Visit Rapid City receives $750K in CARES Act funds to boost tourism

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Rapid City tourism is looking to make up for lost revenue with $750,000 worth of CARES Act funds.

The State Department of Tourism is giving money to Visit Rapid City to boost marketing in the region.

CEO Julie Schmidtz Jensen says they plan to market Rapid City and the Blacks Hills in the Midwest and in cities where jets connect with Rapid City Regional Airport.

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Since travelers this year have favored driving over flying, Jensen says that’s where they’ll focus their marketing efforts.

“We are promoting, coming here to cut down your Christmas tree, come here to ice skate, snow mobile and do all the things that winter allows people to do and I think we’re going to be the winners,” said Schmitz Jensen.

Visit Rapid City’s marketing will encompass businesses across the city.

With conventions and other events cancelled or postponed around the country, Rapid City plans to continue the state’s “Open for Business” approach, by bringing in groups from out of state.

“We are going big and we are going to say, ‘You come here and you get to decide how you want to make your people healthy and safe.’ But the safety message has to be displayed everywhere,” said Schmitz Jensen.

CARES Act funds must be spent by the end of the year, leaving everyone to scramble to spend the funds.

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