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Today’s News Today.
October 21, 2016
By Herb Ryan
Custer, SD – 2016 Annual Custer Area Chamber of Commerce Membership Banquet opened with a welcome by Craig Pugsley and an Invocation by Reverend Van Arp. Pugsley in his introduction mentioned that when he first arrived on his job in Custer State Park in 1977 “I looked around and wondered, who are these old people who work here, well guess what, what goes round comes around and now I’m one of those old people in that office”.
Through the years, Pugsley said he has seen much positive change in the tourist industry. ” Back in those early days, Tourism was seen as a Memorial to Labor Day business. My first involvement with the chamber was when then Director Lindy Manlove called the park to ask for a representative to join a newly formed Visitor Promotion Committee. Our Park Director at the time was Warren Jackson and he thought I would fit the bill. Since that time I have had he pleasure of working with some of the most tenured directors in South Dakota including Cindy Mayes, Jackie Wentworth and of course Dave Ressler. Now we see tourism beginning in April and extending through October and into November. The Custer Community has seen boosts in occupancy in during the peak season and efforts are focused on expanding the shoulder season”.
Craig Pugsley over the years has worked closely with the South Dakota Department of Tourism and has been involved with the Custer Chamber of Commerce for 32 years, and served on the Board of Directors for the Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Black Hills Badlands and Lakes Tourism Association among others and is now the former Custer Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors President.
Craig Pugsley was awarded The Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Julie Brazell, Naturalist at Custer State Park.
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