Growing economy brings tourists to Spearfish

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SPEARFISH, S.D. (KEVN) - A Northern Hills city is receiving a new title.

From downtown shopping to outdoor adventures, there's a little bit of something for everyone in Spearfish.

A publication called The Actives Times listed the town in their ""50 Most underrated small towns in America".

Mistie Caldwell from Visit Spearfish believes the small honor comes from their ever-growing economy.

"We're seeing everything from multi-employee jobs opening up in the industry field, but the culture continues to grow, again with new breweries, new restaurants. The Village at Creekside, north of Spearfish, has really elongated the town. Main Street goes several miles now and there's something to do along the way," Mistie Caldwell says, executive director of Visit Spearfish.

Caldwell also says the city draws in tourists because of their university, great food and beer culture, and of course, Spearfish Canyon.

The Black Hills & Badlands Tour Association says within the Black Hills and Badlands region alone, visitors spent about $1.5 billion last year.

A brewery manager says tourism dollars are very important to their business.

"Our local community's really supportive and we have a lot of great local events, but during the tourist season, you see a lot more of that ebb and flow, the weekday traffic, not your normal Friday and Saturday night crowd," Jon Marek says, General Manager of Spearfish Brewing Company.

And the roots of tourism run deep in the small town.

Mistie Caldwell says, "Tourism has been, since the early 1900s, one of the staples in the community from the beginning of the Black Hills Passion Play in the 1930s that really put tourism on the map for Spearfish."