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Tourism Businesses Get More Socialist Subsidies from South Dakota

Governor Kristi Noem pours on more socialism to prop up South Dakota’s apparently weak industries, this time with handouts to help tourism businesses do some last-minute advertising to impulse travelers:

Gov. Kristi Noem announced the creation of a $200,000 grant program for tourism businesses Wednesday at Reptile Gardens in the Black Hills.

Noem cited industry data indicating 91% of this summer’s travelers already have their trips planned. She wants the grant money to help South Dakota businesses target the remaining 9% of travelers.

“We want to make sure those that have a change in plans or haven’t decided yet, that they decide to come and visit us,” Noem said.

…Department Secretary Jim Hagen said he hopes to have the new program ready for applications by early July.

The department wants to pad the marketing budgets of tour operators, tourist attractions, festivals, fairs, and convention and visitor bureaus, along with other related businesses and entities. Hagen said most grants will range from $500 to $10,000 [Seth Tupper, “New State Grant Program Aims to Lure Last-Minute Summer Tourists,” South Dakota Searchlight, 2023.05.10].

If those procrastinating tourists produce returns on advertising investment, you’d think tourism businesses would be able to bear the costs of that advertising all by themselves. If certain tourism businesses providing sufficiently attractive lodging and entertainment to support a decent advertising budget, should government really be intervening in the decision of the free market?

Perhaps applicants can boost their chances of winning the $10K grants by including pictures of Kristi riding her horse and shouting Freedom! in their proposed ads.

9 Comments

  1. John 2023-05-11

    Let’s call this socialism for the well-off what it is — it’s a selective tax rebate.
    Follow the money. What is the chance that a recipient was on the donor role for Noem’s campaign? Bueller? Bueller?

    By all means, socialize business costs, while privatizing business profits.

  2. All Mammal 2023-05-11

    All the ads and grants in the state still don’t address the crappy customer service in the Hills. Deadwood treats their guests like redheaded step-children. Our service industry needs to learn basic hospitality. You would think with all the help they get handed to them, our hospitality industry would be up to par with Vegas. Yet, asking a question over the phone or ordering a drink are not pleasant experiences for many visitors.

  3. Arlo Blundt 2023-05-11

    All Mammal–We can’t do enough. There are plenty of conscientious folks in the tourism business and they generally make a living. there are plenty of shoddy, fly by night, grab it while you can operators and they leech off the industry and make little contribution. Can the Governor’s Office tell the difference. I don’t think they try.

  4. Jad 2023-05-11

    Joking. All ads must include a picture of NOem and tout her praises

  5. larry kurtz 2023-05-11

    Democratic former US Representative for New Mexico’s Second District Xochitl Torres Small is considered a shoo-in for deputy secretary of the US Department of Agriculture. She visited my home state in March and conferred a little socialism on a Wall meat processor.

  6. larry kurtz 2023-05-11

    Mr. Mowry’s principled conservatives must loathe Dusty Johnson for picking winners and losers as he stood right beside deputy designate Torres Small as those Wall Republicans accepted that handout.

  7. M 2023-05-12

    I agree with All Mammal that service is wanting. Of course, when wages are low, so is the service. Poor training and lack of work ethics leads to job hopping which is damaging to any business. Many of the service jobs are not even close to 40 hours a week so scrambling to survive is the main goal, not service.

    I wonder how many of the employees of Reptile Garden will see some of the grant money. I read somewhere that they were struggling financially.

    In this area of the state, we want hunters and boaters however we have fewer places to dine than ever before. They are understaffed so they are open fewer hours and fewer days, never prepared for holidays, tournaments, and reunions.

  8. John 2023-05-15

    Let’s socialize conservation!!
    Biden administration proposes letting conservationists apply for dirt cheap, way below market cost grazing & drilling leases.
    The nation’s beef cattle herd is the lowest in 60 years – when the U.S. population was ‘bout half of today’s. Folks are eating healthier – despite landgrant U. This proposal is HUGE for conservation. Leases are long term and a tiny fraction of market cost – due to the market meddling of western senators.
    https://apnews.com/article/public-lands-conservation-leases-biden-c96bb20ed80e2b5f459bb7afc366f651

  9. larry kurtz 2023-05-15

    Amen. Good link, John. Thanks.

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