Optimistic outlook on tourism for the ‘window’ to the Badlands

The 530 Sunday KOTA Territory News
Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 9:53 AM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - As spring slowly makes its way to South Dakota, the “window” to the Badlands is already starting to project a possible tourist spike ahead of the tourism season.

According to the chairman of Wall Drug Store, they expect to see more people show up for the 2023 tourism season than the previous year. Although the projection for the number of people visiting the store is optimistic, the staffing issue is a worry currently on the horizon.

“What’s been kind of an issue the last few years is staffing and what we do at the drug store will be dependent on the staff we’re able to get in the coming year. We think we should be able to come up with 165 employees, that’s our target, or a few more,” said Wall Drug Store chairman Rick Hustead.

Hustead added it’s still early to tell if any factors like gas prices will play a role in how staffing numbers and tourism will look further down the line. Currently, waiting for the South Dakota warm weather tourism season to start is all they can do.