Visit Rapid City’s Use of Grant Funds to Grow Regional Group Business

By Colette DuChanois


Why look far for what’s near? Visit Rapid City used grant funding to work with Digital Edge on strategic marketing targeting regional meetings planners and residents who could refer events to the destination marketing organization’s sales team. The partnership yielded big business for the Black Hills-backdropped city that locals affectionately call “Rapid.”

Sales Results

Nearly 4x rise in economic impact from the previous year projected

Nearly 4x increase in room nights from the prior year projected

One of the BEST things about Digital Edge is how quickly they can integrate with your team. They are so well versed in the planner space that they can create high-impact strategies and campaigns that convert to RFPs, leads and new business for your destination. Their team is responsive, creative, and beyond capable of helping hit your sales and marketing goals. Every day you’re not working with DE you’re leaving business on the table.
Brook Kaufman
President & CEO Visit Rapid City


With a softening of leisure travel, the hotel community in Rapid City was looking for a meetings campaign to grow group business interest and build the base with group business. When Visit Rapid City received state grant funds to dedicate to a meetings marketing campaign, they turned to their meetings marketing agency since 2015, Digital Edge.


Using their grant funding, Visit Rapid City expanded its partnership with Digital Edge to strategically position the destination in the drive market to grow meetings business interest.

The Goals

Grow regional group business

Leverage an inside-out approach

Focus on key regional group markets

Showcase benefits

The program of work took a layered approach, creating awareness at the top and working to generate interest. A regional campaign targeted planners in South Dakota and nearby states, encouraging them to take advantage of what they have in their backyard for meetings & conventions. A local campaign focused on capturing referrals from community members, incentivizing them to let the Visit Rapid City team know about an event that would be perfect for the destination with worldwide visitor appeal. We utilized multiple digital marketing channels to drive traffic to the landing pages created for each campaign, each with the singular goal of capturing leads.

The Channels

Display & Social Media

Social Distribution


Chamber Ads



The Results

The marketing program bolstered big things for group business in the home of Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Parks. Visit Rapid City helped the destination’s hotel industry in hosting 50 meetings resulting in 5,459 room nights in 2023 — their third best year on record — and an economic impact of more than $3 million.
The DMO is now preparing for a banner year in 2024, with projected business expected to bring 19,000 room nights to hotels and an even greater economic impact of $11 million.
“It’s very exciting to see the boost from meetings to Rapid City’s economy and know Digital Edge helped the destination’s team bring in business through our segmented campaign approach. We congratulate Visit Rapid City on a great year and what looks to be another one!”

By-the-Numbers Sales Success


$ 0 M
Economic Impact
0 K
Room Nights
Leads Sent


$ 0 M
Economic Impact
0 K
Room Nights
Leads Booked

↑ Nearly 4x economic impact increase projected from 2023 to 2024

↑ Nearly 4x room night increase projected from 2023 to 2024

Contact Digital Edge to see how we can work together to utilize your grant funding for new, strategic solutions to competitively position your travel & tourism organization.