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Rapid City: Economy

Rapid City: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

Agriculture, tourism, mining, logging, professional services/retail, and Ellsworth Air Force Base are the major factors in Rapid City's economy. The area is also known for the manufacture of high-value, low-bulk items that can be swiftly shipped to market or assembly centers in other parts of the nation.

Agriculture is a major industry in South Dakota, and Rapid City is the regional trade center for farm-ranch activity in the southwest part of the state and neighboring counties in Montana, Wyoming, and Nebraska. Cattle and sheep production dominate the agricultural scene, as well as processing and packing of meat and meat byproducts, but the cultivation of small grains is also important. Services offered to area farmers and ranchers include selling of new and used farm equipment, spare parts and repairs, and flour milling.

The health care sector is strong, employing more than 8,000 people in the Black Hills region at major health care organizations such as Rapid City Regional Hospital. Other important industrial and employment institutions include several large construction companies, rock quarries, steel fabrication firms, and trucking firms. Several light industries and services located in the city include manufacturing of computer parts, printing, Native American crafts, and headquarters for insurance companies and other businesses. Regional or headquarters facilities of many state and federal offices also operate in the city.

Centrally located in the beautiful Black Hills region, Rapid City benefits from a large annual tourist trade. Within half a day's drive of Rapid City are five of the country's most famous national park areas: Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Devil's Tower National Monument, Badlands National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, and Wind Cave National Park. The area further boasts of a variety of restaurants, several large annual events and attractions, more than 4,400 hotel/motel rooms and many modern campgrounds.

Each year the multimillion-dollar payroll for workers at Ellsworth Air Force Base, the largest employer in the state, boosts the local economy. Ellsworth was slated for closure as part of a proposal in mid-2005 to close 33 large bases and 150 smaller ones, which would have a devastating effect on the Rapid City economy; an Air Force study in 2004 estimated the base's economic impact on the state at $278 million annually.

Items and goods produced: computer components, jewelry, cement, processed foods, steel products, printing, wood products

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Companies

The city of Rapid City, along with Pennington County and the Governor's Office of Economic Development, offers a number of financial incentives to aid industry looking to establish operations in the area.

Local programs

Black Hills Vision is a regional economic development initiative that encourages tech-based employment and seeks to develop a high-tech corridor in the Rapid City area. A small business incubator, which is to be called The Black Hills Business Development Center, is a cornerstone of the Black Hills Vision; it will offer technical support and collaboration opportunities for emerging businesses. Projected to open in late 2005, the center will be located on the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Campus. The Rapid City Economic Development Partnership oversees the incubator jointly with West River Foundation. Rapid City rebates the tax increment created by investments in real property for up to 15 years. The Rapid City Economic Development Loan Fund (dba Rapid Fund) is a low-interest loan program that is focused on the development of primary jobs in the manufacturing sector. A portfolio of 14 different loans are available for business expansion, relocation, or start-up. Pennington County has a real estate tax incentive offered to new industrial or commercial structures, or new non-residential agricultural structures.

State programs

The South Dakota REDI Fund lends money at three percent interest to companies creating new jobs in the state. Designed and administered by a board of 13 business leaders, the program is known to be efficient, flexible, and responsible. The money can be used for almost any capital purchase or operating financing for which a company qualifies under standard banking guidelines. The state offers a variety of other loans, subfunds and training assistance. Federal Small Business Administration (SBA) participation loans and SBA Direct loans are also available.

Job training programs

Career counseling and customized job training are offered at the Career Learning Center. The South Dakota Workforce Development Program extends training opportunities in conjunction with approved educational institutions; new employee skills, retraining, and advancement/promotion assistance is offered.

Development Projects

In 1992, gathering energy and tax dollars after redevelopment efforts following the 1972 flood, Rapid City formed Vision 2012, a program of long-term planning for the community. More than $65 million has been spent from the fund on improvements already; projects include the Meadow-brook Golf Course, Canyon Lake Restoration, the Journey Museum, and the Rapid City Boys Club.

