South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports

May 2007

   MEMORANDUM TO:  Richard Benda

   DATE:  June 6, 2007

   FROM:  Billie Jo Waara

   SUBJECT:  Tourism’s May Monthly Status Report

You may download and print the entire May 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 May summary report to Secretary Benda.

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Began researching other states’ agri-tourism programs. Brainstormed ways to increase agri-tourism opportunities.
Participated in regional arts meetings in Watertown and Pierre. Coordinated a meeting with South Dakotans for the Arts and the South Dakota Arts Council to discuss more co-op opportunities for cultural tourism.
Wrote assigned section for the report to the community in the Sisseton Community Assessment process.

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Compilation of earned media: May – estimated ad value of $14,860 (circ. of 130,356); 2007 – estimated ad value of $178,855 (circ. of 4,075,356); and Fiscal Year 2007 – estimated ad value of $717,958 (circ. of 15,131,795).

Handled media calls and fulfilled requests for information from the Watertown Public Opinion, Washington Times, South Dakota magazine, Bismarck Tribune, Mitchell Daily Republic, and several inquiries.

Interviewed with media across the state to promote See South Dakota Week: Aberdeen American News, Hub City Radio, Aberdeen; KYNT, KVHT, WNAX, Yankton Press & Dakotan, Yankton; KORN/KQRN, KMIT/KOOL, Daily Republic, Mitchell; KCCR, KGFX, Pierre; Backyard Broadcasting (KELO-AM, KELO-FM, KRRO, KTWB, KSQB), Cumulus Results Radio (KYBB, KKLS, KMXC, KIKN, KSOO, KXRB), KELO-TV, KDLT-TV, KSFY-TV, Sioux Falls Business Journal, Sioux Falls; and KNBN-TV, KIQK-FM, KOTA-TV, Rapid City. Hosted a media reception in Sioux Falls.

Finalized familiarization tour “Off-the-Beaten-Path” for two writers, Elena DelValle from Simon and Baker Travel Review and David Cox from Canadian World Traveller, as well as major/popular attractions. Tour started in Sioux Falls, continued into northeast and central South Dakota, and ended in the Black Hills.

Worked on details for hosting writer from the Washington Times.

Press releases: film industry and film industry media: “Resources Galore in the South Dakota Film Industry;”
in-state media (posted to and the State News Web): “Tourism Conference 2008: Save the Date,” “Tourism Industry Holds Hospitality Training Workshops,” Interstate Information Centers Open May 12,” “South Dakota Office of Tourism Targets Adventure Travelers,” “See South Dakota Week: Promoting South Dakota’s Treasures;” continuation of Uniquely SD series that highlights counties (Jones, Kingsbury, Lake, Lawrence); and posted six industry releases to

Will post same information from CD press kit to Tested new Newsroom web site as numerous links from the CD point to the Newsroom.

Attended a fireworks committee meeting at Mount Rushmore National Memorial to discuss logistics of the big screens and camera placement. Received satellite coordinate information from Relay House. Met with KEVN to discuss logistics of the satellite feed and adding a second camera to the setup. Contacted PrairieWave Communications about the possibility of streaming the fireworks.
Continued registering on travel blogs/forums; have stories on,, Fodor’s travel, Lonely Planet, Thorn Tree, Travelers point, Travel, and Virtual

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Reviewed approximately 75 visitor industry newsletters for compilation of articles/tidbits of interest into a monthly interoffice e-newsletter.

Ordered 14 pull-up banners for trade shows as one option for configuring a travel booth.

Invited to attend the Custer Chamber and Visitors Bureau annual Spring Fling banquet at Crazy Horse Memorial as a thank you for bringing fams to the Custer area over the past year.

Met with Ramkota to discuss new screen setup in galleria for 2008 Governor’s Conference on Tourism. Discussed a “Save the Date” card for visitor industry to be mailed in early July. Began contacting speakers.

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Assembled, routed, and sent the Travel Trade E-newsletter, which was received by 138 list members.

Fulfilled requests for information from AAA offices in Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Virginia, Wisconsin, and South Dakota.

Created a press clip filing system for archiving articles; sorted by year.

