Labor Day weekend tourism expected to be strong after successful season

RAPID CITY, S.D. — As the Black Hills community heads into the Labor Day weekend, it prepares for visitors looking to spend the holiday in the great outdoors.

Labor Day is the unofficial end to summer tourism, and according to Visit Rapid City and the Black Hills and Badlands Tourism Association, it was a strong season.

Both organizations say a big marketing campaign by the state’s Tourism Department and an increased interest in visiting the area’s wide open spaces contributed to the success of the season.

“There was a lot of media coverage with our governor,” said Black Hills and Badlands Tourism Association President Michelle Thomson. “It brought more viability to South Dakota and to the Black Hills and really brought new people to this area who hadn’t been here before.”

“Our hotel occupancy has been up consistently throughout the summer,” said Visit Rapid City Director of Marketing Dani Benne. “So we’re looking forward to a really great weekend. We’re going to have really amazing weather, you know we have the great outdoors.”

Black Hills and Badlands Tourism expects the momentum to stay strong moving into the fall season, which they say transitions to more couples visiting the area and less family vacationing.

Visit Rapid City is also optimistic for the fall season, especially with the scheduling of shows and events since completion of The Monument arena.

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