Business owners say the nice weather is their indication the tourism season will be off to an early and great start.
“With the nice weather it helped a lot,” said Bruce Uhrig, owner of The Indians in Keystone. “A lot of people from spring break and families come a little earlier because of the nice weather.”
South Dakota tourism increased 1.5% in 2011 compared to the year before and accounting for more than 18.7% of all revenue.
“Last year was good,” said Tom Lange, manager of Reptile Gardens. “We were encouraged. We were down just a few percent compared to the year before.”
“We were close to being the same as last year just a fraction down but it was a very good year,” Uhrig said.
As for rising gas prices detouring summer travel plans at least one traveler doesn’t seem to mind.
“It’s a factor but we try to just plan for that,” Sherman said. “You know the extra cost for the gas and our car is a little bit more fuel efficient.”
Businesses owners say it may be too early to call but from the looks of it this season will be a lot like the last