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Some gaming up, hotels down in Deadwood

Deadwood has felt the impact of the pandemic since the beginning
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 1:38 AM MDT
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DEADWOOD, S.D. (KEVN) - The Deadwood Gaming Association reports hotel occupancy was down 17.98% for June 2020.

Although only 51% of Deadwood hotels were full last month, gaming numbers were up in some categories, like slots, and down in others, like table games and the total licensed gaming devices. Gaming officials say events cancelled because of the pandemic were a factor.

"It's a reflection of our normal summer visitation, still struggling to recover in the month of June," said Mike Rodman, Deadwood Gaming Association. "Deadwood didn't have a lot of it's events up and running for the month of June. Now, in July, as we've brought some of those events back up on board, we've seen some of those numbers come back for the hotel occupancy."

Rodman hopes the return of events, like the Days of 76 Rodeo, and the upcoming Professional Bull Riders Rodeo will help hotel numbers recover.

"Hotel occupancy has an impact here locally," said Rodman. "The Chamber of Commerce relies on some of those occupancy taxes in order to fund the Chamber of Commerce, and so, that's going to have a local impact, and also the State of South Dakota. That's how the state tourism gets their funding."

Rodman said 10,000 fewer rooms were rented in June 2020 compared to June 2019. He also said Deadwood has seen a wider variety of tourists, coming to seek the wide open spaces of South Dakota.

"We've had more regional folks come to play, and then we've had the gaming customers that are the real gaming enthusiasts have come and stayed in the properties," said Rodman.

Rodman also said there has been a renewed sense of camping and RVing, which may impact hotel occupancy because people want to be open in spaces.

Copyright 2020 KOTA. All rights reserved.

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