The Lakota National Invitational helps out Rapid City's economy

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RAPID CITY, SD (KOTA TV) - The Lakota Nation Invitational brings thousands of people to Rapid City after tourism season ends.

Co-founder of Lakota Nation Invitational, Bryan Brewer, says the tournament "probably brings close to 6 million dollars into Rapid City."

More than 30 teams come to Rapid City for five days to participate in a variety of activities.

They started with basketball but have anything from the Lakota Language Bowl to a Chess tournament.

In all they have more than 15 things, making sure there’s something for everyone.

And when they aren't at the civic center they are out helping the Rapid City economy.

President and CEO of the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce, Linda Rabe, explains “They're here, they're staying in our hotel rooms, they are filling hotel rooms in December which is amazing. They're going out to eat three meals a day so all of our restaurants are filling the impact. And you know what, it's Christmas. They're here doing their Christmas shopping."

Destination Rapid City provided free ice skating tickets for all the kids participating in the tournament to get them downtown to explore all that Rapid City has to offer.

“This is a really big boost for our economy every year they come back,” exclaims Rabe.

Brewer says more than 25 hundred students participated in last year’s LNI and there is more than that this year.