‘Tis The (Tourist) Season!

 My son Tucker at his first trip to Mount Rushmore, 2015

My son Tucker at his first trip to Mount Rushmore, 2015

Not for snow and Santa, but for tourists! Yes, people have come from far and wide to enjoy the splendor of The Black Hills. You can find our visitors loitering downtown with Presidents Taft and Truman. They’re hiking the trails, and hitting all of our major attractions – like Deadwood, Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park and Main Street Square in Rapid City. They’re getting around town in cars and trucks, vans and RVs, motorcycles and on foot.

And they’re driving along the roads we use everyday just as slow as possible. Yeah, I see your eye roll!

But remember the benefit of living in a community whose economy is driven by tourism. We rely upon visitors to our region, to bring their hard-earned dollars into our economy. Money spent at Prairie Berry Winery, at Armadillo’s Ice Cream, at our gas stations and retail shops, hotels and even at medical facilities, all provide a much-needed injection of capital into our pockets. Particularly when they spend their money at locally-owned businesses. 68% of every dollar spent at a locally-owned restaurant stays in the local economy, versus only 34% spent at national chains.

Make sure that if you’re hosting family or friends here in the Black Hills, that their vacation money supports this community. Here are some of the ways you can do that:

  • Local-owned is where it’s at. If your guests require a place to stay, check out locally-owned hotels and inns like the newly opened The Nest on East Boulevard. This family-owned hotel has recently gone through a renovation and reinvention and offers affordable room rates on the east end of Rapid. And if your guests are staying with you, give them a care package that includes SoDak goodies like Kimball Popcorn Balls, Chokecherry Jam, chocolate truffles from the Chubby Chipmunk in Deadwood and Native arts and crafts from Prairie Edge.

  • Put together a unique tour based on your favorite places (not just the big tourist destinations) and spend a day showing your guests what you really love to do in the Black Hills. Maybe it’s your favorite spot for photographs or hitting the best brew pubs. Give your guests a little peek into what it feels like to live and work in the Black Hills.

  • Provide local emergency resources. Give your guests a printable list of the hospitals, medical centers, chiropractors, dentists, massage therapists as well as information for police and fire. If they head out for a day of sightseeing on their own, make sure they know what to do in case of an emergency. Include printed maps so they can easily find their way.

That includes Rushmore Family Chiropractic, you never know when Aunt Thelma just might need an adjustment!