Increased tourism helps smaller attractions in Black Hills - KOTA Territory News

Increased tourism helps smaller attractions in Black Hills


Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, and Crazy Horse are all tourist destinations, that visitors to the Black Hills are sure to check out.

But what about the smaller and less known attractions? How do they fare during the peak of the tourist season, being in the shadow of national monuments and historical sights? 

"So far we have had a good year and we've been pleased with it. The weather has treated us right despite the coming and going of the thunderstorms and as you cans see our parking lot is full so it's been better than last year,"said Owner of Black Hills Maze, Conrad Rupert.

"Overall business has been nice and strong,"said Owner of Cosmos Mystery Area, Heidi Bybee.

Thanks to an increase of visitors to the Black Hills over the last couple of years.

And this increase is bringing in more money to the area, which is something smaller attractions are benefiting from.

"Traffic is increasing every year, Thanks mainly to our local Association Badlands and Lakes and to our state tourism dept they've done a really nice job of promoting the whole Black Hills,"said Rupert. 

While Bear Country USA and Reptile Gardens are both right next to the highway attractions like Cosmos Mystery Zone sit off the beaten path and even down a dirt roads but owner Heidi Bybee says this has had no negative impact.

"I think attendance has been really good,"said Bybee.

And that increase in attendance may be coming from social media.

"Social Media has been something we use quite a bit of, we use Facebook all that kind of thing and we like to advertise in that new realm that are kind of new to a lot of businesses,"said Bybee.

While social media is a new way to reach out to tourists, Hybee says the key to her success has a long rooted history.

"For us people have been coming for years, for generations they will def come here then come back and bring their kids so it's really been a family attraction that people are looking for and they seem to know where we are and they find us,"said Bybee.


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