insert in a new format – three separate 4-page, full-color pieces inserted in newspapers in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and South Dakota. Each piece will have a circulation of 660,000 and start running in early May. Mailed insert schedule and marketing pieces to partners.

Mailed information and a form to lodging properties of a new co-op program called Hot Deals. The program allows lodging properties to post any last minute deal on whenever they have open rooms or cancellations to advertise rooms at a discounted rate for “this weekend only.” Information and the downloadable form for Hot Deals participation are online at

Assembled and routed the April issues of Travelsmart (three different tiers) via on April 26, 2007 April issues were received by Travelsmart list members as follows: Tier 1 – Illinois, Wisconsin, and West Virginia (25,400); Tier 1 – all others (121,302); Tier 2 – Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wyoming (41,007) and Tier 3 – North Dakota and South Dakota (4,621); for a total of 192,330 recipients.

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Finalized copy and design of backside of new state highway map. Department of Transportation handles the map side and pays printing costs. Expect delivery of new maps in late June.

Will reprint motorcycle map with updates; it will be redesigned for the 2008 season. Scheduled updates for the Greenhorn’s Guide/Archaeology and Paleontology Guide to be printed for the beginning of the peak travel season.

Began compiling information, researching other directories, and discussing options with members of the South Dakota Golf Association for a golfing brochure in 2008.

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On Visitor Services Directory has 5,054 entries; and 95 vacation packages/travel specials in 22 cities. From April 1 to 29, 79 e-postcards were sent by consumers. The state-wide Calendar of Events has 586 listings.

Trip Planner on TravelSD went live on April 9.

Added a banner ad to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally page linking to a promotion through Snap-On Tools (“Win a Free Ride to the 2007 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally”) and added a line of text and a link to the Rally page to the bottom of the homepage. Both will be removed in early May.

Attended online seminars on ClickTracks, hosted by the Center for Tourism Research/Black Hills State University.
Attended “The Holy Grail of Web Analytics: Using Customer Feedback to Increase Online Satisfaction Scores.” Supplied tracking codes for TravelSmart emails. Continued to increase outbound link tracking of

Renewed and registered for one year. Worked with Bureau of Information and Telecommunications to renew the following Tourism domains for five years each:,,,,,, and

Posted elements of the Peak 2007 Season Marketing program on

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Participated in conference call with Center for Tourism Research on improvements to South Dakota Travel Monitoring System on Discussed the data, design, and participation from state agencies and partners. Moving to new reporting system called ClickTracks.

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Sent South Dakota script to Bonnie Bjork at Cultural Heritage Center for South Dakota Heritage Fund project. Sent photos of state flag, bird, tree, and flower to Deb Hinchee for a national state calendar project.

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Czech Days, June 14-16, Tabor: Prepared oversized postcards for mailing to committee’s database. Confirmed ad placements with newspapers and radio. Designed event poster, which committee will print. Designed newspaper ads.

Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo, July 19-22, Mitchell: Designed mock-up for the 11x17 inch poster; waiting for confirmation on the existing logos. Poster will be printed by the committee. Designed newspaper ads, which will run June 28. Put schedule of events online at Held conference call with committee on public relations efforts. Local committee will send labels for direct mail postcard.

Wheels & Wings Weekend featuring Sizzlin' Summer Nights, August 25-26, Aberdeen: Designed insert and sent to Linechaser (official publication of the Minnesota Streetrod Association) for the July and August issues. Worked on labeling postcards for direct mail postcard. Designed newspaper ads.

Mickelson Trail Trek, Mickelson Trail, September 14-16, Black Hills: Mailed 5,000 postcards to targeted direct mail list. Had a conference call with committee regarding public relations efforts.

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for March was up 14.6 percent at $212,668 as compared to $185,589 for March 2006. The tourism tax deposited for March was down 2.4 percent at $201,309, as compared to $206,240 for March 2006. The deposits for FY07 for gaming and the tourism tax are $7,160,577, as compared to $6,779,629 for FY06. This is an overall increase in revenue of 5.6 percent when comparing the same time period in FY06.

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