In April 2005, 49 new projects were recommended for funding by the city council; projects include a variety of civic improvement, municipal infrastructure and economic development projects. Among the projects is the $10.8 million Dahl Arts Center building which is to include a 457-seat theater, 3 multi-purpose spaces, 3 gallery spaces, 3 art education classrooms, a gift shop, kitchen, administration wing, and art reference library; groundbreaking for the center is scheduled in September 2005. Other important proposed projects include a Children's Care Rehab and Development Center, which would service youth on an outpatient basis; Rushmore Civic Plaza Addition, a $14.5 million project that would add seating for sporting events; and an emergency Response Training Center. The Rapid City Regional Airport is undergoing facilities renovations and repairs in 2004/2005.

Economic Development Information: Rapid City Area Economic Development Partnership, 444 Mt. Rushmore Road N., PO Box 747, Rapid City, SD 57701; telephone (605)343-1880; toll free (800)956-0377; fax (605)343-1916; email info@rapiddevelopment.com

Commercial Shipping

Rapid City is served by the Dakota, Minnesota, & Eastern Railroad and offers piggyback service with daily switching service. Nearly 30 motor freight carriers, as well as terminals, are located in Rapid City. Parcel service is provided by United Parcel Service.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

Rapid City boasts of a young and eager workforce that is well educated. Ninety-six percent of residents have a high school diploma; 20 percent have a bachelors degree.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Rapid City metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual averages.

Size of non-agricultural labor force: 58,800

Number of workers employed in . . .

mining and construction: 4,600

manufacturing: 3,900

trades, transportation and utilities: 12,400

information: 1,100

financial activities: 3,200

professional and business services: 4,100

educational and health services: 9,000

leisure and hospitality: 8,000

other services: 2,700

government: 9,700

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $13.36

Unemployment rate: 4% (February 2005)

Largest employers Number of employees
Ellsworth Air Force Base 3,943
Rapid City Regional Hospital 3,000
Rapid City School District 1,593
Federal Government 1,435
City of Rapid City (includes seasonal workers) 1,375
State of South Dakota 1,049
Walmart/Sams Club 965

Cost of Living

Low utility costs and no personal income taxes are factors that help Rapid City offer a reasonable cost of living. The 2003 average sales price for a single family home was $136,707; the average rental for a two-bedroom apartment was $639.

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the Rapid City area.

2004 ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported

2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported

State income tax rate: None

State sales tax rate: 4.0%

Local income tax rate: None

Local sales tax rate: 2.0%

Property tax rate: $30.1323 per $1,000; assessed at 85 percent (2000)

Economic Information: Rapid City Area Economic Development Partnership, 444 Mt. Rushmore Road N., PO Box 747, Rapid City, SD 57701; telephone (605)343-1880; toll free (800)956-0377; fax (605)343-1916; email info@rapiddevelopment.com

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Rapid City: Recreation

Rapid City: Recreation

Sightseeing

The Black Hills Visitor Information Center has maps and brochures and is a good first stop on a trip to Rapid City. Visitors may wish to begin with a trip to Storybook Island, an 11-acre park with free attractions for youngsters. It is filled with dozens of larger-than-life sets that depict children's nursery rhymes and tales, including Yogi Bear's picnic basket and the Crooked Man's house. The unique Stavkirk Chapel, an exact replica of the famous 830-year-old Borgund Church in Norway, features intricate woodcarvings, strange dragon heads, and ingenious pegged construction. Fossil skeletons of giant, prehistoric marine reptiles command attention at the Museum of Geology at the South Dakota Schools of Mines and Technology. The museum also houses the world's finest exhibits of Badlands fossils and an extensive collection of rare and beautiful rocks, gems, and minerals from the Black Hills; more than 250,000 vertebrate fossils and 6,000 minerals are housed at the museum. Seven life-size concrete replicas of monstrous prehistoric reptiles are located in the outdoor parklike setting at Dinosaur Park.

With four different major collections, the Journey Museum tells the story of the Great Plains. Displays of rock formations, fossilized remains and documentation of significant scientific discoveries are found at The Museum of Geology. Collections from thousands of archeological sites can be examined at the Archeological Research Center. The Black Hills region's frontier past can be relived at the Minnilusa Pioneer Museum, which focuses on historic events and people. The Sioux Indian Museum celebrates Native Americans of the present and past through their artistry and achievements.

