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Buffalo Roundup Big Hit with National Media

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PIERRE, S.D. – Millions of viewers across the country saw the Old West return to South Dakota during Custer State Park’s Buffalo Roundup Oct. 3. The Office of Tourism broadcast the roundup live via satellite to media nationwide. Images of wranglers on horseback and rangers in pickups herding the stampeding bison into corrals ran during nearly 170 television broadcasts Oct. 3-4, reaching an audience of more than 28 million viewers. That’s more than eight times the amount of viewers reached by last year’s satellite feed. “The satellite feed allowed us to bring unique, breath-taking images of thundering bison and South Dakota’s beautiful scenery to people across the country,” said James. D. Hagen, secretary of the Department of Tourism and State Development. “It’s an incredible benefit for the state’s visitor industry anytime we can showcase South Dakota’s attractions and travel offerings to this many people.” CNN, CNN Headline News, FOX and ABC were among the national media airing the roundup footage. Affiliate stations in Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Omaha, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Antonio, Seattle and many other American cities also used the images. In all, local affiliates in 30 states used the Office of Tourism’s satellite feed. “Custer State Park and South Dakota were all over the national news, from CNN’s ‘Inside Politics’ to ABC’s ‘World News This Morning’,” said Hagen. “The feed focused national attention on South Dakota and enabled us to hit markets more extensively than our advertising budget allows. We reached millions of potential visitors who now may consider us as a destination for their next vacation.” The satellite feed fits into the 2010 Initiative goal of doubling visitor spending to $1.2 billion by investing in promotions that focus on expanding the fall shoulder travel season. In addition to live footage of the roundup, the feed also included scenes from the pre-roundup held Oct. 2 and interviews with Gov. Mike Rounds, Custer State Park Superintendent Richard Miller and cowboy Bob Lantis.