Custer State Park is on track for its busiest tourism year

Local News

CUSTER STATE PARK, S.D. (KELO) — Summer tourism season is coming to an end. For a lot of places in the Black Hills, it was a very busy summer. And Custer State Park had one of their busiest seasons yet.

Last year visitor traffic broke records for Custer State Park. But this year is on track to be even better.

“This summer has been really good for Custer State Park in terms of visitation. Last year, we had a record year where we saw over 2 million visitors for the first time and this year has gone above and beyond that,” Kobee Stalder, Custer State Park Visitor Services, said.

Year-to-date, the Custer State Park tourism numbers are up 300,000 during this time.

Visitor Services Program Manager, Kobee Stalder, says it is an exciting time for the Park and for South Dakota Tourism.

“At the end of the day we can go back and say we did a really good job and people love coming here and you can see it by the numbers so that’s nice,” Stalder said.

Resorts, like the State Game Lodge, have been consistently booked.

“We are up about 13 percent over last year occupancy year to date and even over 2019 which was the hundredth year of the park, we are up 8 percent from the point so very strong season,” Ryan Flick, Director of Operations for Custer State Park Resorts, said.

Ryan Flick with Custer State Park resorts, says he has high expectations for the rest of the year and for 2022.

“We anticipated a busy season, and it’s definitely been that, and I think we are looking forward to another one next year,” Flick said.

Tourism season for Custer State Park is year-round. While some businesses close, the park itself remains open. The annual Buffalo Round-Up is next week.

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