Travel and tourism industry on the upswing

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With the number of vaccinations on the rise — leading to easing restrictions — the travel and tourism industry is starting to bounce back.

The Bismarck Event Center just hosted its first post-pandemic concert, with Toby Keith playing in front of a capacity crowd.

Amanda Yellow, the Sales and Marketing Manager at the Bismarck Event Center, said, “The last time we had a concert before this last Friday was Kenny G in December of 2019.”

Yellow also said bookings and ticket sales have recently shot up.

“The public is excited to start coming in and attending some events and kind of getting a new little sense of normalcy into their lives,” said Yellow.

Speaking of normalcy, the travel and tourism industry around the state has seen a recent uptick as well.

Sara Otte Coleman, Director of Tourism for the North Dakota Department of Commerce, said, “We’re very confident that this is going to be a rebound year for the travel and tourism industry. AAA just cited that, I think it’s 37 million Americans are going to be traveling for Memorial Day weekend.”

She said Theodore Roosevelt National Park is even rebounding from the wildfires earlier this spring.

“I was out a couple of weeks ago and was really happy to see how the growth, the new growth is already filling in with some of the larger fire areas that happened earlier this year,” said Otte Coleman.

And of course, the Bismarck Bucks are back playing in front of fans.

Jordan Black, the Director of Corporate Sponsorships with the Bucks, said “We have no restrictions at all in the venue, luckily, so we can fill this place up 100%.”

Black says that playing only one game last year hurt their bottom line, but they did receive some help along the way.

“We have to thank all of our sponsors who stepped in and helped us put a team on the field this season,” said Black.

The travel, tourism and entertainment industry are all ready to get back to bringing us all back together.

The Bismarck Bucks are playing their first ever nationally televised game next Saturday against the Sioux Falls Storm.

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