SDPB's Chynna Lockett At Sturgis

Aug 10, 2018

In The Moment ... August 10, 2018 Show 398 Hour 1

What's happening at the 78th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally?  Is it a good year for local businesses and vendors?

SDPB's Chynna Lockett joins In The Moment with a live report from Sturgis.

Lee Strubinger / SDPB

Tourism industry officials are kicking off the summer season with National Tourism Week.

It’s a week of preparation for the influx of tourists expected in South Dakota. Tourism brings in almost $4 billion dollars.

However, not everyone is convinced a tourism based economy is healthy for a community.

Tourism brings in the big bucks. It’s the second largest industry in South Dakota behind agriculture. Observers say roughly 14 million visitors come to South Dakota every year, and that number is increasing.

In The Moment ... May 7, 2018 Show 331 Hour 1

As we celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week, we also take a look at the struggles of a tourism-based economy. Jennifer Sherman is Associate Professor of Sociology at Washington State University. Her research looks at the ways in which job loss, poverty, and economic strain affect families, particularly in rural U.S. communities.

She's author of the book Those who Work, Those who Don't: Poverty, Morality, and Family in Rural America.

Tourism Up Slightly From Last Year

Jan 18, 2018
Courtesy National Park Service

The South Dakota Department of Tourism is celebrating eight straight years of growth in visits to the state and dollars spent.

The department says spending increased by one percent, while visitation increased from the previous year by a tenth of a percent.

The department of tourism says the industry contributed $2.6 billion  in Gross Domestic Product to South Dakota’s economy. It’s the second largest industry in the state behind agriculture.

Secretary of Tourism, Jim Hagen, says the future of South Dakota tourism lies in some very niche markets.

In The Moment ... November 27, 2017 Show 227 Hour 1

Canadian Consul General Paul Connors is based in Minneapolis. He recently visited South Dakota to visit with Governor Dennis Daugaard. We spoke with him last week after that visit. We talked about the role of a consul general, Canada's 150th birthday, and, most importantly, the economic partnership between South Dakota farms and businesses and our neighbor to the north.

Uncertain Bounty - 2017 Drought By The Numbers

Oct 19, 2017
University of Nebraska Drought Mitigation Center

South Dakota residents are no stranger to drought.  The state’s position in the U-S and many unique landforms impact our weather—and in some years, keep the moisture away.  This year has brought extremely dry weather over most of South Dakota—with agriculture, tourism and nearly every other segment of life affected.  

Chris Laughery

In The Moment ... August 8, 2017 Show 151 Hour 1

Where should we put the state's only law school? Declining applicants, smaller classes, and concerns about life after law school are just a few reasons the University of South Dakota is taking the relocation of the Law School into consideration. While the proposed move would land the school just an hour north of Vermillion in Sioux Falls, the question resulted in a five-hour task force panel that ended in plans for the next meeting. SDPB's Jackie Hendry covered the proceedings, and she's here with highlights.

In The Moment ... May 9, 2017 Show 089 Hour 1

Break out your comic collection and your peace-tied costume weaponry. Shane Gerlach, Vice-Chairman and Talent Coordinator for SiouxperCon. It's a fan convention that celebrates Comic books, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Anime, board games, and video gaming. It's in Sioux Falls this Friday. We talk about artistry, the culture insight of comics and graphic novels, and the power of finding a place where you belong.  

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota’s Secretary of Tourism says you should take Friday off. It’s National Travel and Tourism week, and state officials are seizing the opportunity to lure people away from their desks and into the wild. They also celebrate South Dakotans who promote tourism in their everyday work. 

Workers at the South Dakota Department of Tourism have a long week promoting their industry. Secretary Jim Hagen says an expectation remains: employees should use their paid time off.

In The Moment ...  April 10, 2017 Show 068 Hour 1

Katie Ceroll is the South Dakota Game Fish and Park division director for parks. The agency has announced a “pause” in the conversations about land exchanges in the state (Spearfish Canyon / Bismark Lake). Ceroll discusses how public input influenced the decision and what comes next in the collaborative conversation.

Rounds for Senate

South Dakota could face a shortage of temporary help during the tourism season.

Last week, the department of homeland security announced that H-2B visas had run out.

Each fiscal year, 33,000 visas are granted for temporary immigrant workers who perform seasonal work.

US Senator Mike Rounds says running out of the visas impacts South Dakota because of the state’s low unemployment rate…

In The Moment...January 12 2017 Show 009 Hr 2

Guests: David Gilbertson, SD Supreme Court Chief Justice; Jim Hagen, SD Secretary of Tourism; SDPB's Nate Wek, talks about Detroit Lions running back Zach Zenner; Mat Hames, producer/director of What Was Ours; Jordan Dresser, co-producer of What Was Ours

The Statehouse Podcast for December 7th, 2016 incudes excerpts and reaction following Governor Dennis Daugaards FY18 Budget Address.

Earl Brockelsby

This week marks the 100th anniversary of National Parks. We’re kicking off a series of segments on National Parks with the story of a single Badlands cedar tree, loved by one family for generations.

This cedar sits on a point surrounded by steep cliffs in the Badlands National Park.    It resembles a Japanese bonsai. It’s gnarled, twisted, and bent by the relentless wind.

State Parks Plan For An Eventful Weekend

Jun 27, 2016

If you're planning a camping road trip over the 4th of July you are not alone.   Officials are predicting record travel this holiday weekend and reservations at state park campgrounds are already full. Lynn Spomer is with South Dakota Game Fish and Parks. She says holiday weekends usually fill up early. She encourages visitors to still enjoy all of the parks’ activities and events beyond camping.

