South Dakota Department of Tourism - sitemap

Great Service Star Program

About the Program

The Great Service Star Program is designed to identify and recognize businesses that complete a set of criteria for hospitality training of their employees, offer a comment mechanism for visitors, and recognize employees for great service. Participants meeting the criteria will be awarded a star symbol (above) for use in marketing their business and to demonstrate to visitors their commitment to "Great Service."

Applicants must submit an official Great Service Star Program application form by January 31. The designation is awarded for the following calendar year.

Additionally, two businesses are chosen annually from the submitted applications (those postmarked by September 8 October 6, 2017) to receive the George S. Mickelson Great Service Award. The Mickelson Award is announced and presented at the annual Governor's Conference on Tourism held in January.

DEADLINE: Friday, September 8, 2017 extended to Friday, October 6, 2017
(for the Mickelson Award; January 31 for the annual designation)


To qualify for the Great Service Star designation, you must already have the following in place:

  1. Employee Hospitality Training

    One of the following is required:

    • Attend the Governor's Conference on Tourism.

    • Attend a professional training seminar sponsored by a Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureau, community development corporation or state agency.

    • Hire a professional trainer to do on-site training.

    • Use your company's corporate training program.

    • Your own training.

  2. Visitor Comment Mechanism

    Provide an opportunity for visitor feedback through the use of comment cards, evaluation sheets or on-line forms.


  3. Recognition for Employees

    Reward employees who have been recognized as providing great hospitality service in one or more of the following ways:

    • Nominate employee for a Governor's Hospitality Certificate.

    • In-house recognition such as newsletter, bulletin board, employee of the month.

    • Present awards or recognize employee at a staff gathering.

    • Develop other ways to recognize and reward employees.


Great Service Star Designees

Use the links below to view current and previous Great Service Star designees.



Please contact Neil Wagner, Industry Outreach & Development Representative, for more information at 605-773-3301 or