Revenue from tourism is growing in South Dakota and the Black Hills region is happily leading the way. According to a report released by the Black Hills Knowledge Network, South Dakota took in $636 million in tourism tax revenue in 2012. Nearly a third of those dollars came from Pennington County and almost half from the Black Hills region.
With tourism tax collections of $186 million in 2012, Pennington County far outpaced the state's 65 other counties. Pennington takes in more than double second-place Minnehaha County. Lawrence, Custer and Meade counties rank third, fourth and fifth respectively, while Fall River County ranks 14th.
Just as Pennington County dominates South Dakota's tourism geography, lodging and campgrounds account for a majority of the tourism tax dollars collected by the industry.
Here's a breakdown:
• Lodging/camping - $365.2 million (57.4 percent)
• Shops & markets - $71.3 million (11.2 percent)
• Visitor attractions - $59 million (9.3 percent)
• Recreational services and rentals - $25.5 million (4 percent)
• Restaurants - $10.8 million (1.7 percent)
• Spectator events - $2 million (0.3 percent)
• Other visitor-related businesses - $7.1 million (1.1 percent)
You'll find interactive and exportable charts on blackhillsknowledgenetwork.org