South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports

January 2007

   MEMORANDUM TO:  Richard Benda

   DATE:  February 6, 2007

   FROM:  Billie Jo Waara

   SUBJECT:  Tourism’s January Monthly Status Report

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


2010 Initiative
Governor's Conference on Tourism
Agri-cultural and Heritage Tourism
Media & Public Relations
Industry Relations
Trade Sales Group Tour/International
Film Office
Information Centers
Native American Tourism
Travel Market Advertising
Winter Campaign
World Wide Web
Great Events 2007
Governor's Tourism Advisory Board
Tourism Office Funding


Please refer to for updates.

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

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Conference highlights included presentations of two annual Tourism awards by Governor Rounds: Ben Black Elk award to Sylvia Henkin, Sioux Falls; and the George S. Mickelson Great Service Award to Big Thunder Gold Mine, Keystone, accepted by co-owner Sandy McLain.

Distributed the Annual Report, which contains statistics from Tourism’s web sites, Economic and Fiscal Impacts Study, Inquiry Report, Intercept Study, and Revenue Report. The report is available by contacting the Office of Tourism or online at

Coordinated signing by the Governor of the two new poster designs, Badlands and Missouri River, which were framed and given away during the Thursday banquet. Each poster image is for sale through the Office of Tourism for $5 as are the two images introduced in 2006 – Falls Park and Mount Rushmore.

Gathered comment cards from each session and will compiled for staff review to begin planning the 2008 conference.

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Completed Tourism’s comment portion of a community assessment on Lake Preston. Reports submitted by all members of the team will be combined into a final draft for the community.

Plan to attend a meeting in the Glacial Lakes & Prairies region in March to discuss tourism opportunities for hunting and fishing businesses.

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Handled media calls and fulfilled requests for information from the Argus Leader, Midwest Living magazine, De Smet News, Travel Queen radio show, Rapid City Journal, South Dakota Public Radio, AAA Home & Away magazine, KELO-TV, KSFY-TV, KTIV-TV, Ethanol Producers magazine, several inquiries. (Interviewed with KELO, Ethanol Producers magazine, Travel Queen Radio show, and the Argus Leader.)

Distributed press releases to outdoor writers: “Camping the South Dakota Way;” to national travel writers: “Snow Sports” and “South Dakota Part of Hot Spa Trend;” to film industry media: “Planning a shoot in South Dakota;” to in-state media (posted to and the State News Web): Intercept Study, South Dakota Travel Monitoring System, Ethanol promotion results, Governor’s tourism industry awards, Governor’s million dollar challenge, 2006 economic impact, board member elections, and continuation of Uniquely SD series that highlights counties (Douglas, Edmunds and Fall River).

Compilation of earned media shows the following: January: estimated ad value of $12,126.44 and circulation of 330,763; 2006: estimated ad value is $528,983.23 with circulation of 11,456,439.

Worked on acquiring information on travel and outdoors writers to build an online newsroom as well as to offer opportunities for fam tours. Followed up with journalists interested in fam tours and/or writing about South Dakota. Continued preparation for media blitzes: Green Bay – February 26-March 1; Denver – March 12-15; and Minneapolis – March 26-29.

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Attended a consumer travel show in Chicago.

Assisted consultants with preparations for four travel shows they will attend and represent South Dakota and members of the four tourism regions.

Developed guidelines for Tourism’s travel booth and booth photos when loaning to other entities.

Held a session at the 2007 Tourism Conference to discuss the new co-op marketing kit and the co-op marketing opportunities Tourism offers.

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Drafted and discussed a meeting and convention co-op proposal with members of the South Dakota Association of CVBs: creation of a new brochure and webpage and expanded advertising in meeting/convention magazines. CVBs will review and make suggestions for changes/modifications to the proposal. Discussed ideas for peak season co-op marketing, coordinated by Tourism and dropped/mailed to targeted markets/households: Events Direct mailer, at no cost for partners. Each city could submit five events taking place from May through September. The other is a Local Flavor Co-op mailer, which would be fee-based. The mailer could include travel specials, events, and attractions with up to 50 words per pictures. The third peak idea is marketing ideas for See South Dakota Week in May. Each CVB was asked to submit their proposal by March 15, which Tourism would match up to $1,000. See America Week would include a local public relations effort with radio stations/media interviews.

