Sioux Falls, SD
Pheasant season opens on Saturday and thousands of out-of-state hunters are expected for the event.
Visitors from nearly all 50 states will flock to South Dakota this weekend, and for some, it’s a decade old tradition.
"Plenty of shooting and waste lots of ammo," South Carolina resident Jeremy Crady said.
Crady just got off a two hour flight from Charleston, South Carolina to enjoy opening weekend of pheasant season. It's the tenth year he's made the trip for what's become a family tradition.
"My father-in-law, he's been coming for 25-26 years and we started coming with them and it's just a good time with family and friends and good hunting," Crady said.
The Sioux Falls Airport is the gateway for thousands of people to come to South Dakota and with them, they bring their wallets.
Whether it’s hunting gear or other memorabilia, out-of-state pheasant hunters spend lots of money while they're here.
"For Sioux Falls alone, I know it's several million dollars because they rent tons of cars if they've flow in. You can talk with our grocery stores. The bread shelves, the cold meat shelves and the chips all wipe out because the hunters are buying them," Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Teri Schmidt said.
Schmidt says the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau welcomes hunters as they get off the planes to show them South Dakota hospitality, but she says her ulterior motive is really to drive future economic development for the city and state.
"When these people come in they might like it here and they say I'm going to bring my family back here to vacation or you know, this might be a great place to relocate a business or expand my business. So the impact is huge," Schmidt said.
To help promote pheasant season and bring in more out-of-state hunters, the CVB is offering an online promotion on its website where hunters register for a 2013 hunting and travel package as a grand prize.