National Parks Celebrate Economic Success

Jun 16, 2016

National parks have a positive impact on the nation’s economy. The National Park Service is celebrating its centennial year and reports the parks contribute $300-billion  to the national economy and support nearly 2 million jobs.

Sally Jewell is the Secretary of the Interior. She says in her department’s annual economic report, public lands and waters also support state and local economies and create improved quality of life.


Lori Walsh with Gregg Laskoski, Senior Petroleum Analyst for Laskoski returns to Dakota Midday to discuss the driving outlook and gas prices for South Dakota as we kick off the season of tourism and road trips. He’ll also discuss expectations for beyond the summer months and about mobile services available to consumers. To access an app for South Dakota gas prices, you can go to

The Mickelson Trail cuts through the middle of the Black Hills. But it doesn’t connect to Mount Rushmore.

A new non-motorized path could change this. The Forest Service is taking public comments on the proposed Rushmore Connector Trail.

The path would zig-zag across national forest land, starting at Hill City and eventually ending at the Mount Rushmore parking lot.  

Officials say SD Game, Fish & Parks applied for a permit to construct the roughly 16 mile trail about three years ago.  

605 Day Celebrates South Dakota Pride

May 31, 2016

South Dakotan’s share the same area code. 6-0-5 is used by every South Dakotan from Sioux Falls to Spearfish.

It’s turns out that June 5th… is 6-0-5 day… and state officials think this is a great time to celebrate what it means to be South Dakotan.   

South Dakota is one of twelve states that have one area code for all residents. The number coincidentally

  matches the date of June 5th.

Katelyn Richter is with state Department of Tourism.  She says there are many reasons to celebrate being a South Dakota citizen. 

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakotans list agriculture as the number one driver of economic development. That’s according to a recent survey that polled people nationally and gathered data in three separate states. Some people’s perceptions of the economy don’t jibe directly with information from businesses. 

A Wells Fargo and USA Today survey polled South Dakotans to find out which sectors they think contribute to a healthy economy. The top responses in order were agriculture, health care, education, construction, and retail.

Report Shows Nearly Flat Growth In Tourism Sales

May 4, 2016

One report shows growth in tourism sales tax revenue is not as robust as some might like. Tourism is the state’s second largest industry. Events like the Sturgis Rally are key for many business who rely on visitor spending. 

But a report from the Black Hills Knowledge Network shows revenue from taxable tourism sales slowed in 2015 after years of significant growth. 

Can South Dakota have a healthy tourism season if the forest appears unhealthy to visitors?

Dr. Ignatious Cahyanto joins Dakota Midday to discuss the latest research on the impact of the pine beetle infestation on the tourism business in South Dakota.

Dr. Cahyanto is assistant professor of tourism and hospitality at Black Hills State University.

Art Alley Moves To Permit System

Mar 23, 2016

Rapid City’s Art Alley is known as a place of free form expression.  Graffiti artists are allowed to paint on the walls of the alley between 6th and 7th streets in the middle of downtown.

But some building owners in the alley have complained and some even called for the alley to be closed to altogether.  In a compromise a new permit system is being set up for artists who want to show off their work in the alley.


Tourists Spend Record Amount In SD In 2015

Jan 22, 2016
National Park Service

2015 was a record breaking year for South Dakota tourism. The industry saw all time highs in visitor spending and economic growth. Tourists spent nearly four billion dollars in the state, contributing more than two billion dollars in Gross Domestic Product to South Dakota’s economy.

50 Years Of Buffalo, Adrenalin, And Bullwhips

Sep 26, 2015
Rochelle Plocek / Custer State Park

The Custer State Park Buffalo Round Up is 50 years old.   Each year the park corrals its buffalo and sells off some animals to keep the heard from growing too large.   The 50th annual event delighted the huge crowd of spectators as the wranglers on horseback and park personal in vehicles drove the bison across the rolling hills and finally into a large corral.

Tourism Experts Project High Numbers For Summer

May 26, 2015

Memorial Day marks the start of the tourism season in South Dakota.

The South Dakota Department of Tourism has released numbers from 2014. Despite a slow start because of bad weather, tourism secretary Jim Hagen says overall the state’s tourism industry had a strong year with a growth of two-and-a-half percent, creating a nearly $2 billion dollar impact on the state’s economy. The statistics were released during last week’s Governor’s Conference on Tourism. Secretary Hagen joined Dakota Midday and discussed the 2o14 numbers and the "banner year" he expects for 2015.

As people travel across South Dakota, tourist attractions lure them in with such enticing things as petrified wood sculptures, animatronic cowboys,jackelopes and miniature Conestoga wagons. These attractions are sometimes dismissed as “tourist traps,” but Wall Drug, the Corn Palace, Kadoka Petrified Gardens, Reptile Gardens and other places are an iconic part of the South Dakota experience.

Watch Dakota Life Live Oct 2 - 8pm CT

Oct 2, 2014

Be a tourist with Dakota life as we climb Harney Peak, stroll around Rapid City, take a trip along US Highway 83 and stop by Wall Drug. Click here to watch it LIVE Thursday, October 2 at 8:00 pm CT  (7 MT)

Dakota life examines the people, places and history of South Dakota each month. The half-hour program travels throughout the state to strengthen our knowledge about the state and the bonds between people who live here. 

South Dakota Department of Tourism

South Dakota’s tourism secretary Jim Hagen has been named State Tourism Director of the Year by the U.S. Travel Association’s National Council of State Tourism Directors. The award was announced on Monday during the association’s educational seminar for tourism organizations in Louisville, Kentucky. Hagen was the first South Dakotan to receive the award since Susan Edwards in 1994. Hagen has served as South Daakota's Secretary of Tourism since his appointment by Governor Dennis Daugaard in 2011.