RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - The number of hotel rooms continues to grow in Rapid City, but are there enough customers to fill them?
Hotel room at the Tru by Hilton in Rapid City. (KOTA TV)
People visit the Black Hills to see Mount Rushmore or Crazy Horse Memorial, but many of them rest in hotels.
According to Visit Rapid City, there are 250 more hotel rooms in the area this year than there were in 2013.
Ironically enough, with some opening and others closing, the number of hotels remains the same: at 55.
But are there enough tourists to fill the extra rooms?
"Rapid City has a really healthy peak season, which is our summer season into the fall and so we can definitely sustain and fill the rooms, or get pretty close to filling the rooms because of that healthy season. So we don't see any issues at all," Stacie Granum says, executive vice-president of sales and marketing at Visit Rapid City.
Visit Rapid City reports through May, the city collected 376 thousand dollars in BBB taxes, or Bed, Board, and Booze tax, which is a 3.5 percent increase from the same time last year.
And hospitality dollars don't just impact hotels.
Granum says they have a trickle-down effect.
"When these people come and stay in Rapid City, they're also eating in our restaurants, spending money in our retail shops and other area attractions and stopping at our gas stations," Granum adds.
The dual brand hotel Hampton Inn & Suites and Tru by Hilton opened on May 15.
While the Hampton maintains a traditional hotel style with the usual amenities, the Tru takes a different approach focusing on millennials and minimalism.
"The floors are a wood laminate rather than carpet. You've got your bed in the room, your television, and that's pretty close to about it. You don't have a lot of the usual amenities and the additional space taken up because that's not where you want to be. It's for those individuals that they're pretty much there to put their head on their pillow and call it a night," Ryan C. Harris says, director of sales at the Hampton Inn & Suites and Tru by Hilton.
Some hotels that recently closed include the Ramada and Super 8.
On the flip side, Best Western Plus opened in the spring.