SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — “Great Faces Great Places” is going to be around for awhile, state government’s tourism head told the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Appropriations Tuesday.
“We’ve had that slogan for 30 years. It’s not going anywhere,” said Jim Hagen, the secretary of the South Dakota Department of Tourism.
“I’m glad to hear that,” committee co-chair Republican Rep. Mike Derby said. Derby said the state was about to produce more license plates with that slogan.
The slogan discussion came the day after the Senate rejected a bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Brent Hoffman that would have changed the license plate slogan to “Under God, the People Rule” from “Great Faces Great Places.”
Hagen said “Great Faces Great Places” may not be used in all tourism advertising, marketing or promotions, but it will be used.
He’s had people sing the old jingle with “Great Faces Great Places” to him when they find out he is from South Dakota. Others refer to the slogan, he said.
“It has served us well,” Hagen said.
Opponents to changing the license plate slogan said during the Feb. 6 Senate discussion that replacing “Great Faces Great Places” on license plates could harm tourism.
South Dakota drew 14.4 million visitors in 2022, Hagen said at the Feb. 7 appropriations committee meeting. Those visitors spent $4.7 billion in the state, he said.
Hagen said at the committee meeting that while tourism works to showcase the entire state, often the icons such as Mount Rushmore, are the hook that first draws potential visitors to the state. State law says the standard license plates must bear a replica of Mount Rushmore.