Lakota Nation Invitational brings economic boost to Rapid City

RAPID CITY, SD (KOTA-TV) - One thing last week's cold weather didn't slow down? The Lakota Nation Invitational.

Although final numbers are not in yet, the Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau says they are expecting an increase in economic impact to the city.

Last year 25,000 tickets were sold to the invitational, while this year’s numbers seem to have been about the same the CVB is expecting higher spending in retail stores.

“They not only stay in our hotels and eat in our restaurants and all of the typical things that come with staying in a city, they shop– its Christmas,” said Julie Jensen, Executive Director of the Rapid City CVB

Jensen says while economic impact is important, the real impact comes from the culture the LNI brings to Rapid City.

“The hand games, the language bowl and culture bowl, those are the most important impacts on the city,” said Jensen.

Jensen says she is expecting close to $4 million to stay in Rapid City after LNI last week.