Monthly Reports: September 2004
MEMORANDUM TO: Jim Hagen
DATE: Oct. 6, 2004
FROM: Patricia Van Gerpen
SUBJECT: Tourism’s September Monthly Status Report
Governor Rounds' 2010 Initiative
Identify and target niches markets, with emphasis on emerging markets including international.
Researched and requested 60 appointments with tour operators during National Tour Association (NTA) marketplace to be held in Toronto in November. Requested workstation and NTA caucus site for South Dakota suppliers.
Sent requested tour helps/information to Bus Ride magazine, Arizona; Touriffic Tours, California; Western Leisure, Utah; Shoreline Tours, Michigan; Pathways in British Columbia and Voyages Rockland in Ontario, Canada; and Vacation and Travel magazine, Australia.
Updated South Dakota copy for Rocky Mountain International (RMI) Real America Guide distributed in Europe. Drafted South Dakota copy for inclusion in U.S. Department of Commerce, in association with Travel Industry Association of America (TIA), web site targeting potential travelers from the United Kingdom. Drafted South Dakota trivia questions for inclusion in TIA’s SeeAmerica online treasure hunt game.
Mailed personalized letters and brochures to 37 overseas tour operators from the United Kingdom, Germany, The Netherlands, France, and Italy who attended the RMI Roundup.
Finalized itineraries for six participants for the Buffalo Roundup pre-fam who will join nineteen international participants at the Buffalo Roundup. Group includes four film crews, three from France and one from Italy. Worked with France RMI office and French film crews for filming of Black Hills and bison in Custer State Park: France 3, a nine-member film crew who filmed in South Dakota in September; French TV – Channel 2; and Zed Prod Productions. Zed Prod has been here three times, and they are working on a feature for the Discovery Channel for French television.
Confirmed final arrangements for 50 overseas participants from Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, and The Netherlands for the RMI Megafam, which will include Montana and follows the Roundup.
Hosted Special Traffic familiarization tour to South Dakota as part of an RMI promotion for 16 attendees from The Netherlands, including travel agents and an airline representative.
Wrote itinerary and made arrangements for a journalist from Germany for a familiarization tour to include American Indian culture, a ranch, Lewis and Clark activities and sites, the Black Hills, and the Buffalo Roundup.
Consultant has begun developing a web site to promote South Dakota to the Japanese market.
Met with Pheasants Forever representative to discuss South Dakota venues for hosting a large scale event.
During the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW) conference in Okoboji, Iowa, in September, the AGLOW Board of Directors announced that Sioux Falls had been awarded the bid for the 2006 conference.
Updated the Black Hills snowmobile trail system for the 2004-2005 Snowmobiling Map. Expect delivery of 50,000 maps in early November. Maps are distributed by the Department of Game, Fish and Parks, trailheads, businesses on the trail, and the Office of Tourism via special requests and mailings to snowmobile clubs in our target markets.
Worked with several production companies that were filming during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Shows will air on CMT, VH1 Classics, Pay-per-view, and one was a small budget short film.
Updated the Fall Foliage section on TravelSD.com and reactivated the homepage Highlight for Fall Foliage. Continued making updates as received.
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Reshape and redeploy "Great Faces. Great Places." slogan and logo.
Fulfilled logo requests: background sets for use during the Governor’s Hunt banquets; Register Lakota Printing in Chamberlain; and AmCham in Denmark.
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Target advertising to specific audiences.
Staffed the South Dakota Tourism booth at the State Fair – answered questions and distributed literature.
Created and distributed Travelsmart E-Newsletter to approximately 118,000 addresses in our opt-in database. The e-mail included more than 35 links to various sections of TravelSD.com, including vacation packages, coupons, and upcoming events. Updated subscriber list and responded to several inquiries from the mailing.
Sent materials for full-page ads for the inside front covers of the 2005 North Central AAA Campbook and AAA Tourbook – combined circulation is 978,200.
Sent e-mail message to 140 AAA/CAA travel counselors nationwide highlighting American Indian culture, as well as several events statewide.
Hosted 18 AAA/CAA travel counselors on the “Black Hills or Bust” familiarization tour from Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Alberta and Ontario, Canada. Tour included Rapid City, Wall, Keystone, Custer, Hill City, Deadwood, Spearfish, and Sturgis.
