It all started in 2015, when our team was looking for a way to showcase how truly amazing our destination is for event planners and their groups. We wanted to develop an experience that went above and beyond the typical site visit, giving planners a taste of our city and its surroundings with activities they might not otherwise experience. The Amazing Rush, inspired after the popular game show the Amazing Race, gives contestants two days of nonstop fun in what we consider the ultimate site visit. Check out a few of our favorite stops from past seasons!
Season One: Getting Up Close at Reptile Gardens
The first year of the Amazing Rush set the bar high with a line-up of truly captivating stops. It featured iconic moments at our famous area parks and monuments, but the stop that took that cake was the wildlife encounter at Reptile Gardens, home to the world’s largest collection of reptiles. Contestants competed in a series of three tasks and had to capture a photo of them accomplishing each. First, pet fluffy the baby gator. Second, feed the Giant Tortoises. And third, hold Marilyn the giant python. It was not only a fun way for contestants to explore the park but meet the parks most popular residents up close.
Season Two: Painting Art Alley
Rapid City has numerous things to do downtown. Contestants enjoyed many unique experiences like competing at the local arcade bar, Press Start, taking a ride on the Black Hills Party Pedaler, and searching for statues amongst the City of Presidents. But the highlight for this season was the teams meeting a local artist and making their mark on the walls of Art Alley, an impressive display of ever-changing local graffiti art. This task gave each team a time limit to use stencils and create their best mural. Typically, artists need to obtain a permit to add to these alley walls, but our teams received some special treatment.
Season Three: Sampling at Hay Camp Brewing Company
Season three contestants tested their skills shooting muskets, kayaked across a mountain lake, and tasted flavors from one of our local breweries that nods to Rapid City’s original name, Hay Camp. This brewery provided a flight of four beers and participants had to identify which fit the flavor profiles of smokey, toasted, citrusy, herbal, graham cracker, roasted, bitter and sour dough.
Season Four: Calcutta at Central States Fairgrounds
Did you know that South Dakota’s state sport is rodeo? Our western culture can be experienced at events throughout the year at venues like Central States Fairgrounds and The Monument. For season four, contestants got a taste of this culture by experiencing a horse drawn carriage ride and a private Calcutta at the Central States Fairgrounds. Each Amazing Rush team member drew a number that correlated with a well-known bronc rider. Teams then went behind the bucking chutes and witnessed this thrilling sport up close. The team whose rider had the best combined score took the W for this stop.
Season Five: Fly Fishing in Rapid Creek
Some of the best fly fishing in the Black Hills takes place right within Rapid City. Rapid Creek’s waters contain a healthy population of Brown Trout and there are many opportunities around the city for anglers to fish, with a license. Amazing Rush contestants got to jump in the water in a location known for its beautiful foliage near Canyon Lake Park. With a little help from Outdoor Campus – West, teams learned about fishing gear and how to set up the equipment. Teams then raced to get everything pieced together and then passed along the baton (in this case the fishing rod) to their teammate who had to showcase the perfect casting technique before completing the challenge.
Season 6 of the Amazing Rush is just getting started, but if there’s anything the past itineraries have told us, it’s bound to be the best one yet. Find out more about this competition and enter for the chance to compete!