Rapid City Chamber of Commerce

Rapid City Wins "Best of the Road" Contest

 – By Rapid City Chamber

Recently, Rapid City was selected as a finalist in the nationally sponsored Rand McNally and USA Today “Best of the Road” contest. Through a voting process, thorough review, and captivating photos, Rapid City qualified in the category for ‘Most Patriotic’ Best Small Town in the United States. Other categories included ‘Most Fun’, ‘Most Beautiful’, ‘Friendliest’, and ‘Best for Food’. Vying for ‘Most Patriotic’ title rights along with Rapid City were five other small towns: Williamsburg, VA; Clarksville, TN; Peachtree City, GA; Ft. Leonard Wood, MO; and Emporia, KS.

The Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau was tasked with creating an itinerary showcasing the region’s ‘Most Patriotic’ elements in order to shine above the rest! With such stiff competition, this was no easy task. On Sunday, July 10 and Monday, July 11 the Road Rally team, known as Captain & Clark or Christopher Staudinger and Tawny Clark, visited Rapid City and the surrounding Black Hills as the last stop on their judging journey. From their spectacular time in the Black Hills, to a special dinner with military dignitary or their encounter with the Mt. Rushmore mascots, Rapid City welcomed and embraced the Road Rally Team.

Captain & Clark left Rapid City with a renewed sense of multicultural partisanship. Road Rally team member Staudinger boasted about the pioneering spirit of America they found across cultures. The significance of both Mt. Rushmore National Memorial, dedicated to U.S. heritage, and Crazy Horse Memorial, dedicated to Native Americans’, left a pronounced impression.

Representatives from the Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau attended the Annual Conference for Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) from July 20-22 for continuing education. It was here the announcement was made that Rapid City was awarded as the ‘Most Patriotic’ Best Small Town in the U.S. in the Best of the Road contest.

“One of the primary roles of a destination marketing organization (DMO) is to assist its destination in developing its true local flare,” commented Michael D. Gehrisch, DMAI President & CEO.  “This competition has provided America’s small communities the chance to shine the spotlight on what makes their destination truly unique. The Best of the Road competition has offered these small towns the ability to gain national attention, and USA TODAY and Rand McNally should be commended for their efforts.”

Included with the designation is a feature in the 2013 Rand McNally Road Atlas, a USA Today feature, and a feature on www.bestoftheroad.com. The Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau would like to thank all of the individuals and organizations who contributed to hosting Captain & Clark on their visit and those who shared their thoughts and votes via social media to help Rapid City earn the title of ‘Most Patriotic’ Best Small Town in the U.S.


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