RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — The Rapid City Regional Airport is seeing a record breaking number of passengers in the first few months of 2023.

People were packing their bags and heading to the Rapid City Airport. Even with the numerous winter storms, the airport broke records.

“Weather always becomes a factor during the winter so we probably did have some people missing or getting cancelled flights. It always is possible that over the winter we could see better numbers if we have better weather but based on that we are happy with what we got and we hope everyone got to where they needed to go this winter,” Patrick Dame, Exec. Dir. of Rapid City Airport, said.

The first quarter was the beginning of January to the end of March of this year. Which is when the airport saw over 59,000 enplaned passengers.

Executive Director Patrick Dame says the Rapid City community is getting bigger.

“I think as we are going through and seeing some of the natural growth in the community that is more so what we see in the growth in our winter numbers so the fact that the population is growing a bit tends to be those numbers that we really show a positive increase in that,” Dame said.

Visit Rapid City says business travel has been popular with out of town visitors this year.

“Leisure travel is the main driver to our area but we are seeing the business travel gaining momentum. It was really slow moving after the pandemic but we are seeing that gaining momentum which is a positive thing for year-round travel,” Stacie Granum, Chief Strategy Officer, said.

Whether it’s visitors coming to town or Rapid City residents getting out of town, the regional airport continues to break records.

The Rapid City Airport Executive Director urges people to book flights early if you plan to travel this summer. He expects seats to fill up fast.