Rapid City tourism exceeding expectations for 2021

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Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 12:11 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - South Dakota’s largest city west of the Missouri River, Rapid City serves as a vacation destination for tourists from all across the country.

“We have just got so many things for people to see and do,” Julie Schmitz Jensen, President of Visit Rapid City, said. “And, the people in Rapid City really appreciate visitors, so they’re treated well.”

Schmitz Jensen says this has been the busiest summer she’s ever seen.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the number of leisure travelers that are coming to Rapid City and enjoying the great outdoor opportunities,” Schmitz Jensen said.

With a full slate of events at Main Street Square, the Journey Museum, and plentiful outdoor activities, the City of Presidents is on its way to financial recovery from the pandemic.

“Tourism is our number one feeder for our economy, so every time someone walks into this city, we give them a big smile and thank them because it’s keeping our city going,” Schmitz Jensen said.

Like Rapid City, the Black Hills, and the Badlands, are also seeing a record number of visitors.

“A lot of these visitors are people who haven’t considered South Dakota and the Black Hills before, but because of the great national press we received, they learned about the Black Hills and came out to experience it for themselves,” Michelle Thomson, President of the Black Hills and Badlands Tourism Association said.

With hundreds of thousands of bikers making their way to the region for the 81st Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the trend is expected to continue.

“We love our bikers! It’s a boost for the entire Black Hills, we love the bike rally,” Schmitz Jensen said.

Even though the rally doesn’t start until Friday, August 6, Thomson says there are already a lot of bikers rolling into the Black Hills and Badlands.

“What we have heard is this could be, potentially, the biggest rally we’ve ever seen,” Thomson said. “So, I guess we’ll wait until (August) 15th and see how everything shakes out.”

For more information about Rapid City, click here.

For information about Main Street Square, click here.

For information about the Journey Museum and Learning Center, click here.

For information about the Black Hills and Badlands, click here.

For information about the 81st Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, click here.

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