Finished revisions of the Group Tour Planning Guide and sent files to printer with an order for 4,800 guides. Covers, divider tabs, and the opening six pages will be printed in 4-color and the remaining 124 pages will be printed in two-color.

Assembled, routed, and sent the January Travel Trade E-newsletter via to 66 AAA and travel agent recipients. Finalized and mailed postcards to 1,400 travel agents to explain the value of our www.TravelSDcom/travelagent site which will be active on February 1 and encouraged them to sign up for the monthly Travel Trade E-newsletter. Fulfilled requests for information from AAA offices in Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin.

Finalized Trade Blitz plans: Green Bay – February 26-March 1; Denver – March 12-15; and Minneapolis – March 26-29.

Attended and hosted Rocky Mountain International (RMI) staff (domestic and international), 26 international group tour operators, 71 suppliers from Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and South Dakota, and office staff from partner states to RMI Roundup in the Black Hills with meetings in Hot Springs and Deadwood. Tour operators attended an optional pre-fam day to major attractions and tours of Hot Springs or Deadwood and all tour operators attended marketplaces in each host city to meet with suppliers.

Reviewed copy for Real America Guide, the main sales piece for RMI partners.

Requested 50 appointments for the Bank Travel Conference. Made travel arrangements for the African American Travel Conference. Worked on getting one more industry booth partner for the TIA Pow Wow.

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Was an exhibitor for Pheasant Fest 2007 in Des Moines. Majority of those visiting the booth were interested in outdoor information. Was a guest on Outdoors Dan Radio Show. Event will be in St. Paul in 2008.

Attended the SHOT Show in Orlando. Met with members of the media, including Field and Stream, Babe Winkelman Productions, Byers Media, Outdoor Guide magazine, Upland Almanac, TSB Outdoors, Ron Schara Enterprises, The NSSF, POMA, OWAA, and Pheasants Forever. SHOT Show will be held in Las Vegas for the next seven years.

Discontinued the Outdoor News mailing; shifting focus to online story starters via e-mail to select distribution lists.

Plan to host up to 10 writers on an Ice Fishing Fam tour in northeast South Dakota in February. Will base out of Webster and fishing on Waubay and Lynn Lakes. Journalists to be hosted include: Adam Johnson (with cameraman Casey Dingles), AJO Media; Bill Sherck, Minnesota Bound television; Larry Myhre, Sioux City Journal; Larry Porter, Omaha World Herald; Jim McDonnell, Iowa Publications; Gary Howey, Sportsman’s Adventures Television; and Berdette Zastro, Argus Leader. Continued working on spring hunt with P.J. Perera, NWTF.

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Fulfilled information requests from Markee magazine and the Travel Channel. Continued working with location scout and other members of the production crew for National Treasure 2.

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Notified Bureau of Personnel to post job openings for the 2007 season for Information Center travel counselors. Sent press releases regarding the openings. Have received 81 applications, to date.

Participated in a discussion with information center managers from other states. 

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Reviewed hospitality nominations and sent notifications to recipients. For 2006, 618 individuals/businesses received recognition for hospitality with the Governor’s Certificate; 93 received the foil star for a second recognition; and 42 received a gold lapel pin for a third recognition.

For January 2007, 22 individuals/businesses received recognition for hospitality with the Governor’s Certificate and 10 received the foil star for a second recognition.

Coordinated printing of George S. Mickelson Great Service Award plaque, which was presented to Sandy McLain, Keystone, co-owner of the Big Thunder Gold Mine at the Tourism Conference banquet.

Gave two presentations at the Tourism Conference on the Great Service STAR program.

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Total FY2007 Inquiries through 02-01-07

Mail:       11,176
Internet (e-mail):     45,041
Phone:       5,012
Total:      61,229

Total FY2006 Inquiries through 02-01-06:

Mail:         13,628
Internet (e-mail):       39,314
Phone:        5,946
Total:      58,888

For fiscal year 2007, there is an overall increase in inquiries of 4.0 percent over FY2006. 

