- Associated Press - Friday, April 28, 2017

KEYSTONE, S.D. (AP) - The new owners of nearly 50 tourist-based hotels, restaurants and shops in a small western South Dakota town say they plan to take local tourism to the next level.

The Rapid City Journal (https://bit.ly/2qewJXm ) reports that Presidential Hospitality made the multimillion-dollar purchase of properties in Keystone from developer Bill Durst, who plans to retire.

The deal includes several businesses scattered throughout Keystone’s busy summer travel corridor. The area annually sees nearly 3 million visitors who make their way to nearby Mount Rushmore.

A $2 million project to update two existing hotels is already underway, but the full cost of the deal wasn’t disclosed. The deal also involves seasonal and permanent jobs for 115 employees.

“I think it’s important to pass the torch to a new generation of business owners who understand our community and what makes this area unique,” Durst said in a statement.

Presidential Hospitality plans to rebrand some hotels to become part of nationally franchised brands, with the goal of attracting more travelers beyond the peak summer tourist season.

“It’s the kind of opportunity where we can bring in the right kind of brands that work, but also put our own design and concepts into it to orchestrate a really awesome experience for the people who are visiting Mount Rushmore,” said Mark Connelly of Presidential Hospitality.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, https://www.rapidcityjournal.com


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