Summer tourism in Black Hills settles after unusual season

How has the pandemic impacted the tourism season?
People are getting in the car and taking a trip to the Black Hills.
People are getting in the car and taking a trip to the Black Hills.(KOTA)
Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 5:01 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Fewer flights and additional health mandates caused visitors from all across the country to postpone and even cancel trips. This had many people questioning how the tourism season in the Black Hills would go.

The summer tourism season may be winding down, but visitors are still exploring the Black Hills.

Mount Rushmore may seem a little busier than it did last August, and the numbers back that up.

Visits in August of 2020 were up 16% compared to last year.

Overall for 2020, though visits are down less than 2%, that’s according to the national park’s database.

For some people getting an up-close look at Mount Rushmore has always been a dream, and with vacation plans changing due to the pandemic, some families felt it was the perfect opportunity.

“This was a perfect time because of corona or COVID. You can’t really go very far. Like no international flights, so we decided that we would just do a road trip and check off our bucket list,” says a visitor from California, Judy Rosier.

“We are typically international travelers. We spent a lot of time cruising and traveling outside the country. And this year, with everything that’s going on with the pandemic, we decided to stay at home and did a driving vacation. And though the Black Hills, Rushmore, Crazy Horse and all the sites out here were the place to go,” says a visitor from Iowa, Don Ross.

Even though summer tourism is coming to a close, some businesses benefit from fall tourism, but the pandemic is still ongoing.

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