VISITATION HITS ALL-TIME HIGH AT MOUNT RUSHMORE
Mount Rushmore National Memorial visitation reached an all-time high in 2003, topping out at nearly 3 million visitors. That's an increase of 3.6 percent over the next highest year of visitation, which was 2002. Tourism officials attribute the higher numbers to marketing of the monument and region, and because of the increase in travelers driving to destinations.
For more information contact: Jim Popovich, 605-574-2523, or visit the web site www.nps.gov/moru/.
HISTORY IN THE MAKING AT CRAZY HORSE MEMORIAL
Sculptors continue work on Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota's Black Hills National Forest. The face of the Indian warrior has been completed and work now focuses on the head of the horse. The memorial is also collecting flags from all Indian nations and is developing a new laser light show to help tell history of the sculpture to visitors.
For more information contact: Robb DeWall, 605-673-4681, or visit the web site www.crazyhorse.org.
LEWIS AND CLARK: 200 YEARS LATER
The Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates will host the Oceti Sakowin Experience: Remembering and Educating Signature Event, as part of the national bicentennial commemoration of Lewis and Clark's expedition in 2004. The events begin Aug. 26. Events will focus on educating visitors to remember American Indian experiences prior, during and after the Lewis and Clark expedition. Signature Event festivities will begin at the Chamberlain-Oacoma area along the Missouri River in South Dakota and will continue through September as events spread across the state to reservations and tribal lands. Also, a newly remodeled visitor's center focusing on the Corps of Discovery will open in May at Farm Island near Pierre.
For more information contact: Maureen Droz, 605-773-3301.
[email protected], or visit the web site www.TravelSD.com.
KEVIN COSTNER'S TATANKA OPEN FOR BUSINESS
Inspired by the buffalo-hunting scene filmed in "Dances with Wolves," Kevin Costner has recreated the experience near Deadwood. Massive bronze sculptures of 14 bison and three mounted hunters are the centerpiece of the tribute to the majestic animals that once roamed the Great Plains. The bison weigh in at more than 6,000 pounds each and appear suspended in midair over a cliff. Tatanka is open seasonally.
For more information contact: Media Relations, 605-584-5678, or visit the web site www.storyofthebison.com.
DISNEY'S HIDALGO FILMS IN SOUTH DAKOTA
Portions of Walt Disney's epic adventure "Hidalgo" were filmed on South Dakota's vast plains, in the Black Hills and along the Cheyenne River. Released in early 2004, the film is based on the true story of the greatest long-distance horse race ever run.
For more information contact: Chris Hull, 605-773-3301, [email protected], or visit the web site www.FilmSD.com.
NEW MUSEUM DEDICATED TO WOUNDED KNEE
The Wounded Knee massacre in 1890 on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is a little-known part of history for many people. The Wounded Knee Museum in Wall hopes to educate visitors about the fateful event. The museum is near the world's most famous drug store, Wall Drug, and just north of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
For more information contact: Dan Draper, 605-279-2573, [email protected], or visit the web site www.woundedkneemuseum.org.
RAPID CITY CVB WINS AWARD OF MERIT
The Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau won an Award of Merit for their City Visitors Guide in the American Chamber of Commerce Executives 2003 Communications Awards competition, which drew 310 entries from 120 Chambers around the country. The Awards of Merit were given for the Rapid City Visitors Guide in the Direct Mail Piece/Brochure Category. The judge's scores determined that the piece both meets and exceeds the fundamental standards and criteria for communications excellence. One Judeo comment read, "The piece is beautifully crafted! Congratulations!" Last year the CVB received an Honorable Mention for the piece.
WALK YOUR WAY THROUGH DOWNTOWN DENVER
The Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau will offer free walking tours of downtown Denver every Thursday and Saturday at 9:45 a.m., June through September, beginning June 3, 2004.
Participants will learn many interesting facts about the Mile High City's early rough and tumble history, its mining and railroad lore, the varied architecture and the colorful men and women who were instrumental in founding Denver and Colorado. Get an outside view of the State Capitol, Trinity Methodist Church, the U.S. Mint, The Brown Palace, the 16th Street Mall, and the Daniels and Fisher clock tower.
Tours begin at the DMCVB Visitor Center, 918 16th Street Mall, between Curtis and Champa streets. An experienced tour guide will be waiting for participants. The walking tours are approximately 1 1/2 Ð 2 hours, covering 1 mile. Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress appropriately for possible weather changes. You may wish to bring bottled water.
Reservations are not required. The Visitor Information Center is open Monday- Friday from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., June - September.
For tour information call 303-892-1505.
