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Campground sites are filling up fast for summer 2021

Just weeks away from the summer tourism boom hitting again, Rapid City campgrounds have their datebooks open but things are filling up fast.
Published: May. 10, 2021 at 3:57 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - As places shut down last summer, South Dakota stayed open, helping one of the state’s top industries, tourism, stay afloat and reach numbers not too far off from a normal year.

Just weeks away from the summer tourism boom hitting again, Rapid City campgrounds have their datebooks open but things are filling up fast.

”It’s definitely going to be a big year, I really do believe that,” said Karri Harper, manager of Rapid City RV Park & Cmapground. “The reservations are coming in strong, phones are ringing, the online reservations are just coming in very strong every day. I think it’s going to be a big year for everybody here”

With 160 sites. Rapid City RV Park & Campground is filling up, with some dates not leaving much wiggle room for visitors who haven’t booked yet.

“Not SOL yet, we have two RV parks so we do kind of fluctuate between both of them,” said Harper. “I think we will still be able to squeeze them in at some point, 4th of July may be tough though cause that is pretty well booked.”

Rapid City alone has a decent amount of campgrounds and others are feeling like 2021 will be a great and busy summer.

“We’re not 100% booked by any means but there are some dates during the summer, including early June that are fully booked,” said Scott Nelson, owner of Lake Park Campground-Cottages. “Normally, memorial weekend is our first sell-out and it’s certainly going to be so again. But it’s just starting earlier, I would say we’re 30 days ahead of normal.”

If you have plans to camp and haven’t booked yet, Nelson said you might want to hurry.

“The biggest April we’ve ever had, but then again, April doesn’t usually amount to anything but I anticipate the same thing for May and I know June is going to be very very good. July tends to run full every year so I don’t expect a big difference in July, but all in all, it looks like a great year.”

Harper said people are excited to get out and be able to enjoy their summer and Nelson agrees but thinks decisions from the state level are what is attracting people not only to campsites but around the state.

“I think people see South Dakota as one of the few free states in the country and they want to come here,” said Nelson. ”South Dakota got put on the map last year through Governor Noem’s policies and it’s paying off this year.

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