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Briefed Aske Whitebird, Tribal Government Relations, on Tourism’s efforts with tribal leaders and Tourism representatives since she is going to work with Tourism on our tribal tourism efforts.

Worked on agenda for Tribal Tourism Roundtable set for February 13.

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Fulfilled requests for photos/slides to Lawrence and Schiller, Outdoor Campus, Regency Hotels, Sioux Falls; South Dakota magazine, Southeast South Dakota Tourism Association, Yankton; Lennox Independent newspaper; Dakota Outdoors magazine, South Dakota Lottery, South Dakota State Historical Society, Pierre; Black Hills Passion Play, Spearfish; TDG Communications, Four Aces Hotel, Deadwood; Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Interior; Riddles Group, Rapid City; WindRush, Watertown; River Junction Press, Nebraska; U.S. Dept. of Justice, Washington, DC; USAF Flying Class Reunion, Texas; Associate Press, Iowa: Brian Lanker/Sockeye Studios, Oregon; and Great Plains Game and Fish Magazine, California.

Contacted members of the visitor industry for suggestions of what to include on the video shoot hit list.

Fulfilled requests for video dubs and loans: Sent stock footage to the South Dakota National Guard in Rapid City for a conference video they are producing and to Historical Footprints in Lead for a video they are working on for the Journey Museum in Rapid City.

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Assembled and sent the January issue of Travelsmart, which was received by 177,762 list members.

The following Giant Step ads were finalized and shipped for April issues; theme of ad is noted: Buffalo, Child; Badlands, Wondertime; Rushmore (w/ Grandma), Family Circle; Fishing (w/ Grandpa), Family Fun; and Rushmore (Family), Ladies Home Journal.

Shipped following full-page ads with theme and issue noted: Rushmore Kid full-page ad, Midwest Living, April issue; Chief Dave, Cabin Life, April issue; Rushmore Kid, Cabin Life, May issue; and
Travel Marketing Group Midwest Vacation Guide ad.

Mailed letter and registration form for the 2007 Great Getaways Newspaper Insert, which will have a new format – three full-color, magazine-style marketing pieces for the peak season insertion in newspapers in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and South Dakota. In addition partners will be separated by geographic area: one piece will cover the northeast, one will cover central South Dakota, and the other will cover the southeast. Each piece will have a circulation of 660,000 with drop dates of May 2 through May 20. Each partner receives 40 words of copy, including phone number and e-mail and/or web address and a color photo. Cost to participate is $400. Listings for B&B’s and waterfront resorts will be $120 per property.

Finalized media markets for peak: Tier 1 – Chicago, Eau Claire, Green Bay, Milwaukee, Charleston, West Virginia, and Deadwood co-op in Denver, Casper, and Cheyenne. Tier 2 – Des Moines, Mankato, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Omaha; and Tier 3 – Fargo, Bismarck, Sioux City, and Sioux Falls.

Finished revisions and file preparation for the 07-08 Vacation Guide and sent files to printer. Completed Vacation Guides will arrive in South Dakota in late February.

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Worked on direct mail piece to be sent in February.

Worked on TV spot for airing in South Dakota during the Super Bowl. Have partnered with others in a general spot currently being aired, which gives viewers a change to sign up for giveaways through KELO as the Super Bowl will be aired on CBS.

Updated snowmobile trail report two to three times a week on the snowatts line.

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On Visitor Services Directory has 5,043 entries; and 49 vacation packages/travel specials. From January 1-28, 48 e-postcards were sent by consumers. The state-wide Calendar of Events has 575 listings. Began updating the “Plains Indian” section (under “Only in SD”) based on the recently updated “Guide to the Great Sioux Nation.”

