Rapid City Stewardship in Action

Why Stewardship?

As the official destination management organization for Rapid City, South Dakota, Visit Rapid City (VRC) recognizes that its mandate is more than merely attracting visitors to the area. VRC knows that its work to optimize the visitor economy must also ensure tourism contributes to the city’s vibrancy and long-term sustainability. Providing a positive visitor experience and economic activity for local businesses is important as we ultimately serve the residents of the city and the surrounding region.

Destination Assessment Takeaways: What Stakeholders Want

Successful collaboration across the community is critical in sustainability efforts since the community is the ultimate benefactor. Stakeholder input was collected in two ways: individual interviews and two workshops. Stakeholders believe destination stewardship in Rapid City has two goals: 

  1. To preserve natural resources and access to outdoor recreation options
  2. To enhance and support the human and cultural aspects of the Rapid City region

Key Strategies

  1. Position VRC’s approach to destination management as one that strengthens the destination product and is conscious of the visitor economy’s effect on all aspects of the community. 
  2. Support place-making initiatives that enhance Rapid City, broaden the types of visitors attracted to the area, and reflect the community’s rich heritage and diverse stakeholders. 
  3. Drive higher levels of off-season visitation and visitor spending to the area to build a more stable and resilient visitor economy.

Key Imperatives

Insights and feedback from the destination assessment and stakeholder engagement identified five key imperatives which are the basis for a framework for Visit Rapid City (VRC) to accomplish its destination stewardship efforts. 

  1. Balance and distribute tourism impacts
  2. Provide tools and resources to partners
  3. Champion the need for stewardship
  4. Engage the community and residents
  5. Measure and adapt

Download the Full Plan

TaxesTotal JobsTravelersVisitor Spending

*Source: Tourism Economics 2022 Rapid City Tourism Impact Study

Stakeholder Engagement Participants

We deeply appreciate the active involvement of our stakeholders in the development of the stewardship plan. Your insights and commitment have been invaluable in shaping a more sustainable and responsible future for our organization.

Allender, Steve, former Mayor of Rapid City
Anderson, Alan, City Sustainability Committee
Anderson, Linda, Black Hills Playhouse
Anderson, Scott, Rapid City Parks & Rec
Armstrong, Laura, Rapid City Common Council
Bad Warrior Ganje, Dew, Zuya Sica Consulting/South Dakota
Native Tourism Alliance
Baltzer, Craig, The Monument
Biegler, Jeff, Rapid City Parks & Rec
Birrenkott, Cassandra, Education
Boyle, Hugh, BMS Financial Advisors
Brentlinger, Ann, SD Mines
Brockelsby, Johnny, Reptile Gardens/SD Retailers
Buntrock, Kelly, VRC Board/First Interstate Bank
Burgess, Jim, Black Hills Harley-Davidson
Calabrese, Jennifer, Black Hills Vinyl
Caldwell, Mistie, Visit Spearfish
Cook, Katelyn, VRC Board/Gunderson, Palmer,
Nelson & Ashmore
Cope, Lori, Other
Cote, Mark, City of Rapid City
Crosby, Kevin, Xanterra
Dame, Patrick, VRC Board/Rapid City Regional Airport
Dathe, Davis, Holiday Inn Express & Suites
Davidson, Paulette, Monument Health
Derby, Mike, VRC Board/Canyon Lake Resorts/SD State
Diamond, Toni, BH Center for EqualityDietrich, Jacqui, Rapid
City Arts Council/Dahl Arts Center
Dolan, Dave, Sanford Health
Doyle, Charity, One Heart
Drewes, Gary, Board of Pennington County Commissioner
Drury, Becky, SD State Legislature
Duhamel, Helene, SD State Legislature
Evans, Bill, Rapid City Common Council
Fisher, Vicki, City of Rapid City
Fleming, Katie, Black Hills Energy
Gabel, Presston, Mammoth Site of Hot Springs
Ganje, Ben, Zuya Sica Consulting
Gerlach, Carrie, Black Hills Adventure Tours
Haar, Darren, Complete Property Solutions, Elevate Chair
Hagen, Jim, Travel South Dakota
Hamburg, Liz, Black Hills Area Community Foundation
Hannon, Ria, City of Rapid City
Hermann, Joel, Banking
Houk, Katie, Chris-Bro Hospitality
Hull, Stacie, BID Board/The Rushmore Hotel & Suites
Jeffries, Ron, Central States Fair Grounds
Jensen, Debra, Mount Rushmore Road Group/BH Bagels
Johnson, Tim, VRC Board/Howard Johnson
Johnson, Chris, VRC Board/The Tinder Box
Johnson, Tom, Elevate
Jones, Laura, Elevate
Jones, Patrick, Rapid City Common Council
Jurgensen, Brad (Murdoc), The Homeslice Group (media)
Kaemingk, Adam, Senator Rounds Office
Ketel-Speas, Debbie, Mt Rushmore Society
Kelly, Kiran, Othe

Kirsch, Jamie, RCPD/Journey On/We Connect
Knox, Becky, Elevate
LaCroix, Lloyd, Board of Pennington County Commissioner
Lampert, Wade, BID Board/Best Western Ramkota
Landguth, Scott, VRC Board/Ellsworth Air Force Base
Lassaux, Kerry, Other
Lehmann, Lance, Rapid City Common Council
Lueken, Joel, SD Mines
Machacek, Bridget, Roamin’ Around
Martin, JoAnn, Pennington County
McGrath, Samantha, Elevate
Mehlhaff, Lila, City of Rapid City
Miller, Ed, Rush No More RV Resort
Montague, Lynzie, BID Board/LIV Hospitality
Nachtigall, Mitch, Elevate
Nelson, Rachel, Elevate
Nichols, Laurie, Black Hills State University
Nielsen, Diana, Mt Rushmore Society
Nordstrom, Ritchie, Rapid City Common Council
Ogaard, Chelsie, Other
Olson, Jason, US Tennis Association
Pawelski, Michelle, VRC Board/Firehouse Wine Cellars
Rankin, James, SD Mines
Ressler, Patty, Black Hills Parks & Forests Association
Rodriguez, Domico, VRC Board/Destination RC/ Main Street Sq
Rogers, Ben, Rapid City Journal
Roseland, Pat, Rapid City Common Council
Salamun, Jason, Mayor of Rapid City
Sazue, Amy, MOA/HRC
Scheitler, Jesse, VRC Board/Lost Cabin
Schlabach, Nicole, South Dakota Searchlight
Schmaltz, Josh, Ramkota Hotels
Scull, Andy, Scull Construction
Scull, Jim, Scull Construction/Scull Construction Service
Solano, Alan, John T. Vucurevich Foundation
Starkey, Nate, BMS Financial Advisors
Steffens, Logan, BID Board/Holiday Inn Rushmore Plaza
Stine, Kelsey, Vela Creative Co.
Strommen, Greg, Rapid City Common Council
Strong, Peter, Racing Magpie
Sumption, Pauline, City of Rapid City
Swigart, Nicole, Rapid City Area Schools
Tech, Dale, Rapid City Public Works
Three Stars, Eltina, Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's
Health Board
Torgerson, Jon, Black Hills Car Rentals
Tribby, Dan, VRC Board/Prairie Edge
Trading Co & Galleries
Wadsworth, Garth, Elevate
Wathen, Gwyn, VRC Board/Recreational Adventures Co
Wetovick Bily, Janet, Hill City Chamber of Commerce
Vissia, Jacob, Military
Zeller, Lysann, City Sustainability Committee