2024 Marks the 150th Anniversary of the Black Hills Gold Rush

New Lodging, Third-Largest Powwow and More Await in Rapid City

The gateway to the Black Hills, Rapid City, South Dakota, is commemorating several anniversaries in 2024 – including the Black Hills Gold Rush – as well as welcoming new offerings, remodels and expansions. 

“While it’s been an iconic destination in the Midwest for years, Rapid City is continuing to evolve and grow, while staying true to its roots,” said Brook Kaufman, CEO of Visit Rapid City. “From monumental anniversaries to signature events like the Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo and the Black Hills Powwow, Rapid City is a must-visit destination in 2024.” 

Here is what’s happening in 2024: 

  • 150th Anniversary of the Black Hills Gold Rush. With the discovery of gold in the Black Hills in 1874, the landscape of the land changed, with mining camps being established and thousands of people heading to western South Dakota to make their fortune. As part of the gold rush, several towns came to fruition, including Custer, Hill City and Deadwood. Today’s visitors to Rapid City can learn about the gold rush and the impact it had on the development of the region – including how it affected the people of the Sioux Nation – with stops that include the Journey Museum & Learning Center, Black Hills Caverns, 1880 Train and Homestake Gold Mine. 
  • 2024 Anniversaries. In addition to the gold rush, 2024 marks the 40th anniversary of Black Hills Balloons, 20 years of Hansen-Larsen Memorial Park and the 10th anniversary of Skyline Wilderness Area. 
  • Rapid City, South Dakota, Named Winner in Good Housekeeping’s 2024 Family Travel Awards. Good Housekeeping named Rapid City a winner in their 2024 Family Travel Awards and was listed in the Experiences – Must-See Cities section. 
  • New Lodging in Rapid City. With its original location in Colorado, WeeCasa expanded its offerings to include Rapid City and opened its newest location in August 2023. With seven tiny homes on 13 acres on the edge of Rapid City, WeeCasa offers nightly rentals in neighborhood-style lodging. In addition, a new Clubhouse Hotel is set to open by October 2024, with 90 guest rooms and an attached restaurant. 
  • Jimmy Carter Gets a Refresh + New Audio Tour of City of Presidents. Known as the City of Presidents, Downtown Rapid City has 43 life-sized bronze statues of past American presidents. And while a self-guided walking tour exists that leads you to each of them, Visit Rapid City is launching an audio tour in early February, making it easier for visitors to learn about the history of the presidents. In addition, President Jimmy Carter was recently cleaned and refurbished, and now matches the rest of the presidents. 
  • Historic McGillycuddy House to Open Mid-2024. A Victorian stick-style home built in 1887, the McGillycuddy House is an important part of Rapid City’s history. Today, restorations are underway and the home is being turned into a historical landmark that will tell the story of the McGillycuddys, as well as their time in Rapid City. 
  • Rapid City Welcomes New Business. Rapid continues to welcome new businesses, including places to eat, sip and shop. Enjoy flights of beer at Last Mile Brewery, fill up at Bengal Kitchen – the first Bangladeshi ethnic restaurant in Rapid City – or enjoy food and drinks at 445 Lounge & Grill. Catch live theater at Catalyst Theater Company and shop at Blue Spruce Mercantile or Zen Hills, where you can find handmade and eco-friendly products. 
  • Dinosaur Park Renovation to be Complete in June 2024. Overlooking Rapid City, Dinosaur Park opened in 1936 to help attract visitors from Mount Rushmore to the city. During the last 12 months, Dinosaur Park has been undergoing a multi-phase renovation project, which is set to be complete in June 2024, with upgrades that include more accessible routes and site interpretation. 

Learn more about Rapid City and its offerings at VisitRapidCity.com. 

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About Visit Rapid City:
Visit Rapid City is the official marketing organization for Rapid City and promotes leisure travel, meetings and conventions, and sporting events to Rapid City and the Black Hills area. More information can be found at VisitRapidCity.com. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest or discover images and content with #VisitRapidCity. 

Visit Rapid City Media Contact:              
Tia Troy