Mailed Group Tour Co-op information to 75 South Dakota National Tour Association/American Bus Association (NTA/ABA) members. Will place ad in Destinations, Packaged Travel Insider, Bank Travel Management and Courier. Ten partners have signed up so far. Registered for NTA Annual Convention to be held in November in Kansas City. Researched events and submitted nominees for ABA’s Top 100 Events in North America.

Prepared meeting and convention list for a contributing editor of Meetings Media who will be writing an article on historic meeting locations in South Dakota for the July/August issue of Meetings Midamerica.

Confirmed nine of the eleven Convention & Visitors Bureaus for the Meeting & Convention Co-op, a statewide marketing campaign for attracting more meeting and convention/event planners to South Dakota cities for FY08.

Hosted Carola Kohlmann, Germany, to tour of Pierre area attractions.

Sent requested information to Travel With Sandy, Illinois; Lenz Travel Services, Pennsylvania; Travel With June, Indiana; Contributing Editor for Meetings Media; Kelli’s Travel LLC, Wisconsin; Rocky Mountain Holiday Tours, Colorado; and Travelhome, The Netherlands.

Continued working with North Dakota Tourism on itinerary for SD/ND 2Nation Tours, Western Heroes – Great Adventures fam, June 8-15, in the Black Hills and central South Dakota. The six participants are from Georgia, Illinois, New Mexico, and New York.

Hosted two tour operators and three journalists from Denmark on the Scandinavian fam in the Black Hills.

Attended GLAMER shows (Group Leaders of America) in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina; Richmond, Virginia; Baltimore, Maryland, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with three other South Dakota entities, including Rapid City CVB, Crazy Horse Memorial, and Hospitality Central, Rapid City.

Developed tentative itinerary for August for fam for three Italian journalists and photographers who plan a 10-page spread on South Dakota. Wrote itinerary for Thomas Jeier, Germany, for September/October and sent Native American contacts and web sites to review. Organized possible attractions/locations for Reiseteam 2008 group tour, a German motorcycle tour. Developed itinerary for Karl Teuschl, a journalist from Germany, for July and August. He’ll be filming a 45-minute TV travel show and additional shorter shows. Confirmed tour of an Irish-owned dairy in South Dakota for the group of 40 on the Irish Women in Agriculture Tour in October, includes other agricultural-related stops and major attractions.

Hosted Japanese Group Tour Fam in the Badlands and Black Hills, including Rapid City, Deadwood, Hot Springs, Custer State Park, Wind Cave, Mount Rushmore, and Crazy Horse Memorial for six Japanese group tour operators, Mr. Osamu Hoshino of the U.S. Western States Tourism Office, and two of his staff from Tokyo.

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Replaced the print Outdoor news packets with e-mails to writers and editors. The May story covered water levels on the Missouri River.

Assisted Bill Sherck with filming for a segment for Backroads with Ron and Raven. Hosted journalist Dale Spartas, freelancer. Compiled information for Brett Van Waus from P2H Ultimate Outdoors magazine for the June issue with South Dakota as their feature state. Compiled information on Black Hills attractions and searched for accommodations for Lisa McClintick, a freelance writer from St. Cloud, Minnesota.

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South Dakota film office was featured in April issue of Markee magazine.

Continued to work with unit publicist regarding media requests and with Walt Disney Promotions for National Treasure: Book of Secrets movie. Film crew worked on location in South Dakota from April 18 to May 29, 2007. The production/crew has been estimated to have had an economic impact of $3.9 million.

Assisted the Early Show on CBS when they filmed on location in South Dakota on Saturday, May 26, 2007, at the Minuteman Missile Historic Site, Wall Drug Store, and Badlands National Park. Continued to provide South Dakota information to producers of The Early Show.

Continued to update crew and/or service listings on

Fulfilled film production information requests to companies in California, Pennsylvania, and Colorado.

Worked with California producer on South Dakota filming locations, received script; updated South Dakota Film Office listing with Producers Guild of America; worked with film company to secure small towns in South Dakota as filming locations; worked with McQullen Design, Aberdeen, regarding filming locations in Sioux Falls; worked with Sturgis Motorcycle Rally director on film permits/applications; and worked with Aesli Grandi regarding film documentary during Czech Days.