Discovered in 1900, Jewel Cave, a national monument, contains more than 132 miles of surveyed passageways in an underground labyrinth that offers rare and unusual calcite crystal formations. Wind Cave, the first cave designated as part of the National Parks system, provides more than 116 miles of mapped corridors and halls, making it the fifth-longest cave in the world. With its jagged cliffs, deep canyons, flat-topped buttes, and rich fossils, Badlands National Park is one of the most stunning geological displays on earth. Crazy Horse Memorial, a still-in-progress mountain carving of the great Indian hero, is open for visitors. Reptile Gardens, founded in 1937, gives spectators the opportunity to observe colorful birds and reptiles surrounded by thousands of orchids and other tropical and desert plants in its Skydome. The gardens also feature miniature horses and donkeys; the Bird Program featuring hawks, owls, eagles, parrots, and other birds; an alligator and crocodile show; Bewitched Village featuring trained animals; and the Snake Program. Bear Country U.S.A., a 250-acre drive-through wildlife park, features the world's largest collection of black bears plus a large and varied collection of North American wildlife including grizzly bears, timber wolves, mountain lions, buffalo, moose, elk, and more. Visitors are treated to the recently expanded visitor center, which allows visitors to step out of their vehicles and see young and smaller animals up close. The Air and Space Museum at the entrance of Ellsworth Air Force Base features 25 vintage aircraft. Several tour companies offer guided tours to some of the memorable sites featured in the award-winning film Dances With Wolves.

Arts and Culture

Dahl Fine Arts Center features exhibits of paintings and sculptures by local artists, especially local Native American artists. A 180-foot-long oil-on-canvas mural depicts 200 years of American History. The museum, which will move into a new facility in 2007, offers tours and family events. The Black Hills Community Theatre, Inc., the city's only community theater, is based in the Dahl Center's 170-seat auditorium. The nearby Black Hills Playhouse at Custer State Park is a professional theater and training center. Two puppet theaters entertain the community. Black Hills Dance Theatre, Inc. engages a variety of regionally and nationally recognized dance companies. The Black Hills Symphony Orchestra's 80 members offer educational outreach programs in the community as well as perform a variety of concerts. Other community arts attractions include the Blacks Hills Chamber Music Society, Rapid City Municipal band, the Dakota Voices, and other musical groups.

Festivals and Holidays

More than 25 years of music and family entertainment is the focus of The Black Hills Bluegrass Music Festival, which is held in June. July's Black Hills Heritage celebrates the cultural heritage of the Black Hills. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in nearby Sturgis attracts more than 500,000 visitors each August for concerts, food, vendors and demo and scenic motorcycle rides. The Central States Fair, a week-long extravaganza that entertains crowds from all over the region, also occurs in August. September brings fall color to the hills and a treat to the tastebuds at the nearby Taste of Spearfish celebration. October's Buffalo Roundup, where the visitor is invited to 'feel the thunder' of 1,500 herded buffalo, is held annually at nearby Custer State Park. Rodeo fun is the attraction at January's Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo. In addition, Indian pow wows are scheduled at various times throughout the state.

Sports for the Spectator

The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Arena plays host to the Indoor Football League's Black Hills Red Dogs. Rapid City's Annual Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo in late January-early February, draws large crowds.

Sports for the Participant

Rapid City has 26 parks, playgrounds and special outdoor public facilities spanning 1,500 acres of park land inside the city limits. The largest, Sioux Park, offers 210 acres. A 13.5-mile bicycle path spans the town, which boasts 17 golf courses, 36 tennis courts, 16 horseshoe courts, 10 racquet-ball courts, 3 outdoor swimming pools, an indoor aquatic facility, 9 ball field complexes, 8 soccer facilities, an ice arena, 1 hockey rink, and 2 frisbee golf courses.

Outdoor lovers enjoy two ski areas, 400 miles of trails and nature walks, 14 mountain lakes and 300 miles of streams and reservoirs; blue ribbon trout fishing and many types of hunting are also available.

