Governor Noem gives big nod to tourism businesses
KEYSTONE, S.D. – South Dakota’s Department of Tourism, along with Governor Kristi Noem, presented awards to businesses that have helped bring visitors into the state.
The Big Thunder Gold Mine in Keystone was the recipient of the George S. Mickelson award for a second time; the first was back in 2007. Now, 14 years later and eclipsed by a pandemic, Big Thunder owner Sandra McLain says this time around means so much more because Keystone pulled together as a city and left no business behind.
“Everyone shared employees. We’d share food. We’d call each other up, make sure we’re doing ok. We’d help people with the SBA application. We shared everything and that’s what makes it so unique and so challenging and you had a lot of camaraderie,” said McLain.
McLain says because of Governor Noem’s pledge to keep South Dakota open 2020 was Big Thunder’s busiest year.