Attended meetings with Northern Plains Film Commission meeting in Rapid City, South Dakota Film Festival organizational meeting and conference call, and with Jim Hatzell, Rick and Chris VanNess regarding work on set of National Treasure: Book of Secrets.

Compiled information on tax incentives from other states.

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Travel counselors participated in lit swaps in Mitchell and Rapid City while on the Information Center fam.

Mailed letters to visitor industry members about the brochure program at the Centers. From November through April, 17 new brochures were approved. Sent letters to the 69 poster co-op partners reminding them of the Centers to which they are to send their posters; space is still available at Wasta EB and Salem EB.

Updated the Information Center Training Handbook for distribution at each of the 14 staffed Centers. Centers opened on May 12. Sent T-shirt size list to businesses that want to participate in the T-shirt program. Developed new daily electronic car count and weekly tour bus count reporting systems for Centers. Received shipment of two new brochure racks at Wilmot.

There were 36 travel tapes, CDs and DVDs loaned to the traveling public in May

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Reviewed 78 nominations for outstanding hospitality for the Governor’s Certificate of Recognition. For 2007, 120 individuals/businesses have received recognition for hospitality with the Governor’s Certificate and three have received the foil star for a second recognition. The nomination form is available as a downloadable form on If a nomination is approved, a Governor’s Certification is issued to the one nominated.

Designed a new logo, seal, information packet, certificate, and nomination form for the Great Service Star (GSS) program. Placed the new application form on During the Governor’s Tourism Advisory Board’s meeting in May, briefed the group on new forms and deadline to apply for the Great Service Star designation and the George S. Mickelson (GSM) Great Service Award.

Tourism’s hospitality program is made up of two sections – nominations for Governor’s Certificates (year-round) and the other an application process for the annual Great Service Star designation and the George S. Mickelson Great Service (GSM) Award. Staff reviews applications for the Star designation. The Tourism Board reviews applications for the award and makes a recommendation to the Governor. The annual GSM Great Service Award is presented at the banquet during the Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

Staff attended hospitality training in Pierre, Chamberlain/Oacoma, Sioux Falls, and/or Rapid City. Worked with Brandon Chamber of Commerce director on finding ideas for hospitality training speakers. Sent a packet of information. Responded to phone call from McQuillen Design, Aberdeen, as they are working with Absolutely Aberdeen to bring hospitality training to frontline employees. Sent training materials.

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Total FY2007 Inquiries through 06-01-07: Mail: 23,953
Internet (e-mail): 103,963
Phone: 12,541
Total: 140,457

Total FY2006 Inquiries through 06-01-06: Mail: 23,532
Internet (e-mail): 88,705
Phone: 13,677
Total: 125,914

For fiscal year 2007, there is an overall increase in inquiries of 11.5 percent over FY2006.

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Fulfilled requests for photos/slides to Lawrence and Schiller, South Dakota Health Care Association, Outdoor Campus, Sioux Falls; Rapid City CVB, RP Enterprises, Rapid City; Dakota Outdoors magazine, State Publishing, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Game, Fish and Parks, Pierre; Aberdeen American News; Belle Fourche Bee; South Dakota magazine, Yankton; Black Hills State University, Spearfish; Virginia Sportsman magazine, Virginia; AAA Home & Away, Nebraska; Smithsonian, Washington, DC;, Minnesota; Council of State Governments, Indiana; Globus, Colorado; DirectTV, California; sculptor Sondra Johnson, Nebraska; and Transat Distribution, Institute Without Boundaries, Canada.

Fulfilled requests for video dubs and loans: Sent stock footage to CV&A Films in Colorado Springs for a production they are doing for the Altitude Channel. Sent aerial footage to the Airline Pilots Association in Herndon, Virginia, for a promotional video they are producing. Dubbed stock footage and footage of Storybook Land to Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

Have cataloged 800 photos of 5,300 into the Digital Photo Database “Extensis Portfolio.” Task involves renaming, assigning keywords, and numbering so the photos can be easily found.

Discussed plans for a film shoot in June; scouted locations at Mount Rushmore, Prairie Berry Winery in Hill City, and the lakes in Custer State Park; contacted appropriate representatives. Scouted locations at Lewis and Clark State Park in Yankton, Palisades State Park, and near Sioux Falls for the east river shoots; contacted appropriate private and state representatives.


