$2 million in spending tied to Mount Rushmore July event


KEYSTONE (AP) – South Dakota tourism officials estimate the Mount Rushmore Independence Day event last July generated $2 million in direct spending for the state's economy.

Deputy tourism director, Wanda Goodman, recently told the state Tourism Advisory Board the July 3 event also generated $22 million in advertising value for South Dakota because of media coverage.

President Donald Trump was present for the celebration in the Black Hills when attendees signed up for a ticket lottery.

Based on applications for tickets, tourism officials say 10% of the event attendees were Black Hills residents and each spent about $54 per day; 22% of those present were from other parts of South Dakota and each spent about $115 per day; and 68% of those attending the event were from out of state, with each spending about $120 per day, the Black Hills Pioneer reported.

The cost to stage the event, including $350,000 for fireworks, was about $1.5 million.

Tourism officials said Google searches for Mount Rushmore reached an all-time high and web traffic for TravelSouthDakota.com saw an increase of 872% compared to July 3-4, 2019.

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