National and International travelers visit the Black Hills despite travel issues and gas prices

“Deadwood is amazing. If you get a chance come and visit!”
Stores line the Historic Main Street in Deadwood, South Dakota.
Stores line the Historic Main Street in Deadwood, South Dakota.(KOTA)
Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 5:49 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - High gas prices and problems at United States airports are not keeping tourists away from South Dakota.

Monday, South Dakota’s average gas price dipped a little down to $4.55 a gallon.

According to AAA, that’s a little bit higher than the national average. However, those prices haven’t kept tourists from visiting the Black Hills.

“We figured who knows when they’ll go down if they’ll go down. So, just got to do it,” said Bruce Simpson from Nevada, Missouri.

“I’m from Pea Ridge, Arkansas and I rode my motorcycle all the way here,” said Michael Cross.

That’s about a 14-hour bike ride.

A long journey, but not as far as flying from Kazakhstan.

“It’s like 20 something hours. It’s pretty far,” said Nicole who arrived in Deadwood back in June with a J-1 Visa to learn English.

She plans on staying in the Rushmore state through the rest of the summer.

“I like everything about Deadwood. I mean it’s a very historic town and everything here has its own atmosphere, you know, so I am very glad that I came here. I really love it. America is a must-visit country,” said Nicole.

A more recent traveler to South Dakota is Harvey Gillen.

“We’re from Australia from a little town called Crystal Brook. We flew over here almost a week ago I think it was,” explained Gillen.

Gillen added that they originally flew into Denver to visit his uncle before making their way to Deadwood.

Despite recent problems with delayed or canceled flights at United States airports, Gillen’s mom said they’ve had a relatively smooth trip.

“No, we were really lucky at the airports. We got through quite easily. It’s certainly getting busier though with more people traveling, which is great. It’s nice to see everybody getting back to it, but no we’re very, very lucky we got through customs very easily. So, that made our first trip to America quite nice. Getting through all that with no problems,” she explained.

The Gillens have about a week left before they leave the states but have enjoyed their visit to South Dakota.

“No, we’re just loving the states. Everybody is so friendly, all the Americans happy to chat and apparently, they love our accents, so there you go,” Gillen laughed and continued, “Deadwood is amazing. If you get a chance come and visit. It’s awesome.”

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