Storms, Shutdown Hurt Tourism

Oct 11, 2013

This coffee shop in Lead found a creative way to tell customers it is ready for business. South Dakota is working to do the same in the wake of storms and the federal government shutdown. Photo by SDPB's Amy Varland.

The blizzard and government shutdown has had an huge impact on South Dakota ranchers and others struggling to recover after damage and widespread loss of livestock.
But, the bad weather and shuttering of National Parks has also been a double whammy for the state’s second largest industry--tourism.
Nort Johnson is with the South Dakota Badlands and Lakes Association.   It’s a large industry trade group in the Black Hills.   Johnson says with the closing of National Parks and the blizzard coverage in the national press--visitors are staying away.

He says it’s going to hurt the entire state economy.
“Honestly the number one and number two industries are taking major hits from Mother nature and form the government. So we’ll rebound but it’s going to be slow going for the rest of this month for sure,” says Johnson.
Johnson adds that the fall shoulder season provides an important boost visitor numbers with key events like the South Dakota Buffalo Roundup.