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Finalized the following ads for Peak Season Campaign and shipped: weekly newspaper ads in Eau Claire, Green Bay, Milwaukee, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Des Moines, Mankato, Omaha, Bismarck, Fargo, Sioux City, and Sioux Falls. Glacial Lakes Co-op Direct Mail in Fargo and Marshall, Minnesota; second drop scheduled for June 6 in both markets. Glacial Lakes Co-op FSI in Fargo and Marshall; second drop scheduled for June 6 in Fargo only. Deadwood Co-op: weekly newspaper ads in Cheyenne, Casper, Denver, and Minneapolis; advertorial for Denver, and Deadwood Spadea for insert in Denver Post.

Listed below are the publications included in the 2007 Giant Step Program for the remainder of the summer and into the fall; partners have changed their ads to a fall message: Family Fun, May/June and September issues with circulation of 263,474 in Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and St. Paul markets. Wondertime, June and September issues with national circulation of 400,000. Child, May and June issues with circulation of 87,450 in North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Chicago, and Milwaukee markets. Family Circle, May, June, and October issues with circulation of 447,450 in North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Chicago, and Milwaukee markets. Ladies Home Journal, May, June, and October issues with circulation of 449,000 in North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Chicago, and Milwaukee markets. Midwest Living, May, July, September, and November issues with full circulation of 925,000. Cabin Life, May and November issues, with national circulation of 85,000. Field & Stream, May, June, September, and November issues with national circulation of 1,500,000. Travel + Leisure Family, May and August issues with national circulation of 500,000. Travel 50 + Beyond, June and October issue with national circulation of 115,000.

The 2007 Shoulder Season Great Getaways newspaper insert will be produced as a full-color, magazine-style piece and distributed in newspapers in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and South Dakota in late August/early September for circulation of approximately 600,000.

Have registered 26 businesses in the Hot Deals lodging co-op. Consumers are led to the hot deals from a button on Tourism’s home page at Information and registration forms for this co-op can be found online at The fee is a one-time annual fee of $50. The 26 partners have or are running 66 hot deals.

Received 1,980 valid giveaway entries from the co-op with Black Hills, Badlands & Lakes’ TACODA banner ads for their Fourth of July Giveaway. Drawing for the vacation package was monitored by an accounting firm. Contacted winner and sent appropriate paperwork.

Worked with ad agency to finalize updates to the landing page and supporting web pages for the co-op with Glacial Lakes & Prairies (GL&P) for their giveaway; section went live on May 15. Received 17 submissions from May 18 though May 28. Forwarded submissions data to GL&P director.

Worked with ad agency on testing and implementing the web pages ( and database needs in support of the first phase of this direct mail campaign, mailed May 11. By May 28, 45 submissions had been received.

Assembled and routed the May issues of Travelsmart to the three different marketing tiers via on May 23. Issues were received by Travelsmart list members as follows: Tier 1 (A) – Illinois, Wisconsin, West Virginia – 24,307; Tier 1 (B) – all others – 119,893; Tier 2 – Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wyoming – 40,524; Tier 3 – North Dakota and South Dakota – 4,614. Total received was 189,338 out of 203,032 sent.


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Submitted files for the backside of the state highway map; Department of Transportation (DOT) submitted files for the front side; DOT pays printing costs. Maps are distributed free; 925,000 maps were ordered for June delivery.

Mailed forms to sign up for a free listing in the Adventure Travel Guide to 400 adventure visitor industry businesses, Chambers of Commerce/CVBs, and regional tourism offices. Placed form on as well. Distributed press release on the opportunity. Have received 21 completed forms.

Finalized letter and form for a mailing in June to all 115 golf courses in South Dakota with opportunity for a free listing in the new golf publication; opportunities for a fee-based ad in the guide are available as well.

Researched Native American guides produced by other states. Worked with representative from Tribal Government Affairs on developing guidelines for content and photos for a 2008 South Dakota guide. Have begun gathering suggestions from several Native Americans for content/ideas for the next publication.

Designed a new brochure for South Dakota’s wildflowers, grasses, and crops as a tri-fold piece.

Began making updates to Escort Notes, a booklet distributed to tour operators.


