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Two new rule changes were approved by the South Dakota Commission, according to the Black Hills Pioneer. One rule pertains to the notification of the legal age to gamble while the other concerns policies involving individuals under the age of 21 in casinos.

Gambling establishments must now prominently display the legal age required to gamble. The signs must be permanently displayed at the front of the gaming establishment. Commissioner Tim Holland urged gaming establishments to err on the side of caution in regard to placement of additional signage.

To read more news about gambling in the Black Hills, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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After a strong showing in January 2018, gambling numbers in Deadwood declined in February 2018, according to the Black Hills Pioneer. South Dakota Commission on Gaming data indicates that slot machine gambling dropped by 6% while table games fell by 12%, resulting in an overall 7% decline for the month of February.

While gaming revenues in Deadwood were down, hotel occupancy was up by 1% when compared to the same time last year. According to the Deadwood City Finance Office, the city’s hotels had an occupancy rate of 38% in February 2018, or about 564 more occupied rooms than February 2017.

To read more news about Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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In order to receive community feedback for a comprehensive plan, Deadwood officials have scheduled community visioning sessions for March 27 and 29, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The meetings are intended to help create a collective vision and goals for the city.

Deadwood has not updated its city plan since 2001. As the State of South Dakota requires communities to update their comprehensive plans at least every ten years, the city is currently out of compliance. According to Deadwood Planning and Zoning Administrator Bob Nelson, updating the comprehensive plan also helps inform future decisions for the city.  

In addition to community feedback, the comprehensive plan will include an analysis of the city’s previous, current and future conditions, a vision and goals, policies to achieve the vision and goals, and a consideration of potential development and growth for the city. The plan is slated to be complete by June 1.

To read more about Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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Adult fees for bus tours of the Mt. Moriah Cemetery in Deadwood will be increasing from $1 to $2 this year, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. A fee increase was previously implemented for Mt. Moriah visitors who chose to visit the cemetery by foot in 2016. While the fee for adults is increasing by $1, children under the age of 13 can still tour Mt. Moriah for free. Although the fee increase was approved last year, it was not officially implemented until January 1, 2018.

Several tour bus companies expressed their disapproval of the fee increase. In anticipation of the fee increase, Boot Hill Tours increased their 2017 rates and received pushback from customers as a result. Alkali Ike Tours noted that their bottom line would be impacted by the rate hike, and suggested charging children under 13 $1 to take the tour in order for the city to raise more revenue. While alternative rate hikes were suggested during the city commission meeting, the original increase of $1 per adult remained, with Commissioner Gary Todd noting the additional revenue would be used to maintain the cemetery.

To read more news from Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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The City of Deadwood recently purchased a van for its paratransit services, according to the Black Hills Pioneer. The 2017 Dodge Caravan was purchased for $24,977 alongside a city commission resolution which approved a fee schedule for paratransit ridership.

Passengers 60 years and older can receive transportation within Deadwood or from Deadwood to Lead at no cost. Trips to Spearfish and Sturgis from Deadwood are $10 per trip while trips to Rapid City will cost $15 per trip. Passengers under 60 years of age can receive transportation in Deadwood and to Lead for $2.50 per trip. Trips to Spearfish, Sturgis and Rapid City are the same cost as those listed above.

Paratransit rides originating in Deadwood, which run from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.,  require 24 hours’ advanced notice. Deadwood’s paratransit program is administered by its Transportation, Safety and Buildings Director Tom Kruzel.

For more information on Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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After a year of declining gaming revenue, the gaming handle in Deadwood was up approximately 7% in January 2018 when compared to January 2017, as reported by KOTA News. Nearly $82 million were bet on tables and slot machines last month in Deadwood, according to the South Dakota Gaming Statistics Monthly Summary.  

Hotel occupancy also increased slightly in January 2018 when compared to the same point in time last year. With the potential addition of new attractions, including new hiking trails and main street squares, Deadwood officials are hopeful for increased tourism traffic.

To read more news from Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive or community profile.

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The Deadwood City Commission recently approved nine grants for its 2018 Outside of Deadwood Grant Program, according to the Black Hills Pioneer. A total of 24 grant applications were received for the award. The selection process was made more challenging this year as the total award amount was reduced from $250,000 to $150,000.

