- Associated Press - Sunday, August 9, 2015

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - The incoming leader of Rapid City’s airport wants to board his new position with sky-high hopes of attracting more visitors to the area during the summertime.

On Monday, the Rapid City Regional Airport Board announced that Patrick Dame was hired as the airport’s executive director. He’s set to begin at his new job in mid-September, leaving a similar position at North Dakota’s Grand Forks International Airport, the 22nd busiest airport in the nation.

Dame would like to work with low-cost carriers to turn the city into more of a summer destination for travelers, he told the Rapid City Journal (https://bit.ly/1W3sxBP ) after the announcement on Monday. He said he thinks that can be possible with existing carriers such as Allegiant Air.

Dame, 38, grew up in Anoka, Minnesota, and has a degree in aviation management from St. Cloud State University. He has also managed airports in Brookings and Minot, North Dakota.

His extensive resume makes him qualified for his new job at Rapid City Regional Airport, Dick McConnell, president of the airport’s board, said in a press release.

“Rapid City Regional Airport is fortunate to have someone with Patrick’s background and experience at the helm,” McConnell said.

Dame’s wife and three daughters will move to Rapid City before the start of the school year, he said. Dame will follow shortly after, once he has reached the Sept. 12 completion of his duties in Grand Forks.

“I think Rapid City has pretty great air service for the population that’s there,” Dame said. “But I always think there is room to continuously improve.”

Dame he succeeds Cameron Humphres, who resigned in January following a leave of absence.

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