South Dakota governor expecting big tourism summer

National News

FILE – In this July 3, 2020, file photo, fireworks light the sky over the Mount Rushmore National Memorial near Keystone, S.D. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem sued the U.S. Department of Interior on Friday, May 30, 2021, in an effort to see fireworks shot over Mount Rushmore National Monument on Independence Day. The Republican governor successfully pushed last year for a return of the pyrotechnic display after a decade long hiatus. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon File)

MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MONUMENT, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is telling the state’s tourism industry to gear up for a busy summer.

With plenty of people itching to travel after spending last year mostly at home, the Republican governor says there are many signs that tourism — the state’s second-largest industry — will make a big rebound from last year.

Tourism spending dropped by 18% in 2020, but Noem says the state still welcomed many visitors.

She made her statements at an event Monday at Mount Rushmore National Monument, where she is suing to hold a fireworks display this summer.

The National Parks Service denied the state’s application, saying it would pose too great a fire threat and was opposed by Native American tribes.

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