Shopping and Dining

Since its inception, Rapid City has been a commercial center for miners, ranchers, the military, and tourists. Downtown Rapid City, with more than 400 businesses, is a diverse mix of retail stores, financial institutions, service businesses, and lodging. Anchored by JCPenney, Sears, Herbergers and Target, the Rushmore Mall has a total of 120 retail stores. Other local shopping areas include Baken Park, the city's first shopping center; Eastside Family Thrift Shopping Center; Northgate Shopping Center; Haines Station; and the Sturgis Road shopping area. A number of Rapid City shops specialize in fine hand-crafted paintings, pottery, jewelry, and museum quality reproductions created by the Sioux who live in the region. Manufacturers and retailers of the areas famous Black Hills Gold abound; many offer tours as well as retail stores.

Many fine restaurants are located throughout the city, featuring sizzling steaks cut from prime South Dakota beef.

Visitor Information: Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 747, Rapid City, SD 57709; telephone (605)718-8484; toll-free (800)487-3223; fax (605)348-9217; email tourist@rapidcitycvb.com. South Dakota Department of Tourism, 711 Wells Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501; toll-free (800)773-3301; email sdinfo@state.sd.us.

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Rapid City: History

Rapid City: History

New City Becomes Regional Trade Center

The discovery of gold in 1874 brought an influx of settlers into the Black Hills region of South Dakota. Rapid City was founded in 1876 by a group of disappointed miners, who promoted their new city as the "Gateway to the Black Hills." John Brennan and Samuel Scott, with a small group of men, laid out the site of the present Rapid City, which was named for the spring-fed Rapid Creek that flows through it. A square mile was measured off and the six blocks in the center were designated as a business section. Committees were appointed to bring in prospective merchants and their families to locate in the new settlement. Although it began as a hay camp, the city soon began selling supplies to miners and pioneers. By 1900 Rapid City had survived a boom and bust and was establishing itself as an important regional trade center.

Tourism and the Military Spur Economy

The invention of the automobile brought tourists to the Black Hills. Gutzon Borglum, the famous sculptor, began work on Mount Rushmore in 1927, and his son, Lincoln Borglum continued the carving of the presidents' faces in rock following his father's death. The massive sculpture was completed in 1938. Although tourism sustained the city throughout the Great Depression of the 1930s, the gas rationing of World War II had a devastating effect on the tourist industry in the town.

The city benefited greatly from the opening of Ellsworth Air Force Base, an Army Air Corps base. As a result, the population of the area nearly doubled between 1940 and 1948, from almost 14,000 to nearly 27,000 people. Military families and civilian personnel soon took every available living space in town, and mobile parks proliferated. Rapid City businesses profited from the military payroll.

Rapid City Since Mid-Century

In 1949 city officials envisioned the city as a retail and wholesale trade center for the region and designed a plan for growth that focused on a civic center, more downtown parking places, new schools, and paved streets. A construction boom continued into the 1950s. Growth slowed in the 1960s, but the worst natural disaster in Rapid City's history led to another building boom a decade later. On June 9, 1972, heavy rains caused massive flooding of the Rapid Creek. More than 200 people lost their lives and more than $100 million in property was destroyed.

The devastation of the flood and the outpouring of private donations and millions of dollars in federal aid led to the completion of one big part of the 1949 planclearing the area along the Rapid Creek and making it a public park. New homes and businesses were constructed to replace those that had been destroyed. Rushmore Plaza Civic Center and a new Central High School were built in part of the area that had been cleared. In 1978, Rushmore Mall was built, adding to the city's position as a retail shopping center.

In recent times, Rapid City has been highly rated for its manufacturing climate. A hardworking labor force and a governmental structure deeply rooted in the concept of being a partner in the success of its business community remain major assets. The city offers an extraordinary quality of life with abundant recreational activities, culture, and short workplace commutes. Recent city development efforts show a continued vision for improvement and growth in the area.

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Rapid City: Education and Research

Rapid City: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

The Rapid City School District, second largest in the state, covers 419 square miles. The district offers services to special education and academically gifted children as well as technology staff development and Indian education programs. Serving Ellsworth Air Force Base and surrounding area, the Douglas School District has 2,400 students, one preschool, three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.

