HILL CITY, S.D. (KELO) — It has been a long winter in KELOLAND. From icy roads and interstate closures to major snow drifts, driving anywhere in the state was an issue at some point.
Some businesses in Hill City have had to adjust to the lack of foot traffic this winter due to the amount of snow storms.
“The weather has been so harsh this winter. But even when it blizzards and everyone else is shutdown, I still get in my jeep and plow through it all to get to town,” Cummins said.
Jewel of the West owner Stevie Cummins says more than 90 percent of her sales this winter were during her virtual shopping happy hour.
“People can go on there and schedule a virtual shopping happy hour. We like to to give that personal service where they get one on one help. It helps reduce returns and helps them have customer satisfaction right from the get go and we’ve built quite a following from it,” Cummins said.
Over at Black Hills Bistro, owner Jennifer Schmoll says regardless of the winter weather, business has been good.
“We get a lot of off-season visitors. We have made an effort this year to stay open for locals and for the visitors and then we had a lot of spring breakers. You can see them walking, it doesn’t matter if it’s snowing or sunshine,” Schmoll said.
Both Jewel of the West and Black Hills Bistro are ready for tourism season heat up in the next few months and for this winter weather to be over.
“I think we are all just like it’s time. Spring was three weeks ago, let’s move on. If we just keep thinking spring, summer will be here before we know it,” Schmoll said.
Fall and winter is called the ‘shoulder season’ for Black Hills tourism. Visitor traffic is usually a little slower during this time of year compared to spring and summer.