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Aberdeen prepares for 2020 Rooster Rush

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 6:30 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Out of state hunters will have a warm welcome when they land at the Aberdeen Region Airport this week for the kickoff of pheasant season.

Casey Weismantel, Executive Director of the Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau says the busy traffic they expect to see is a good thing, as they brace for the influx of hunters.

“Because of COVID and social distancing, a lot of them have already been committed to say. And they’re making those plans and they’re going to follow through with coming to Aberdeen and go pheasant hunting.” Weismantel says.

This year’s Rooster Rush activities will be busy, as Bureau staff greet hunters at the airport, hotels lodge them, and businesses welcome them to town. But the Bureau is expecting more than just their average number of hunters, and local businesses are already seeing the effects.

“All the lodges and the outfitters that we’re talking to, the private lodges, they’re actually overbooked to the point where they’re swapping clients off onto other lodges. And so that’s a good thing to have.” Weismantel says.

Weismantel says they’ve been preparing to have a bigger than usual crowd, hearing from businesses that they’re expecting many first time visitors to the state for opening weekend. And he says it will only help the local economy, which already saw a record amount of collected sales tax this summer even as the ongoing pandemic affects businesses across the state.

“I know the birds are strong this year, the bird numbers are strong from what we’re hearing. And to be able to capitalize on that and come out, maybe in their eyes there might be a little less pressure this year from years past. And that’s a great to have, and I welcome that.”

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