Keystone’s economy doing better than expected

Published: Aug. 27, 2020 at 5:09 PM CDT
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KEYSTONE, S.D. (KOTATV) - When the pandemic hit, business owners and managers Kathy Uhrig, Peggy Janecek and Teresa Smith weren’t sure how this year’s tourism season would go.

“I was very optimistic about it,” says Smith.

“Very skeptical honestly,” says Uhrig.

“I was optimistic,” says Janecek.

But they say they’re doing better than expected.”

“As soon as May hit it was like a 100% change around, we had an amazing Memorial Day and the summer’s just continued, we’ve been super busy all summer,” says Uhrig.

Some of that increased traffic has to do with large events like the Sturgis Rally, bringing hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Black Hills, during a year where a lot of similar events across the country have been up in the air.

Another attraction that brought in visitors: the July 3 fireworks celebration at Mount Rushmore.

“That just brought so much business in and so that was wonderful,” says Janecek.

And many business owners say those big events are just a part of the reason visitors have been flocking to the area.

“We have very few restrictions here with COVID, no masks are required, so everyone’s looking at that honestly and it like we want to go to South Dakota,” says Uhrig.

And that is leaving them optimistic about the rest of the season.

“It’s been a good year, better than expected, and let’s keep going,” says Smith.

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