Salt Lake City
EXPLORE THE SALT LAKE CITY REGION
From the vantage point of Salt Lake's city center, the dramatic Rocky Mountains towering over the city may seem extreme. But while the Wasatch Range does attract professional skiers, top mountain bikers, and alpinists from all over the world, there are plenty of ways the average armchair adventurer can enjoy a one-on-one experience with Salt Lake's Rockies.
The University of Utah's Red Butte Garden, 300 Wakara Way, located on Salt Lake's east side foothills, is one of the most extensive botanical gardens in the West. Paved pathways meander through lush flowerbeds to features including the children's garden, an orangerie, and the Japanese koi pond and pergola. The formal gardens are a natural complement to walking trails that stretch high into the hills surrounding the garden. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children age 17 and under. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. For more information contact 801-581-4747, or visit the web site www.redbuttegarden.org.
For a "top of the world" experience, The Tram at Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort can make even the most tentative adventurer feel like a world-class mountaineer. The 125-passenger tram climbs 2,900 feet in just ten minutes, transporting riders to the summit of 11,000-foot Hidden Peak. Visitors may choose to hike, mountain bike, navigate mountain scooters down the slope, or ride the Tram back to the Snowbird Center. Admission is $10 per person, per ride. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
For more information contact 801-933-2222, or visit the web site www.snowbird.com.
Located just south of the Utah State Capitol building, City Creek Canyon provides a quiet reprieve for hikers and cyclists just a stone's throw from downtown Salt Lake. The canyon's paved main road (with limited access to vehicles in the summer months) is especially family-friendly, especially for those with small children.
More than a dozen trailheads begin in Millcreek Canyon, located at 3800 S. Wasatch Boulevard within a 30-minute drive of more than a million people. Overuse degraded this area until the early 1990s when the Millcreek Protection and Management Program was established to improve ecosystem quality and recreational facilities. Admission into the canyon is $2.25 per car.
Every summer, motorists from around the state enjoy a pleasure only available in the warm weather months: driving up Big Cottonwood Canyon and over Guardsman Pass into Park City. The route is paved to the top of the canyon, where it changes to dirt and remains so until reaching the Park City limits. Popular stops along the way include the kids' fishing pond at Solitude Mountain Resort.
For more information contact: 801-534-1400, or visit the web site www.skisolitude.com. For lunch and a cold libation at Brighton's Molly Green's, contact 435-649-7909.
EXPLORE MINNESOTA TOURISM -- NEW NAME AND STATUS
As of July 1, 2004, the Minnesota Office of Tourism (MOT) officially became a separate department within Minnesota state government. With this change came a new name. It is now Explore Minnesota Tourism (EMT), which capitalizes on the Explore Minnesota promotional theme utilized for over two decades.
Explore Minnesota Tourism is the representative for the RMI gateway cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. This new status will increase visibility and maximize private sector involvement in promoting Minnesota as a travel destination.
For more information contact: Cheryl Offerman 651-296-7095, or visit the web site www.exploreminnesota.com.
Yellowstone - Xanterra Parks and Resorts
LEARN AND LODGE AT YELLOWSTONE
Xanterra Parks & Resorts and the non-profit Yellowstone Association Institute will offer two Lodging and Learning programs this fall.
Roosevelt Rendezvous will be offered September 10-14, September 14-18, September 18-22 and September 22-26. The program includes four nights of lodging at Roosevelt Lodge in Roughrider Cabins, three meals each day and expert instruction from the Yellowstone Association Institute.
Each day, Institute naturalists will offer a selection of field trips including wildlife-watching excursions, interpretive driving tours and natural history hikes. Each evening, an Institute naturalist or guest expert will present a special program in the Roosevelt Lodge. Rates are $640 per person for single occupancy, $530 per person for double occupancy plus tax.
The "Fall Wolf & Elk Discovery" is offered Sunday to Wednesday and Thursday to Sunday September 12 - October 3. Participants will join an institute instructor to learn about the park's dramatic marquee predator/prey relationship as well as the elk's behavior during mating season. Designed for a maximum group size of 12, the cost of the program is $547.50 for a single person and $405 per person for double occupancy plus tax.
In addition to lodging and instruction, the package includes the activities, breakfast and box lunch daily per person, in-park van transportation and optional evening programs. Reservations for these programs can be made by calling 307-344-5566 or 307-344-5518.
Xanterra Parks & Resorts operates hotels, cabins and campgrounds throughout the park and has developed wide-ranging activities and programs that have been designed specifically to provide visitors with an enjoyable and enriched experience at the world's first national park.
Reservations for accommodations and activities can be made by calling
307-344-7311 or visit the web site www.TravelYellowstone.com.