BH Tourism Index: -2.91% | Black Hills & Badlands - South Dakota

BH Tourism Index: -2.91%

(605) 355-3600


Our last report indicated a drop in the Black Hills Tourism Index when August numbers solidified what many had already assumed…with this year’s smaller Rally turnout, we weren’t quite at the same level we were at in the same time frame last year.

But with another month of stats in the mix, we’re happy to see the Index rebound slightly from -3.83% to -2.91%. This behavior correlates with the general sentiments we’ve been receiving from our members—September & October were good months for business. When area tourism would otherwise drop off, favorable weather and added marketing efforts certainly contributed to keeping the visitors coming well into the fall season.

The centennial celebration of the National Park Service has had a positive effect on park visits throughout the last few months, too. In October alone, Mount Rushmore saw over 9,000 more visitors than last year, equally a 7.8% increase in traffic. Similarly, Wind Cave welcomed over 4,000 more visitors last month than October 2015. Jewel Cave witnessed a significant jump in visitation, up 54.8% over October 2015 numbers. Devils Tower also felt the positive effects with a 15.9% increase in October visits. At the time of this report, both Badlands and Minuteman Missile had yet to report their October traffic.

Looking at numbers through September, the Deadwood Gaming Handle was down 10.2%, meanwhile, both the Black Hills Hotel Occupancy & Revenue rates were both up, 3.3% and 6.9%, respectively. Tourism Taxable Sales for counties in western South Dakota were down 16% for the month of September but held flat for October.

For more information on this month’s BH Tourism Index, please contact BH&B's Communications Director, Alicia Boe, by emailing or calling (605) 355-3600.