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Some aspects of Black Hills tourism thriving amid COVID-19

 Summer tourism may be coming to a close, but businesses in Wall are still expecting to see tourists in the next few months. (KOTA TV)
Summer tourism may be coming to a close, but businesses in Wall are still expecting to see tourists in the next few months. (KOTA TV) (KOTA)
Published: Jun. 10, 2020 at 3:40 PM MDT
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In an interview with NewsMax TV on Tuesday, Governor Kristi Noem said "we have people visiting our state at record numbers the recent weeks.

In the Black Hills, the President of the Black Hills and Badlands Tourism Association, Michelle Thomson said that might be true.

She said there was an uptick in tourism around Memorial Day, and expects another around July Fourth in anticipation for the fireworks show at Mount Rushmore and visit from President Donald Trump

Thompson said the majority of seasonal businesses were open by Memorial Day, but there are still a few that have yet to open.

She also said the majority of recent visitors are coming to the area by car, from a roughly 450 mile radius.

Thomson said some businesses, like camp grounds, are even thriving because of their socially distant nature.

"Camping has been doing extremely well this summer season so far," said Thomson. "It's really easy to socially distance when you're camping, so families or couples traveling together, or even individuals are bringing campers out or renting campers to go on vacations, and to go to state parks or national parks and staying in our private campgrounds. So, we are hearing from quite a lot of campgrounds from the Black Hills Badlands region that they're up from last year."

Thomson also said tourism around the world was hit hard from COVID-19 because everything came to a sudden halt.

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