RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — More flights are taking off to Rapid City this summer which could mean more visitors to the area.
The Rapid City Airport welcomed the inaugural flight from Detroit on Saturday morning.
Just hours later, it welcomed the first return flight from Atlanta.
“With the flights to Atlanta and Detroit, these are connections to major cities and anytime we can get connected to a major metropolitan area, even with a seasonal/less than daily flight, there’s almost no limit to the amount of passengers we can gain coming to visit the Black Hills,” Patrick Dame, Executive Director of RC Airport, said.
In addition to the two non-stop flights added last weekend, there will be six more seasonal flights added this week.
“We have more seats this year for this summer travel season than we had in our 2019 record year so we do expect, at least for the summer, likely a record summer for passengers, maybe not a record year, but likely a record summer,” Dame said.
Julie Jensen with Visit Rapid City says these added flights could boost tourism.
“People from around the country can see how easy it is to get to Rapid City, we know that makes a difference in the number of people that come here,” Jensen said.
Jensen says within the first few months of 2021, occupancy rates and sales tax dollars are up 13 percent over 2019 during that time.
“When you see these kind of major cities providing service directly to a city that means big stuff for that city and it also helps local people be able to go to those destinations as well,” Jensen said.
This summer, the Detroit flight operates on Saturdays only. The direct flights to Atlanta will be daily. There will also be 8 non-stop flights added to the Rapid City Regional Airport in August for the Sturgis Rally.