Reviewed mockups for Experience pages, Tour Guide, Trip Planner and Homepage as part of the enhancements plan for

On Tourism’s industry site at, posted and updated information under the following headings: Industry Marketing ProgramsMillion Dollar Challenge as well as a PDF of the application form, Co-op Programs, including PDFs of two different registration forms for the Great Getaways Newspaper Insert program and the updates for the programs per the Co-op Marketing Kits that were distributed at the Tourism Conference, Publications includes the 2007 Tourism Assistance Directory under Publications, Hospitality – Great Service STAR – PDF of nomination form for Governor’s Hospitality and Certificate and list of STAR designees for 2007; Industry News – Updated the industry calendar for 2007; Marketing Campaigns – Winter 2006-2007 campaign including links of PDFs of print pieces and the e-newsletters Travelsmart, Travel Trade, FYI; Reference ToolsAnnual Report, Annual Conference, information and photos of the tourism board and officers, text and photos from the awards presentations to Sylvia Henkin for the Ben Black Elk Award and Sandy McLain from Big Thunder Gold Mine for the George S. Mickelson Great Service Award, and the notes from the brainstorming sessions at the conference, and the online conference evaluation form; and Research – 2006 Economic and Fiscal Impact Study final report and other annual reports.

On Tourism’s Press Site at, posted photos of the Tourism award winners, including a link from the homepage, images of the new Tourism posters, and the Uniquely South Dakota series (i.e. Douglas, Edmunds, and Fall River Counties).

On the Film Office Site at, posted press releases/stories about the PBS casting call and the other about the article in P3/Production Update magazine including a PDF of the article; and updated the “Crew & Service Listings” keyword search function.

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Presented preliminary results from a research company called RUF to the Tourism Advisory Board. Data and elements/demographics/most typical attributes of the “top cluster” of visitors (Top Traveler Profile) to South Dakota, per Tourism’s inquiry database over the past three years, was reviewed in accordance with identifiers established by RUF into clusters. RUF bases elements of each cluster through data they’ve segmented from 150 million records they’ve collected for their Customer Relationship Management program – who, where from, prospects. This data and these clusters were reviewed and Tourism has refocused some of its target markets and media schedules.

Held conference call with Black Hills Center for Tourism Research to discuss improvements to our Web Log File process and accuracy in reporting data each month.

Finalized Focus Group plans and locations: Mankato on February 8, Sioux City on February 13, and Oshkosh on February 15. Reviewed plan for focus group screener and copy for moderator’s guide.

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Tourism welcomed Ashley Brassfield, originally from New Underwood and a recent Dakota State University graduate, as the newest member of Tourism's Creative Strategies team; Tim Binder, University of South Dakota graduate and research assistant at USD, as the new Marketing Research Analyst with Tourism's Research and E-Commerce team; and Lesa Jarding, a Humboldt native and recent graduate of South Dakota State University, as the new Film and Media Representative.

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Czech Days, June 14-16, Tabor: Continued working on design ideas for event logo for presentation to the local committee for input. Completed brochure. Information on Czech Days went live Sent e-mail to tour operators on event activities. Plan to attend local committee meeting in February.

Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo, July 19-22, Mitchell: Drafted copy for to include schedule of events. Sent e-mail to tour operators on event activities.

Wheels & Wings Weekend featuring Sizzlin' Summer Nights, August 25-26, Aberdeen: Drafted copy for to include schedule of events.

Mickelson Trail Trek, Mickelson Trail, September 14-16, Black Hills: Drafted copy for
to include schedule of events. Plan to attend local committee meeting in February.

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Board met in Pierre. Current officers were reelected to serve one more year: George Kessler as President and John Brockelsby as Vice President/President elect. The agenda for the joint meeting with the four regional tourism associations consisted of marketing reports and plans for FY08. Office of Tourism reviewed their winter marketing campaign, peak season, market research, and funding. Tom Blair, Chair of the Forest Service Advisory Board, for the Forest Plan Management of the Black Hills National Forest updated the group on the status of public hearings and a Task Force to draft rules for off-road vehicle recreation management.

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for December was up 17.7 percent at $214,289, as compared to $181,990 for December 2005. The tourism tax deposited for December was down 2.3 percent at $266,156, as compared to $272,393 for December 2005. The deposits for FY07 for gaming and the tourism tax are $5,784,613, as compared to $5,560,662 for FY06. This is an overall increase in revenue of 4.0 percent when comparing the same time period in FY06.

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