RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Summer traffic at the Rapid City Regional Airport is on the rise. After a tough year in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the airport is on the route to recovery.
Not only was the month of July record-breaking for the Rapid City Regional Airport, but it was also the first time ever passenger numbers were over 50,000 in one single month.
“Which was a fantastic achievement for this airport, we’ve never hit that mark before so being able to see that coming through is just a monumental thing for our airport,” Patrick Dame, executive director, said.
Mary Kelley, a visitor from Arizona flew in on Allegiant this week.
“We’ve never been here so we thought we’d come and spend the week and do all the touristy things and go up to Deadwood and Mount Rushmore of course,” Kelley said.
Tens of thousands of people just like Kelley made their way to South Dakota for the same reason. Executive Director Patrick Dame says in the next few months things could change.
“The Delta Variant could have an impact as well, we are starting to see some cancellations of travel as a result of that but for the most part I think that people are continuing to travel strong so whether or not this will be record year, we’ll take that on a month-to-month basis,” Dame said.
But for now, passengers including Kelley and her husband hope to enjoy their stay in the Black Hills.
“I just want to do as much as we can in one week because there is a lot to do and see here,” Kelley said.
The Rapid City Regional Airport is under a federal mask mandate through January. Officials ask that if you anticipate coming to the facilities, that you have a mask on hand.