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On Visitor Services Directory has 5,055 entries; and 66 travel specials are listed for 20 cities. Between April 30 and May 29, 120 e-postcards were sent by consumers. The Calendar of Events has 586 listings.
Worked on getting the remaining enhancements up and running – Photo/Video gallery, Send to Friend, Video Player, VSD, Publications, Online Polls, and Travel Diary.

Filmed Giant Step partner, Russ Jobman of Xanterra Parks & Resorts, for their partner page on TravelSD. There are now 18 partner videos. Scheduled filming/interviews at Akta Lakota Museum and the Corn Palace.


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Created Industry Survey and delivered by e-mail to 1,547 recipients to gather feedback on research and reporting needs. Have received 181 responses!

Analyzed Shoulder Season 2006 marketing efforts and results; wrote summary for E-newsletters and shoulder season campaign report on SDVisit.

Reviewed and approved RUF Executive Summary for the Black Hills Database. Will begin selecting profiles for reverse market penetration maps.

Continued to develop the FY2008 research plan with ad agency in order to provide clear direction and purpose for research initiatives, with an end goal of providing invaluable market research on South Dakota’s actual visitors.

Reviewed new monthly report provided by Center for Tourism Research (CTR). Need to discuss future reporting needs and how they should be handled with CTR staff changes.

Aspects of the on-site Intercept Study at attractions, etc. were reviewed and approved: questions, locations, reporting, and schedule. Study will begin on June 7. On-site Intercept Study at Information Centers will be coordinated by Tourism.

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Sent logo to Brandon Car, student at Dakota State University and Don South at Strawbale Winery. Sent state flag digital image to Gwynn Fuchs for U.S. Government brochure.

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Czech Days, June 14-16, Tabor: Magazine ads include May/June issues of South Dakota magazine and Nebraska Life. Radio ads in May and June include New Prague on KCHK/KRDS/KYMN; Fremont, Nebraska, on KHUB – AM; Columbus, Nebraska, on KTTT; West Point, Nebraska, on KTIC; and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on KMRY. Newspaper ads in May and June include the New Prague Times and Shopper, Fremont Tribune, Lincoln Journal Star, and Columbus Telegram.

Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo, July 19-22, Mitchell: Labeled 1,000 postcards with addresses supplied by the local committee for rural and southwest Minnesota. Placed ad in South Dakota magazine for May/June issue.

Wheels & Wings Weekend featuring Sizzlin' Summer Nights, August 25-26, Aberdeen: Labeled 2,000 postcards with addresses supplied by the local committee. Event will have over 500 classic and muscle cars and motorcycles along with a variety of airplanes; it is one of the largest events in the region. Designed logo, poster, postcard, rack card, and magazine and newspaper ads. Worked on design of final newspaper ad.

Mickelson Trail Trek, Mickelson Trail, September 14-16, Black Hills: Local committee reports that registrations are up twice as much over this time last year.

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for April was up 13.1 percent at $234,545 as compared to $207,377 for April 2006. The tourism tax deposited for April was up 6.5 percent at $213,610, as compared to $200,509 for April 2006. The deposits for FY07 for gaming and the tourism tax are $7,608,734, as compared to $7,187,515 for FY06. This is an overall increase in revenue of 5.9 percent when comparing the same time period in FY06.

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Governor’s Tourism Advisory Board
The Board met in Chamberlain/Oacoma and toured Akta Lakota Museum and South Dakota Hall of Fame. They reviewed the latest applications for the Million Dollar Challenge marketing grants and approved applications from the Winner Area Chamber of Commerce’s Oyate Trail proposal; Historic Downtown Yankton, Rockin’ Ribfest proposal; Northern Lights Inn at Britton, Great September Get Away proposal; Four Bands/Native Discovery proposal; and South Dakota Wine Growers Association proposal. At this time, there is approximately $750,000 committed in challenge grants which includes a pending proposal that was tentatively approved in March.

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Native American Tourism
Coordinated a tribal tourism/Information Center marketplace/lit swap with the Information Center supervisors and tribal tourism representatives.

Worked with representative of Tribal Government Affairs to set up discussion topics for our June Tribal Tourism Roundtable discussion in Pierre.

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