RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Businesses in western KELOLAND are preparing for a busy summer tourism season. In fact, some visitors are already checking out Rapid City.
It was a busy day for Reptile Gardens in Rapid City as visitors, including Melissa and Andy Maendl from Montana, came to visit.
“I remember coming here as a kid when our family took a vacation and just wanted to come back and revisit,” Melissa Maendl said.
The western South Dakota tourist attraction is bracing for a strong summer season.
“This spring has probably been the busiest spring we’ve ever had in the history of Reptile Gardens. Considering this is the 84th year, that really says something,” Brockelsby said.
Prairie Edge is located right here in downtown Rapid City. General Manager Dan Tribby says they’ve also been experiencing a very busy spring.
“The wave is already hitting and it’s been a really good first four months of the year and we’re very pleased about the way it’s going,” Tribby said.
Tribby says he is still looking to hire a few more people before the season really starts to ramp up. However, he is ready to get the summer started to make up for last year.
“We just feel like it’s almost a rebirth for us. 2020 will be behind us and I really think we will have a magnificent year,” Tribby said.
Earlier this month, Governor Kristi Noem announced plans for a nationwide campaign to bring more hospitality workers to the state to deal with a workforce shortage in the tourism industry.