The Mystic Preservation Alliance in Mystic, St. Lawrence O’Toole Catholic Church in Central City, and the Wetz School House in Newell were some of the recipients named in the grant. Several projects that were not funded included the Cessell Memorial Bandshell in Belle Fourche, the Valentine T. McGillicuddy House in Rapid City, and the Keystone School Museum.

The Outside of Deadwood Grant Program awards grants on a biannual basis with deadlines of January 2 and June 2 of the year for which the grant is requested. For more information on the grant, visit Deadwood’s Historic Preservation website.

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Lyft drivers picking up and dropping off passengers within Deadwood’s city limits could face a high fee, reports KOTA News. An ordinance in Deadwood allows for just five taxi companies to operate within its city limits, and Lyft is not named as one of those companies. As a result, a Lyft driver who both picks up and drops off a passenger within Deadwood city limits could face a fine up to $500. Lyft passengers are still able to request rides into Deadwood from outside of its city limits, as well as rides from Deadwood to another location.

Deadwood City Commissioner David Ruth noted that an additional taxi license would need to be added to the city ordinance in order for Lyft to provide services within Deadwood’s city limits. In nearby Rapid City, council members revised ordinances in order to allow the ride sharing service to operate.

To read more news about Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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At the request of the Executive Director of the Deadwood Gaming Association on behalf of 13 Deadwood hotel owners, the Deadwood City Commission recently approved the creation of a new business improvement district (BID). As reported by the Black Hills Pioneer, BID 8 will consist of a hotel occupancy rate proposed at $2 per rented room, per night.

The next step in formally establishing the new district is a public hearing and resolution for the consideration and approval by the Deadwood City Commission. Copies of the resolution must be made available to the businesses within BID 8. The BID process is likely to be completed by May, but until then, no taxes will be collected.

To read more news from Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive or community profile.

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In December 2017, gaming revenue in Deadwood was up 15% when compared to December 2016. According to KOTA News, while the city closed out 2017 on a positive note, 2017 as a whole was down approximately 1% from 2016.

Gaming was down by nearly 4% through June 2017.However, increased revenues through the remainder of the year reduced the potential shortfall.

Additional details on gaming revenues in Deadwood can be found on the South Dakota Department of Revenue’s website. To read more about Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile.

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The Deadwood City Commission recently granted its approval for Mayor Turbiville to enter into a contract with a company to conduct background investigations on potential employees. According to the Black Hills Pioneer, the city council approved the mayor's request to enter into a contract with the private company at its January 2 meeting.

Full-time employees will receive a more thorough background search with a total cost of $110 per search, while part-time and seasonal employees will receive a lower level background search at a cost of $44 per search. City officials are still determining the full details of each level of search, as well as the development of policies and procedures for conducting the searches.

To read more news from Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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With a petition to annex 1,020 acres from Frawley Ranches approved by the City Commission, Deadwood may soon expand past the intersection of Highway 85 and Polo Loop Road to the Frawley Ranch courtyard barns. According to the Black Hills Pioneer, the annexation would include 60 acres for outdoor activities, including soccer, baseball and walking paths.

The Deadwood City Commission will now need to work up an annexation and developer agreement. Lawrence County and state officials will also certify the petition to ensure that the annexation is in compliance with county and state law. If the annexation is in compliance with state law, the city commission will adopt a resolution to annex the acreage, bringing it under Deadwood’s jurisdiction.

To read more news from Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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Although Deadwood’s gaming revenue has largely been down in 2017, a 0.3% increase in spending across table games and slot machines occurred in November 2017 when compared to November 2016. According to the Black Hills Pioneer, table games were up 6.4% when compared to November of last year, while slot machines were down 0.1% when compared across the same timeframe.

Hotel occupancy was also slightly higher in November 2017 than November 2016. Hotels were 30.4% occupied, a 1.4% increase over November 2016. Executive Director of the Deadwood Gaming Association Mike Rodman indicated milder temperatures and events including a craft beer festival may have increased this year’s occupancy rates.