Fulfilled requests for information from AAA/CAA offices and independent travel agencies from Illinois, Maine, and Nebraska.
E-mailed weekly South Dakota Road Trip (SDRT) updates to South Dakotans on the Travelsmart list announcing subjects of Sunday night SDRT segments that featured a different vacation package each broadcast.
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Place an emphasis on destination packaging and call for sales versus call for inquiries.
Added three packages and one coupon to TravelSD.com, removed 56 packages and five coupons that expired, and revised descriptions and/or effective dates of five packages. As of September 27, 116 vacation packages and 35 coupons were listed in 38 cities and 30 categories. Submitted revised packages to SeeAmerica.org. Updated the South Dakota Road Trip web pages on TravelSD.com.
Updated the Advertised Packages section of TravelSD with pdfs of vacation package ads appearing in newspapers in Denver, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Des Moines, Omaha, Sioux City, Sioux Falls, Worthington, Cherokee, Estherville, LeMars, Spencer, Albert Lea, Fairmont, Marshall, New Ulm, and Rochester. Created individual package pages on TravelSD.com for four packages promoted to more than 44,000 subscribers in weekly “Deals and Destinations” e-mail blasts via the Minneapolis StarTribune.
Four featured vacation packages on the South Dakota Road Trip co-op in September on KELO-TV after the 10 p.m. news: Evening with Friends Package – partners: Redlin Art Center and Country Inn and Suites; On the Trail with Lewis and Clark Package – partners: Sioux Falls Ramkota and the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science; Historic Deadwood Gaming Package – partners: Deadwood Chamber and Visitor Bureau; Ride on the Wild Side Package – partners: Custer State Park and Game Lodge. Mailed registration materials for 2004-05 South Dakota Road Trip Co-op and five segments have been filled, leaving five spaces that are still available.
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Educate industry people on what today's visitors want and expect; establish best practices and communicate through regular updates.
Notified South Dakota receptive tour operators of Coach USA’s request for an 11-day itinerary for a group of 20 for 10 days in South Dakota.
Held pre-caucus meeting in Pierre to educate industry members on group tour, group tour marketing, and National Tour Association and American Bus Association marketplaces. There were six attendees. Mailed information to five businesses and one Convention and Visitor Bureau (CVB) that could not attend.
Attended Sioux Falls CVB Meeting to update them on Tourism projects.
Contacted South Dakota suppliers who have attended Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) Pow Wow to seek participation for 2005 TIA Pow Wow in New York.
On SDVisit.com, added Tourism’s monthly report for August, posted forms for the 2005 Great Service STAR application, and extended the deadline for Tourism award nominations to the end of September.
Reviewed 2005 Governor’s Conference on Tourism agenda. Researched and drafted the National Research section of the Annual Report, which will be distributed at the conference.
This is an overall decrease in inquiries of 47 percent over FY2004. (Primary reason for decrease: Discontinued using Pay-Per-Inquiry TV, which was used last year. This decision was part of change in media strategy – directing visitors to vacation package sales versus inquiries. Inquiries do not include hits/visits to Tourism’s Web site.)
Calculated number of page views at 696,004 on Tourism’s TravelSD.com web site for the period of September 1-30, 2004, for a daily average of 23,200 over a 30-day period. This compares to calculated page views of 536,087 for the period of September 1-30, 2003, for a daily average of 17,869 over a 30-day period. This is an increase in daily average of page views of 29.8 percent over a comparable time period in 2003. “Page views” represents the number of times each and every page within the web site is accessed.
Car count at the Information Centers for August 2004 was up 5.2% over August 2003; for Canadian visitors, it was up 19.7%; and for other international visitors, it was up 10.8%. There were 147 motorcoaches/buses at the Information Centers, and 24 were international.
Usage of travel tapes/CDs at the Information Centers was up from August 2003 by 21.9%.
Have received 2,137 comment cards visitors. Sample comments include:
“This was the best visitor center I ever remember getting such friendly complete help. Thanks, ladies.” Texas
All Information Centers were closed for the season, except the Lewis and Clark Center at Chamberlain, which will close the end of October.
