South Dakota Tourism Officials Expect Gains
Even though Mother Nature has given South Dakota’s Black Hills the cold shoulder this spring with wind, rain and frigid air, the number of campers and visitors so far is up over last year at destinations such as Custer State Park, Hart Ranch Camping Resort and attractions like Crazy Horse Memorial.
The Rapid City Journal reported that tourism operators say all signs point to a strong high season for business.
While campgrounds and tourist attractions see the heaviest traffic between Memorial Day and Labor Day, they also pay close attention to their numbers during what are referred to as the “shoulder seasons,” which come in early spring and late fall.
“It all adds to the bottom line,” said Nort Johnson, vice president of marketing at Crazy Horse Memorial and a former employee at Black Hills Badlands and Lakes, a tourism marketing group.
Johnson said spring bus tours with Americans and international tourists to the memorial’s education programs have led to a strong spring. Judging by Facebook and web traffic so far, the main tourism season should be robust, he said.
“The indicators right now show that we have every reason to be optimistic,” he said.
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