During a city-wide discussion this summer about the importance of funding art programs, arts enthusiasts pointed to the fact that artistic events bring people in from all over -- and those people bring their money.
With the all-state orchestra performance just wrapping up with a concert Saturday night, it's tough to know just what kind of an impact it had on the economy, but by all estimates, it was big.
"This is the largest fine arts event we have in the state," said James Weaver with the South Dakota High School Activities Association.
Almost 1,100 students showed up.
"The choir has 932 members this year, representing 150 schools from across the state," Weaver said, "and the orchestra has 155 members representing 32 member schools."
A lot of those out-of-town students stay for two-and-a-half days, coming in Thursday and leaving Sunday.
But they're not the only ones staying in Rapid.
"We're talking about probably 5,000 people in the audience tonight," Weaver said before the performance Saturday.
Some of them are local, but the majority are parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles from all over the state.
"A lot of the smaller communities," he said, "this is their time to shop; this is their time to do whatever they need to do, go to fancy restaurants."
And Rapid City is in an even better position now than it was half a decade ago.
"It's just been recently, the last four years, that we've just gone between Sioux Falls and Rapid City," said Weaver.
So the city gets all that exposure every other year, largely because of the availability of hotels.
"It used to be between Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Aberdeen," but pheasant hunters monopolize that city's hospitality industry this time of year.
"You kind of have to go where the economics are," Weaver said.
And for now, at least, the economics are right here in Rapid City.