The Black Hills have long been one of the Nations most popular vacation destinations.
When temperatures rise and summer draws closer, crowds will flock to the numerous attractions and resorts.
With few places opening and many still closed, tourist operators take the time to prepare and finish last minute chores before the busy season hits.
"We're very optimistic about this upcoming tourist season, said Reptile Gardens Public Relations Spokesman, John Brockelsby. "We had a very good year last year, everybody in the visitor industry was very happy with the results and as of right now I see no reason that we shouldn't have the same kind of year this year."
Although Reptile Gardens opened a few weeks ago, Brockelsby says there is still more work to do.
"Lot of cleaning up," he said. "Lot if getting everything, you know repairs from the winter."
Other attractions and resorts that operate year-around, such as The Journey Museum, are also prepping for the days to come.
"We always are looking more for volunteers when we are in the summer time, said Director of Programming, Education, and exhibits at The Journey Museum, Kristi Thielan. "We have so many programs now that there is not as much as a distinction between the tourist season and those months that are not."
While the weather is still cold and school is still in session, locals can count on smaller crowds at area resorts and attractions over the next few weeks.