605 Day highlights South Dakota's unique attractions
Whether you're on the west side or the east, we're all united by at least one thing, our area code. The South Dakota Department of Tourism's fifth annual 605 Day is a way to celebrate the uniqueness of South Dakota for residents and visitors alike.
"Rapid City is in the middle of six national parks, so those are all beautiful outdoors experiences, for the most part, so we always promote our national parks, from mount Rushmore to the badlands," said Julie Schmitz Jensen, CEO and President of Visit Rapid City. "Rapid City has the city of presidents which is statues on every corner, we have dinosaur park, we have storybook island, we have beautiful retail outlets right here, main street square. There are so many things you can do just in Rapid City alone that gives you social distancing comfort."
With so much to offer right here in the Black Hills, tourists come as no surprise. However, this year's tourists will largely include road trippers.
"We are the perfect destination, the ultimate American road trip with all these great roadside attractions, national parks, state parks," said Jim Hagen, secretary of the South Dakota Department of Tourism. "So that message pivoted from one of stay home, stay safe, to one that is now actively courting visitors to come to the state."
The plan this summer was to market South Dakota to places like Dallas and Chicago, but the focus is now on areas within 500 miles.
"Chicago a fairly new market, Dallas a brand new market that we were targeting this spring and this summer. We have decided to pull out of those markets and really focus on Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Denver, Omaha, those drive markets within about 500, 600 miles," said Hagen.
Although this won't be a normal year for tourism, people are looking towards a brighter fall and new year to come. So get out and celebrate.