Wind Cave Park Store welcomes summer travelers
The famous cave of Wind Cave National Park is currently closed to the public due to COVID-19 and a broken elevator. The Wind Cave elevator is currently being repaired and once that's fixed, the re-opening will still depend on CDC guidelines. But right next to the visitor center is the park store-- It is open and it has all the safety procedures in place to welcome travelers from all over the country. "We worked very hard with the Wind Cave National Park to make sure we create a safe visitor and staff experience," Patty Ressler, the executive Director of Black Hills Parks and Forests Association says, "So we are asking people to wear masks. If they don't have some, we have some for sales in the store."
The masks have bison designs to show off one of the famous animals of the park. And when people purchase items from the park store, a portion of the proceeds goes to fund the park education programs. There is also a bison adoption program, where the merchandise bought will help preserve the bison in the park.
Even though the store just re-opened on Wednesday, there has been more traffic than expected. "We actually were expecting about 50% of our sales from the previous year, but we ended the day with 70% so we're really happy with that," Ressler says.
The Jewel Cave Park store will re-open on June 29th. And just like the Wind Cave Park Store, there is also an adoption program for Jewel Cave. Purchases made at that store can help preserve the wildlife.