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Tourist Hot Spots Starting To Hire

April 19, 2011, 6:03 PM by Austin Hoffman

Tourist Hot Spots Starting To Hire
RAPID CITY, SD - Even though the weather may not seem like it, the summer tourism season is right around the corner.  That means many Black Hills hot spots are now looking for summer help.

The official start of the summer tourism season, Memorial Day, is more than a month away. But Reptile Gardens Human Relations Director Virginia Garrigan said they will soon be fully staffed to handle the summer load.

"This year, we're looking at probably about 15. This year, we have been lucky because, it’s lucky for us, unfortunate for the applicants, we have so many people coming back from last year," Garrigan said.

Every summer they hire a total of around 70 workers regardless of tourism numbers. But nearly all of them are returning from last year. And many of them are teachers.

"We have teachers that have worked for us for 25 years. That's just, it works our really well for them and it works our really well for us, too," Garrigan said.

At Crazy Horse, the summer hiring has also already started. But the numbers are considerably higher.

"Last year, we had 180 and that wasn't enough.  We were understaffed.  We're looking for 220, 225," Crazy Horse Memorial Executive Vice President Jadwiga Jiolkowski said.

Jiolkowski said the numbers show this year could even bring more tourism than last year, which was record for many.

"It's just a matter of making sure you can touch as many as you can to see everything that they're, that they can see here," Jiolkowski said.

And many of those helping hands may not come from very far away.

"We have a lot of students from Custer. We'd like to get some more. They're home, five miles away, to come out and work. We have a number of them that do that now," Jiolkowski said.

Now it's just a waiting game for the snow stop, the sun to come out and tourists to start showing up.

If you're interested in working at either Reptile Gardens or Crazy Horse Memorial, both are accepting applications.

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