Rapid City sees a good turnout for the 2021 tourism season

Local News

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Rapid City has seen a busy summer tourism season, especially during the month of June. For only the second time ever, Rapid City surpassed the $3 million mark in sales tax revenue for a month.

After a tough year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Murphy’s Pub did not know what to expect this summer.

“COVID is still a thing so coming into this summer, we were like, ‘Is it going to be crazy? Is it going to be the same as last year? What are we going to see?’ So when we saw the numbers that we did this summer, we were like, ‘Wow, this is great,'” Bragg said.

General Manager, Ginna Bragg says the restaurant saw better numbers this year than before the pandemic.

Co-owner of Alex Johnson Mercantile says the store also went through a tough year in 2020. But managed to come out on the other side during this tourism season.

“I mean some days we have 3 to 4-hundred people come through our little store,” Jim Galbraith said.

Dani Benne with Visit Rapid City says a lot of businesses in town experienced an influx in customers.

“Of course with the Delta variant there is some uncertainty but we’ve heard that travelers are still looking at us and wanting to come experience Rapid City and our great outdoors,” Benne said.

Benne says sales tax and hotel occupancy numbers are up compared to 2019, which in itself was a record year.

“So we just keep going up and up and we are hoping that this is just a trend that continues for future years,” Benne said.

According to the City of Rapid City, the total sales tax for the first six months of this year is nearly 23 percent higher than last year’s previous record total for the same six-month period.

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