“Of all the western towns in the United States, how do you outcompete Deadwood?”

Roger Brooks visits
Roger Brooks visits(Jeffrey Lindblom)
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 5:58 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Back in 2014, Deadwood invited a man to the town to give them some suggestions on how to help the wild western town reach its fullest potential. His name is Roger Brooks, and he offered suggestions which led to Outlaw Square. He also suggested more authentic shootouts, just like the ones displayed today.

Now, he’s been invited back to discuss how to take things a step farther.

Some of his ideas included a 24/7 spot for visitor information, better crosswalks for pedestrians and wayfinding for foot traffic, along with 40 more benches spread across the town which slow people down and give them more reason to stop.

He says that delivery vehicles like FedEx and UPS shouldn’t be allowed past 10:30 a.m. as they take away from the experience. Among the most important, he says that the parking situation in Deadwood has to be fixed. He suggested a parking garage to replace the various lots within the town, and making those areas into things that enhance the allure of the wild west instead.

He says Deadwood is a place for people to visit with Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok, not a place for chain fast food restaurants, souvenir shops and vehicular traffic.

”We’re here because it’s Deadwood. It has this allure, this legendary -- of all the western towns in the United States, how do you outcompete Deadwood? If Deadwood’s going to carry that mantle of being a really true old west town,” says Brooks, “it needs to stick to some authenticity and not lose it.”

He says the more expensive things for the town to invest in will be parking and wayfinding, but they’ll pay for themselves by bringing in more tourists.

He says businesses have a part to play too, as he says that more owners should place attractive pots, plants and signage outside of their shops to draw people in, and that closing at 5:00 at night doesn’t give the people that were out exploring the Hills during the daytime a chance to spend their money at night.

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