Summer tourism can set economies up for the winter months

Main tourism season ends soon.
Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 6:38 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - With summer tourism starting to slow down, those tax dollars that come from the influx of people will also slow down. Oftentimes, those dollars are ones keeping the small town economies afloat.

Mount Rushmore program manager for interpretation and education Earl Perez-Foust says during the summer seasons, the memorial can see up to 30,000 people a day. In 2022, the Mount Rushmore saw almost 2.5 million people, and those people brought in more than 380 million dollars, supporting jobs and the local economy.

“The money that the report is highlighting, is money brought into the local economies from visitation, from tourism. So the money is actually coming from visitors coming to the area, and spending money locally,” Perez-Foust said.

While the cool weather earlier this summer made for a slow start to the traditional tourism season, Michelle Thomson, president at Black Hills and Badlands Tourism Association says she’s hoping for a great turnout in the fall and winter months.

“Fall is an amazing time to come to the black hills and badlands region, we always have very strong fall. So we anticipate that fall will be very good, and then were looking forward to a great winter sports season as well,” Thomson continued.

According to Thomson, the money that comes into the economy helps provide essential services and promotes more tourism to continue bringing people to the area.