The following is a summary of data regarding Rapid City's public schools as of the 20032004 school year.

Total enrollment: 12,914

Number of facilities elementary schools: 16

middle schools: 5

high schools: 3

Student/teacher ratio: 16.5:1

Teacher salaries

minimum: $25,006

maximum: $53,601

Funding per pupil: $5,648 (2001-2002)

Rapid City also has several private and parochial schools.

Colleges and Universities

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T) has long been recognized as one of the best science and engineering colleges in the county. SDSM&T, which enrolls about 2,400 students, is known for its technological expertise and innovation, as well as for its world-famous Museum of Geology. The school offers 16 bachelors, 12 masters, 3 doctoral and several co-curricular degrees. Western Dakota Technical Institute provides diplomas and Associate in Applied Science degrees in 25 career fields to more than 4,000 students; fields of study include business and construction trades, agricultural, electronics, human services, computer aided drafting, and mechanical career fields. Western Dakota Tech works closely with the local business community to provide student training programs. National American University offers a wide variety of bachelor and associate degrees in business.

Libraries and Research Centers

The Rapid City Public Library, with more than 147,000 volumes, has strong collections in business and audio-visual materials, and operates one bookmobile, a homebound service and homework help. Its South Dakota collection includes many items for historical research. The library subscribes to several hundred magazines and newspapers and houses the collection of the Rapid City Society for Genealogical Research Inc. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T), National American University, and Rapid City Regional Hospital also have libraries.

SDSM&T has been involved in providing research services for government, industry, and business for at least a century, with a primary emphasis on energy, the environment, and mineral development. They are also a regional Patent and Trademark Depository and house a 15-seat computer lab.

Public Library Information: Rapid City Public Library, 610 Quincy Street, Rapid City, SD 57701; telephone (605)394-4171; fax (605)394-6626

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Rapid City: Population Profile

Rapid City: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents

1980: 70,361

1990: 81,343

2000: 88,565

Percent change, 19902000: 8.9%

U.S. rank in 1980: 276th

U.S. rank in 1990: Not reported

U.S. rank in 2000: 222nd

City Residents

1980: 46,492

1990: 54,523

2000: 59,607

2003: 60,876

Percent change, 19902000: 8.1%

U.S. rank in 1990: 445th

U.S. rank in 2000: 472nd

Density: 1,336.7 people per square mile (2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 50,266

Black or African American: 579

American Indian and Alaska Native: 6,046

Asian: 594

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 35

Hispanic (may be of any race): 1,650

Other: 434

Percent of residents born in state: 58% (2000)

Age characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 4,169

Population 5 to 9 years old: 3,973

Population 10 to 14 years old: 4,309

Population 15 to 19 years old: 4,654

Population 22 to 24 years old: 5,009

Population 25 to 34 years old: 7,866

Population 35 to 44 years old: 9,259

Population 45 to 54 years old: 7,768

Population 55 to 59 years old: 2,533

Population 60 to 64 years old: 2,179

Population 65 to 74 years old: 4,017

Population 75 to 84 years old: 2,781

Population 85 years and older: 1090

Median age: 34.8 years

Births (2003, Pennington County)

Total number: 1,424

Deaths (2003, Pennington County)

Total number: 810 (of which, 5 were infants under the age of 1 year)

Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $19,445

Median household income: $35,978

Total households: 23,969

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 2,291

$10,000 to $14,999: 1,625

$15,000 to $24,999: 4,080

$25,000 to $34,999: 3,765

$35,000 to $49,999: 4,537

$50,000 to $74,999: 4,263

$75,000 to $99,999: 1,782

$100,000 to $149,999: 1,057

$150,000 to $199,999: 266

$200,000 or more: 366

Percent of families below poverty level: 9.4% (53% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 2,930

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Rapid City

Rapid City

Rapid City: Introduction
Rapid City: Geography and Climate
Rapid City: History
Rapid City: Population Profile
Rapid City: Municipal Government
Rapid City: Economy
Rapid City: Education and Research
Rapid City: Health Care
Rapid City: Recreation
Rapid City: Convention Facilities
Rapid City: Transportation
Rapid City: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1876 (incorporated 1882)

