The Keystone City Council has been in touch with the DOT and Highway Patrol for their plans for the event, but are also brainstorming ideas of their own for issues like parking.
In about 2 weeks — this small town of around 300 will swell with thousands of visitors — in town for the Mount Rushmore fireworks celebration.
And though there’s a lot of excitement, business owners and concerned citizens met recently to discuss important issues.
Kwinn Neff, Keystone Board Trustee, says, “The facts are that we are dealing with a small area in Keystone and a lot of people so whatever we can do to find that additional parking or add some organization to where traffic flow goes — anything will help.”
The group is brainstorming on how to make the event flow and have some sort of organization and planning in place before the influx of visitors.
Neff says, “We are mainly focused on any additional parking we can come up with in Keystone for this event because we are always short on parking here, additional bathrooms and garbage to deal with the crowds- then any streets we can kind of put traffic logistics in place or have people on staff to kind of give direction and information that day.”
Neff says the difference this year from past year’s when Mt. Rushmore held a fireworks display is the ticketing. Event ticket holders are allotted one parking space within the Memorial, or shuttle access to the event. He says most of the people that will be parking in Keystone are non ticket holders.
Keystone, City Hall
“The big difference is the tickets this year, so a lot of times Keystone would fill up with people that would just park here and go up to the Monument, but this year, we are going to be dealing with people who don’t have tickets that are going to be in Keystone so we are trying to make their experience the best we can,” says Neff.
Some businesses will offer watch parties for those without tickets. To help with the parking issues, employees may be shuttled into work to open up some spaces. For locals, it’s an all hands on deck situation.
Lynette Gohsman, Pres. of Keystone City Council, says, “Keystone is unique, ya know, we are a small tight knit community — we all band together to make things happen.”
Keystone Senior Citizens Center
Some local land owners will lease their land for parking and they are hoping that money will go to benefit two non profit organizations in town, the Keystone Senior Center and the Historical Society who have seen a decrease in donated money due to COVID-19. More planning meetings are ahead in the next 2 weeks