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CBS Early Show Great American Vacation Destination

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PIERRE, S.D. -- South Dakota took center stage yesterday on the CBS “Early Show” and gained national exposure as Dave Price of CBS shot on-location at Mount Rushmore National Memorial as part of  The CBS’ Great American Vacation Give-away.

Mount Rushmore was selected as a destination stop for CBS and Price as a part of the Great American Vacation series this summer. On the show, Price announced Pierre resident, Guy DiBenedetto, as the winner of a Caribbean vacation package.

Also on the show, were segments featuring Wall Drug, the Badlands, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, as well as traditional Native American dancers, singers and drummers.

"It's terrific to see national attention focused on a place we have always known is one of the most beautiful in America," said Billie Jo Waara, director, South Dakota Office of Tourism. "South Dakota and Mount Rushmore deserve to be on every family’s radar."

Mount Rushmore, often called the "Shrine of Democracy," garners nearly 3 million visitors each year. The vision of sculptor Gutzon Borglum, the granite sculpture took nearly 14 years to complete.

Other Great American Vacation stops include Aspen, Colo.; Savannah, Ga; Key West, Fla; Niagara Falls, N.Y. and more.

The South Dakota Office of Tourism, the Black Hills, Badlands & Lakes Association, KELO-TV and  Rushmore Express teamed up to give away a Mount Rushmore Vacation.  The Mount Rushmore Vacation Getaway includes: gift certificate for lodging in a luxury suite for up to four adults at the Rushmore Express in Keystone, an “Official Guest Certificate” universal attraction pass for up to four adults and up to four VIP tickets and a free parking pass for the Independence Day Celebration on July 3, 2008.  The winner of the Mount Rushmore Vacation Getaway was Tina Gramkow of Avon, S.D.

“Working with our travel partners to give away a vacation is an incredible opportunity to highlight our state,” said Waara.  “The vacation giveaway will entice people to add South Dakota to their travel plans.”

To view The Early Show segment, go to and click on the Early Show page.

The efforts of the South Dakota Office of Tourism are part of Goal 1 of the 2010 Initiative to double visitor spending in South Dakota.  The Office of Tourism serves under the direction of Richard Benda, Secretary of the Department of Tourism and State Development.