Medora, North Dakota has been on a terrific four year run, averaging more than 100,000 tourist annually for it’s summer season.
However, a lot of it has do with something old instead of something new.
When people think of Medora, the first thing they think about is the musical.
“It’s been busy. We had over 1,000 people for opening night of Medora the Musical.That’s one of the best we had in it’s 52 year history of the show,” said Daniel Gannarelli, Marketing Specialist for the Medora Foundation.
Others are attracted by the open nature of the area.
“We came here for the wild horses and the national Park,” said a couple vacationing in Medora from Arkansas.
People from all over the country even the world come to Medora for the musical, trails, and Theodore Roosevelt National Park, but one of the main reasons is for the Old West feel that would even flatter Teddy Roosevelt.
“You want something fun go to Las Vegas. You want something more family oriented go down South. If you want to see some cowboy history come to Medora, North Dakota,” said Lyubchyk Shkandry, Food and Beverage Coordinator for the Medora Foundation.
The people who love the Old West feel the most are a little more than a car drive away.
“Medora is an international destination. I think firstly they love the Old West vibe of Medora. A lot of internationals, when they think of what they want in America, they think of the Old West,” said Gannarelli.
To get that Old West vibe, people just have to walk around town and stay at the Rough Rider hotel or “mozzy” up to a saloon or bar.
However, most people just want a cowboy hat and boots.
“Yeah, most people will say where can I get a pair of cowboy boots”?. Where can I get a hat,” said Lana Anderson, sales associate for Made in the USA store.
In the end, nothing takes you back to the 1900’s more than sitting next to Teddy Roosevelt.
A Roosevelt impersonator for the area humorsly said, ” To the people of North Dakota and these Badlands, I owe all that I am”.
Medora’s Summer season runs June 2 through September 9, and the Medora Foundation said this could be a record season for tourism.