Tourist attractions in western South Dakota that appeared in the Academy Award-winning film”Nomadland” are seeing an increase in visitors
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Tourist attractions in South Dakota that appeared in the Academy Award-winning film”Nomadland” are seeing an increase in visitors.
Reptile Gardens animal park and Wall Drug Store, a sprawling, cowboy-themed roadside attraction, are both reporting an early bulge in tourist visitors, the Rapid City Journal reported Saturday.
The movie follows Fern, a 60-year old widow living in her van and taking odd jobs as she meanders the American West. Badlands National Park, Wall Drug and Reptile Gardens are one of the areas included.
Wall Drug Store has observed a 114% increase in earnings over 2019 while year-to-date for 2020 revealed a 92% growth, stated Chairman Rick Hustead.
“When it was up 10% we’d be happy, but those are extraordinary amounts,” he explained. “I think we’re going into a massive season.”
Hustead said the family was approached 2018 for the movie.
“It was amazing,” he explained.
Reptile Gardens curator Terry Phillip stated he spent an whole afternoon filming with the team. He believes the movie will improve tourism for the entire state.
“You can’t go wrong with that in any manner, shape or form,” he explained.
The state Tourism Department also expects a large number of visitors.
“Overall, what you will find is that we certainly noticed that movie drives a fantastic deal of inspiration for consumers,” explained Katlyn Svendsen, international media and public relations director for the department.