Head Official: Mayor Jim Shaw (R) (since 1999)

City Population

1980: 46,492

1990: 54,523

2000: 59,607

2003 estimate: 60,876

Percent change, 19902000: 8.1%

U.S. rank in 1990: 445th

U.S. rank in 2000: 472nd

Metropolitan Area Population

1980: 70,361

1990: 81,343

2000: 88,565

Percent change, 19902000: 8.9%

U.S. rank in 1980: 276th

U.S. rank in 1990: Not reported

U.S. rank in 2000: 327th

Area: 45 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 3,200 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 46.6° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 16.7 inches of rain; 39.1 inches of snow

Major Economic Sectors: Agriculture, wholesale and retail trade, services, government

Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (February 2005)

Per Capita Income: $19,445 (1999)

2004 ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported

2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 2,930

Major Colleges and Universities: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Western Dakota Technical Institute, National American University

Daily Newspaper: Rapid City Journal

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Rapid City: Transportation

Rapid City: Transportation

Approaching the City

The Rapid City Regional Airport, 9 miles east of the city, is the third most active airport in the Northern Rockies. It offers flights to and from Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Chicago, and Denver via four carriers. Two fixed-base operators provide charter service. Charter bus service is provided by Rapid City Charter Bus, Deadwood Express, Jack Rabbit Lines, Stagecoach West, and Gray Line of the Black Hills. Dakota Minnesota and Eastern Railroad offers transport to the east, south and west.

Several wide, modern highways intersect in the city including Interstate 90, which runs east and west; State Highway 79, which runs north and south is being expanded to a four-lane highway; U.S. Highway 14, which cuts through the city on an angle running northwest to southeast; and U.S. Highway 16, which approaches the city center from the south. Six highways lead from the north, west, and south into the canyons and mountains.

Traveling in the City

The city is divided into three main areas named by locals according to compass direction: South Robbinsdale, North Rapid City, and West Rapid. Two inter-city bus lines serve Rapid City. City bus service is offered by the Rapid Transit System; Dial A Ride offers curb to curb service for transport of ADA certified passengers; Rapid Ride, a fixed-route bus system takes passengers to more than 200 stops along five city and two connector routes.

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Rapid City: Geography and Climate

Rapid City: Geography and Climate

Rapid City, the natural eastern gateway to the great growing empire known as the West River Region, is surrounded by contrasting land forms. The forested Black Hills rise immediately west of the city, while the other three edges of the city look out on the prairie. Protected by the 6,000- to 7,000-foot peaks of the Black Hills, Rapid City enjoys an enviable climate, free of the icy blizzards and scorching summers typical of much of the rest of the Dakotas. Summers are warm but dry and autumn is noted for its delightful "Indian summer" weather. Mild, sunny days are common throughout the winter and occasional "chinook" or warm winds frequently follow a stint of snowy weather. Snowfall is normally light with the greatest monthly average less than eight inches. Spring is characterized by wide variations in temperature and occasionally some wet snowfall. Low humidity levels, infrequent precipitation, and northwesterly winds prevail in the city.

Area: 45 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 3,200 feet above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 21.9° F; July, 72.6° F; annual average, 46.6° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 16.7 inches of rain; 39.1 inches of snow

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Rapid City: Communications

Rapid City: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

The city's daily newspaper is the Rapid City Journal. Other local newspapers include the weeklies The Plainsman and Indian Country Today. The Visitor is a quarterly magazine; Investment Report is a monthly magazine published in Rapid City.

Television and Radio

Rapid City is served by four network television stations and two cable companies. The city has 11 AM and FM radio stations.

