Regis spotlights South Dakota as vacation spot

Regis spotlights South Dakota as vacation spot Four representatives from South Dakota attended the Live with Regis and Kelly show in New York City last week, to promote the state as a vacation destination.

Mike Pflaum, chief ranger for Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Fred Tully, development director for Crazy Horse Memorial, and Lee Harstad, media relations manager, and Patricia Van Gerpen, Acting cabinet secretary � both with the South Dakota Department of Tourism � were part of the studio audience at the show.

They were in New York for a media event, hosted by tourism offices in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota, along with Xanterra Resort Company, which manages concessions at Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

The South Dakota delegation created friendships with the Live staff during planning for the show's broadcast on location at Mount Rushmore in September, 1998. The four met with Regis Philbin and his staff members following the show on March 6. The visit resulted in air time on March 7 for photographs of Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse, as well as a shot of Pflaum in the studio audience.

Regis also proudly displayed a Notre Dame memento he received from Ruth Ziolkowski of Crazy Horse Memorial, delivered to him by Tully. Both Philbin and Ziolkowski are Notre Dame fans.

During the March 7 show, Philbin said, "Mount Rushmore had a great tourism season this year, with the patriotism theme. I hope it keeps going. We really enjoyed our stay out there." The Regis show is broadcast throughout the United States and Canada to millions of households, topping all daytime talk shows with tremendous viewership among all key women demographics.

South Dakota was in the spotlight the evening of March 6, during the media event hosted by the three states and Xanterra at ABC Time Square Studios. Media representatives from 30 publications and travel Web sites met with the delegates to gather information on stories being planned or get ideas for new vacation destination stories. Publications represented included the New York Times, New York Daily News, Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic Adventure, Working Mother and Woman's Day.

"We made some terrific contacts, and planted ideas for stories with these representatives. Many are interested in coming to the state to research story leads as a result of our visit," said Van Gerpen.

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