Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

Monday, 30 April 2018 16:25

Deadwood Gaming Numbers Dip 5% in March

When compared to March 2017, gaming revenue in Deadwood declined by 5% in March 2018, as reported by the Black Hills Pioneer. A total of $89.3 million was played by patrons to Deadwood’s casinos in March, generating approximately $8.3 million in taxable revenue. Of the total revenue, about $750,000 was collected as state tax.

While gaming revenue was down in March, hotel stays increased by 3% when compared to the same time last year. Occupancy rates for the city’s hotels was 41.6%, up from 38.6% in March 2017. However, Deadwood was still well below the national occupancy rate of 68.5%.

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

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The Lawrence County Commission is seeking to update its comprehensive plan with the help of the Black Hills Council of Local Governments, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. Lawrence County’s last comprehensive plan was completed in 2005 based on information from 1997, according to Lawrence County Commissioner Brandon Flanagan.

Commissioners hope to place emphasis on resident engagement in this iteration of comprehensive planning. Ali DeMersseman, with the Black Hills Council of Local Governments, stated that involving residents is a key aspect of the process used by her organization. Community engagement for such a document includes surveys and stakeholder meetings.

Other areas of concern commissioners hoped to include in the upcoming document were retail trade information, the Highway 85 corridor, and taking comprehensive plans from cities within the county into consideration. The county hopes to begin the planning process in late 2019 with a completion time 12-18 months thereafter.

To read more news from Lawrence County, 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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On March 21, 1998, a landslide impacting the Homestake Gold Mine’s open cut area temporarily halted operations. By April, underground mining was once again safe. However, the workforce at the mind was reduced from 850 to just 380 employees and gold production was reduced from 400,000 ounces to approximately 180,000 ounces per year.

Just three years thereafter, officials announced that the Homestake Mine would permanently close. Larry Mann, the mine’s spokesman, stated that despite management’s best efforts, coupled with significant downsizing in 1998, the mine’s corporate officials believed there was no scenario in which the mine could be as productive as it had once been. Coupled with the falling price of gold, stockholders could not expect adequate returns on their investments in the mine.

When shutdown was complete, the remaining buildings of the Homestake Mine stood vacant. Some time later, talks of transforming the former mine into an underground research laboratory arose. The National Science Foundation became interested in the mine because the deep tunnels are an ideal location to study elusive particles called neutrinos and dark matter. After a large donation of $70 million by T. Denny Sanford in 2006, the site was selected to become a  Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL).

After years of delicate construction, Homestake is now known as the Sanford Underground Research Facility and continues to study dark matter and neutrinos 4,850-feet underground. The lab now attracts scientists and science enthusiasts from around the world to learn the past, present, and future of the former mining goliath.

To learn more about the Homestake Gold Mine, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s digital history archive. Learn more about the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory at the former Homestake Gold Mine at the Black Hills Knowledge Network issue hub page.

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In the month of February, Rapid City issued 166 building permits with a total valuation of $27,917,585, as reported by KOTA News. One of last month’s highest-valued permits included eight apartment buildings for Meadow Apartments on Moon Meadows Drive. The permit issued for the apartments was valued at approximately $22 million. Additional projects with high valuations included two homes valued over $300,000 as well as a grocery-pick-up addition at the LaCrosse Street Walmart.

For 2018 so far, Rapid City’s Building Services Division has issued 402 permits valued at a total of $125,483,613.

To learn more about Rapid City, 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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Governor Daugaard recently signed legislation into law which will increase the number of barrels the state’s microbreweries can produce annually. As reported by KOTA News, craft brewers in South Dakota are currently allowed to produce up to 5,000 barrels. The new limitation will be increased to 30,000 barrels and will also allow craft brewers to sell directly to bars and stores.

To read more news about the 2018 legislative session, 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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In 2017, Rapid City had the most Airbnb visitors in South Dakota, reports KOTA News. Approximately 11,500 bookings were made in Rapid City with hosts bringing in $1.2 million. Sioux Falls placed second in the state with 7,000 bookings and $445,000 in revenue for Airbnb hosts. While Lead placed fewer bookings than Sioux Falls at 4,700, its hosts out-earned Sioux Falls with $582,000 generated. Over $4 million was generated across South Dakota in 2017.

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

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