Media Information: Rapid City Journal, 507 Main Street, PO Box 450, Rapid City, SD 57701; telephone (605)394-8400

Rapid City Online

City of Rapid City home page. Available www.rcgov.org

Ellsworth Air Force Base home page. Available www.ellsworth.af.mil

Rapid City Area Economic Development Partnership home page. Available www.rapiddevelopment.com

Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau home page. Available www.rapidcitycvb.com

Rapid City Public Library home page. Available www.rapidcitylibrary.org

South Dakota Arts Council home page (directory of arts festivals and pow wows). Available www.sdarts.org

Selected Bibliography

Riney, Scott, The Rapid City Indian School, 1898-1933 (University of Oklahoma Press, 1999)

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Rapid City: Health Care

Rapid City: Health Care

Rapid City Regional Hospital provides comprehensive acute care services to South Dakota and portions of North Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana. The hospital is the main health care center between Minneapolis and Denver with 42 specialties including radiation, cardiology, and emerging medicine. Employing more than 3,000 people, the hospital system offers care at Black Hills Rehabilitation Hospital, the John T. Vucurevich Cancer Care Center and the Regional West Center for Behavioral Health as well as clinics and out-patient care.

The Black Hills Regional Eye Institute is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to providing the most modern and complex eye care for children and adults of the region. More than 2,000 eye surgeries are performed each year in one of the four surgical rooms at the Eye Surgery Center. The Institute physicians and staff travel to 12 satellite clinics throughout the 5-state area served to provide treatment of eye problems within the local communities.

Health care is also available at Rapid City Community Health Center, Sioux San Hospital, and the Black Hills Surgery Center.

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Rapid City

Rapid City, city (1990 pop. 54,523), seat of Pennington co., SW S.Dak., on Rapid Creek, in an irrigated farm region served by the Bureau of Reclamation's Rapid Valley project; founded 1876 after the discovery of gold nearby, inc. 1882. It is the trade and transportation center of an extensive lumbering, ranching, and mining (gold, silver, feldspar, bentonite, mica, and uranium) area. Wood products, sand and gravel, small arms ammunition and gun stocks, gold and silver jewelrey, food products, construction materials, and limestone are produced. Nearby Ellsworth Air Force Base is a major source of employment. The city is also the tourist center of the Black Hills and the gateway to many attractions, including Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Badlands National Park, and Wind Cave National Park. The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, National American Univ., a Sioux museum, and a pioneer museum are in Rapid City. In 1972 the city was struck by a severe flash flood in which more than 200 lives were lost.

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Rapid City: Introduction

Rapid City: Introduction

Rapid City, the seat of Pennington County, is a diverse and thriving small Midwestern city that refers to itself as "The Star of the West." Tourists are drawn to the area, which was celebrated in the 1990 award-winning film Dances With Wolves, to see the presidents' busts carved into Mount Rushmore and to visit the Black Hills. The city enjoys a thriving economy based on the farmers who have been raising beans, wheat, and alfalfa since the turn of the last century. A regional center for retail shopping and medical facilities, the city is home to the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology as well as Ellsworth Air Force Base. Seven percent of Rapid City's population is made up of Native Americans whose arts and crafts abound in the city's shops. Locals like to say that the city has the quality of life of a small town with the business and cultural benefits of a city.

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Rapid City: Convention Facilities

Rapid City: Convention Facilities

The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, located near the heart of downtown Rapid City, provides an 11,500-seat arena, 120,000 square feet of exhibit space, a luxurious 1,774-seat theater, meeting rooms, and catering facilities. Seventy-five motels/hotels provide 4,400 rooms. Alongside a flowing creek, greenway, and bike path is the Central States Fair-grounds convention facilities, which can accommodate groups of 25 to 6,000 and offers services such as a 224-unit campground, 6,000 seat grandstand, 8,000 vehicle parking spaces, 8 acres of asphalt display area and food service locations.

Convention Information: Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 747, Rapid City, SD 57709; toll-free (800)487-3223; email tourist@rapidcitycvb.com

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Rapid City: Municipal Government

Rapid City: Municipal Government

Rapid City has a mayor-council form of government with an elected, full-time mayor and two part-time council members from each of the city's five wards, who are elected to staggered two-year terms. All positions are non-partisan.

Head Official: Mayor Jim Shaw (R) (since 1999; current term expires May 2007)

Total Number of City Employees: 675 (2005)

City Information: City of Rapid City, 300 Sixth Street, Rapid City, SD 57701; telephone (605)394-4136

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