Gaming numbers in Deadwood are down for July

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Sunday
Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 7:33 PM MDT
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DEADWOOD, S.D. (KEVN) -Tourists from all over the country flock to Deadwood to enjoy the entertainment in the historic town. In 2021, tourism in the northern hills spiked, but recent reports show some of those numbers are dwindling.

July tourism was slightly down compared to last year’s numbers. This is reflected in Deadwood’s gaming numbers, which show that overall gaming is down 8 percent and the overall revenue for the year is down 2 percent.

“2021 was kind of an outlier year because of the pent of demand and so it was really a banner year; so we still are seeing some very good numbers for Deadwood in comparison to what we’ve historically seen; so we’re very pleased yet with what our July numbers were even though there down just a little bit from our 2021 numbers,” said Mike Rodman, executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association.

Despite summer tourism being down compared to last year, the numbers are still higher than what they were for 2020. In combination with the lower gaming numbers one hotel experienced a slight decline in occupancy, but nothing that would cause concern since there were several factors in the decline.

“I would probably have to relate it to inflation. I mean gas prices are huge. Black Hills is definitely a drive-in destination as opposed to flying in, so people were like, were going to have a family, were going to have to drive across the country. Gas prices at four, five dollars a gallon, so they’re like ‘you know, maybe we’ll still travel there but we won’t stay as long,’” said Lorri Caufield, hotel manager of Deadwood Mountain Grand.

Despite numbers being down, most experts say 2021′s boom can be attributed to the end of the pandemic when people were eager to get back to normal.