To read more news from Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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During its December 4 city commission meeting, city commissioners approved a $3.4 million budget increase, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The additional budget funds will be directed toward tax-increment financing and expenditures as well as infrastructure.

The supplemental budget includes $189,000 for debt services to the historic preservation fund, $2.6 million toward TIF #10, or TRU Hotel construction expenses, among other expenditures.

To read more about Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile or online news archive.

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Deadwood gaming numbers from October 2017 were down 1% from October 2016, according to the South Dakota Commission on Gaming. As reported by the Black Hills Pioneer, patrons to Deadwood casinos played $91.5 million on both machines and tables last month.

While overall numbers were down, table games increased by 3.5 percent last month when compared to October 2016. Slot machines were down 1.3 percent when compared to the same point in time last year.

To learn more about Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile.

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Phase one of a major facilities update for the Lead-Deadwood School District is now underway. According to the Black Hills Pioneer, the first phase includes updates to the district’s elementary and high schools, including the addition of an elevator to the high school’s English wing.

An estimated five percent of the high school is in need of masonry tuck pointing, replacement of brick, and improvements to exterior insulation, windows and doorframes. The elementary school will require similar updates, including updates to the entryway sidewalk and stairway. THe updates included in phase one of the project are anticipated to be completed in September 2018.

To learn more about education and training in Lawrence County, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile.

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Deadwood has been selected to participate in the Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire (CPAW) program, according to the Black Hills Pioneer. Deadwood is one of eight communities across the nation that will receive technical assistance in combating the costs and risks associated with wildfires.

The city will work alongside land use planners, foresters, and other specialists on a consulting basis to develop a local plan to improve wildfire policies. The value of services provided to the city is estimated between $30-40,000. The program is slated to begin in January 2018.

To read more about wildfires in the Black Hills region, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s Environment and Conservation issue hub page.

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Thursday, 02 November 2017 17:13

IN HISTORY: Deadwood Legalizes Gambling in 1989

On November 1, 1989, gambling was officially legalized in Deadwood, South Dakota. As the casinos reopened, gamblers placed approximately $145 million in bets during the first eight months legalized gambling. Although there was an early snowfall which made driving conditions difficult, Deadwood’s Main Street was filled with tourists looking to win big in the newly-opened saloons.

Gambling was legalized in Deadwood in an effort to diversify the town’s economy. The largest employer was the nearby Homestake Gold Mine, which provided a few hundred jobs to area residents. Tourism was Deadwood’s next largest economic contributor, which ebbed and flowed alongside the seasons.

Canvassers sought enough signatures from registered voters across the state to allow a state constitutional amendment to approve limited gambling in Deadwood on the November 1988 ballot. South Dakota voters approved the amendment by a wide margin. The state legislature drafted and passed the requisite legislation to approve gambling during the following legislative session early in 1989. Finally, the last step required Deadwood residents to approve gambling in a town election

Prior to the legalization in 1989, gambling had been banned in Deadwood since 1905. While many residents of the town were pleased with the ban, miners who lived in town lost gambling houses as places to relax and enjoy a drink after a long day in the mines.

To learn more about Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile.

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Following stable growth over the summer months, gaming revenue in Deadwood took a fall in September. According to the Black Hills Pioneer, gaming numbers declined by nearly two percent when compared to September 2016. However, September 2017 revenue was down nearly 12 percent when compared to September 2015.

Nearly $6.2 million in revenue was reported from table games in Deadwood, representing an increase of 8.6 percent from September 2016. However, the total slot machine handle for September 2017 of $95.2 million accounted for a 2.6 percent decline from September 2016.

For more information about Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive or community profile.

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The Deadwood City Commission is looking to supplement the Historic Preservation Revolving Loan Fund, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The commission approved the first reading of a supplemental budget ordinance in the amount of $331,000. The program has received 20 applications for historic preservation grants so far this year as well as an increase in program support in recent years, sparking the need for additional funds.

To date, historic preservation programs have expended $898,000—an amount over the originally budgeted $867,000. Year-end expenditures are currently projected at approximately $1.2 million.

To read more news from Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile.

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