A Big Idea for the Big Apple

South Dakota Tourism Takes Mount Rushmore to New York City


Sometimes when you have a big idea, you just have to stick with it. For years, Lawrence & Schiller and South Dakota Tourism considered putting Mount Rushmore in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. After much coordination, the Mount Rushmore’s American Pride float rolled down Broadway.


But the float wasn’t the only thing we brought to NYC. A street team of the Rushmore presidents invited the people of New York to visit the faces back in South Dakota and gave them a chance to win a free vacation to the state.

South Dakota Tourism Presidential mascots

New Yorkers saw the Mount Rushmore’s American Pride float and took photos with the Presidential mascots.


So did our big idea pay off? Well, our street team brought in more than 10,000 vacation giveaway registrations and more photos and comments than we can count. More than 55 million potential travelers watched the parade on TV and 3 million spectators saw the float roll by in person on the streets of New York. The effort also received 638 news stories or mentions and secured a total audience reach of 600 million. Visits to the Mount Rushmore page on TravelSD.com also shot up 695 percent. Now that’s some traffic. Mount Rushmore visitation also rose 27 percent during the quarter following the event.


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