Fourth of July bringing needed business to Black Hills economies

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The Fourth of July has always been a special time in the Black Hills.

This year, it’s extra special and it certainly won’t hurt the economy.

Hotels stays, outdoor rentals, fireworks, and of course food – all expected to be in high demand with a sunny holiday weekend ahead.

“It is one of those days where we kind of guarantee that our hotels are going to be full,” said Dolsee Davenport, the Director of the Custer Chamber of Commerce. “Town is going to be busy. We bring a lot of those people in just for that event, so it’s one of our biggest days of the summer definitely.”

Although this year looks a little different because we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, city representatives say they aren’t concerned about the turnout. Which is crucial for the economy at this time – where things have slowed down due to the virus.

“We have such a patriotic city and of course with Mount Rushmore so close by, people want to spend that time Independence Day near this area,” said Stacie Granum, of Visit Rapid City.  “We usually see a pretty big boost.”

Rapid City and Custer will be hosting fireworks on the Fourth of July. Custer is also doing a parade and flag ceremony that morning.

“I think though the greater longer-term impact is just the Black Hills receiving that national news coverage,” Davenport said. “People may not have planned to come this year, but maybe next year because now they’ve seen the Black Hills.”

Expectations are high in Keystone the hometown of the national monument as the city is making around 300 parking spots available for visitors.

“Several of the businesses in town are going to have like Friday night Mount Rushmore parties, either on their porches or on their roofs,” said Robin Pladson, the Director of the Keystone Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber of Commerce also sharing that most hotels are full for the night.

“We had one come up yesterday that had a couple of rooms and within seconds those rooms were filled, so most of our rooms are full at the moment,” Pladson said.

A complete list of fireworks locations is available here.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News