Captains of Industry

Good Morning!
(Yes…. I realize that I got confused last week and sent the email in the PM instead of AM…. that’s the problem when I try and schedule them!)

Yesterday I drove to Pierre to present a quick update to the South Dakota Tourism Department about what’s going on in Lead. It was awesome to let everyone know what’s up in town – how Lead is growing and what we’ve seen happen in these last few transitional years.

It was also great to hear from other parts of the state. The story is the same everywhere, “So many visitors, so little help, but great problems to have!” One of the stats that really stood out was that Custer State Park had sold 600k park passes by the end of June 2020 and by the end of June 2021 they had sold 1.1 million. No wonder everyone is tired!

I also talked about how we’ve established a tourism office, Visit Lead, and how we’re thinking about how to capture more visitor traffic. The key areas we’ve identified as focus points are:

1) How to stand out in an already crowded arena of awesome opportunities and activities in the Black Hills. There is literally so much amazing vying for everyone’s attention – be it tourist OR local!

2) How to position ourselves for the family traveler, especially the multi generational groups that we’re seeing stay in the large house rentals in the surrounding areas.

3) How to piggyback off of the state’s and Deadwood’s amazing marketing efforts – which is in both our interests to keep visitors in our direct area for as long as possible.

3) How to support Lead businesses as we all mature and grow into this new decade, where we cater to visitors but also support residents as a thriving community of locals with small staffs, small budgets and limited resources.

Now the bigger question, finding ways to achieve each of these goals! This is an on-going process and we’re still at the drawing board. Have ideas? We’d love to hear them!


_____ Here’s what’s happening in Lead this week

Thursday 7/15 – 8a,-4:30pm – Art Day Camp @ Explore Fitness & Adventures. This week might already be full but the last of the three part series will happen next week so register today! Kids ages 5-13 welcome with half or full day available to all levels. Call Katrina for more info 605-389-3551

Thursday 7/15 – 5:30-7:45, last day of Vacation Bible School in Manuel Brother’s Park and it’s family day! Come on down and see what you’re kids have been doing, visit with other parents and enjoy the evening at the park.

Saturday 7/17 – All day! Lead’s first annual Renaissance Faire! Vendors, entertainments, shows and more! Visit for more information and details! Tickets are just $10 for the whole day and include various and sundry extra benefits!

Sunday 7/18 – 5:45-8pm Vacation Bible School @ the Christian Ministry Center on South Main Street. 4 years old – grade 5 (Just completed) Theme: Roar: Life is Wild, God is Good / Five rotating stations, including Bible Adventures, Kid Vid Cinema, Hungry Herd Cafe, Stampede Sports and Imagination Station / Please join us and bring a friend. Register at

Monday 7/19 – 2:30pm, Chamber Music Festival of the Black Hills – Children’s concert with professional musicians performing alongside kids! Homestake Opera House see website for more details:

Monday 7/19 – 5pm, City Commission Meeting at City Hall

Monday 7/19 – 4 Week Total Transformation website overhaul course with Fun Size Design starts! See all details here:

Tuesday 7/20 – 5-8pm, LEAD LIVE! Hosted by the Handley Recreation Center, don’t miss everyone’s favorite block party in Manuel Brother’s Park. Music, refreshments, fun!

Wednesday 7/21 – 5:30-7:30pm, Skate Night at the Handley Recreation Center for all ages

Wednesday 7/21 – 8pm, “The Chosen” screening continues with Lead Assembly of God in Manuel Brother’s Park – free!

_____ Save the Dates

Unleaded Lead – August 27-29

The Gold Tournament will be held at Lead Country Club on Sunday 9/5/21 – we’ll have a morning heat and an afternoon heat with even more fun than last year! Stay tuned for more information and sign ups coming soon!

Fall in Love with Lead – September 24-26


_____ News & Notes

With Gold Camp Jubilee behind us, we’re ramping up for an awesome academic year ahead! This week we spent some time really planning out the next year – trying to see how much we can fit in and what would really help spotlight Lead as an awesome place for people to come hang out. We’re thinking about doing a calendar mailer like we did last year. If you’d like to help sponsor this project we have 3 spots at $250 each left. We’ll include key events from your business or organization along with your logo. Let us know asap if you’d like in on this opportunity!

With Love from Lead,
Sierra Ward

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