Reviewed letters/comment cards for hospitality award. For 2004, there are 314 individuals/businesses that have received recognition for hospitality with the Governor’s Certificate, 95 have received the foil star for a second recognition, and 36 have received a gold lapel pin for a third recognition. Worked on draft of criteria to define what types of comments qualify someone for a hospitality certificate.
Press hits with circulation and estimated ad equivalence for newspapers and magazines only (does not include television shows and radio programs): Capital Journal (4,654) media interested in hunting, with ad equivalence of $15, 09/03/04; The Denver Post (785,671 – Sunday) two articles by June Naylor: “Deadwood rustles up intrigue” and “Golden opportunities await you in the Black Hills,” with total ad equivalence of $98,280, 09/19/04; Flyfisher, Spring 2004, (12,500) “Where Presidents Wade” by Michael Faw, with ad equivalence of $2,890 – result of 2003 Buffalo Roundup press hosting; National Geographic Adventure, October 2004, (429,884) “Secret Worlds of the Black Hills” by Laurence Gonzales, with ad equivalence of $302,040; Field & Stream, October 2004, (1,511,796) “Where To Go – Four-star hunting on a two-star budget” by Philip Bourjaily, with ad equivalence of $102,150; Outdoor Life, October 2004, (950,879) “Sidestepping Pheasants” by Mark Kayser, with ad equivalence of $133,800. Total ad equivalence is $639,175.
Tourism revenue sources include: Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for August 2004 was up 8.7 percent at $250,449, compared to $230,368 for August 2003. The tourism tax deposited for August 2004 was up 1.6 percent at $724,686, as compared to $713,121 for August 2003. The deposits for FY05 for gaming and the tourism tax are $2,242,736, as compared to $2,119,148 for FY2004. This is an overall increase in revenue of 5.8 percent for fiscal year 2005 over fiscal year 2004.
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Invest in promotions to expand the shoulder season.
Reserved tracking service for the live satellite feed scheduled for October 4 for the Governor’s Buffalo Roundup. Researched media prospects and sent an e-mail and faxed information on the Roundup and feed. Updated the corresponding Roundup pages on MediaSD.com. Contracted to provide a cameraman and equipment to assist in shooting the Roundup activities. Worked with Custer State Park staff on camera placement options and setting up interviews for the satellite feed. Updated the Roundup video from last year and added links to the new video from MediaSD.com and TravelSD.com. Compiled information and assembled briefing books for committee and drivers/ambassadors use during the event. Finalized press trip itinerary for 10 journalists.
Shot video of the Fall Foliage Hike, fall colors at Sica Hollow State Park, Bad River Gathering, and Lewis and Clark events in Fort Pierre and Goosefest in Pierre. Loaned video of pheasant hunting and fishing to Lawrence and Schiller to use in TV spots promoting travel packages in the state.
Mailed 14 evaluation forms to the local committee and to businesses for Frontier Days, August 20 - 22, in White River.
Mailed thank you notes to the people who participated in the Opening Ceremony for the Lewis and Clark Signature Event in Chamberlain and Oacoma on August 26, as well as to the artists who participated in the Lakota/Nakota/Dakota Art Show and Auction that was held that weekend. Attended Eagle Butte’s Labor Day Fair and Rodeo, a part of the Signature Event. Placed 16 Citigroup/CORPS II directional signs throughout the community. Assisted event coordinators with the powwow grand entry, which was held in the high school gymnasium due to heavy rainfall. Eagle Butte hosted CORPS II, September 3-9. Sent evaluations to businesses and coordinators in Chamberlain and Eagle Butte. The Signature Event continued through September, ending with the Bad River Gathering in Fort Pierre.
Worked with the local committee for the Hill City Quilt Show, held September 12-15 in Hill City on the press release and to update the web page to reflect changes in the schedule of events.
Worked with the local committee of the Corn Palace Polka Festival, held September 17-19 in Mitchell on creating and placing event ads in the Music and Dance News, Texas Polka News, and the Polka News newspapers for a combined circulation of 17,200; The Big Joe Show television show; and on radio at WEZU-AM, KNUJ-AM, and “It’s Polka Time” in Minnesota and WJAG-AM in Nebraska.
Prepared and mailed evaluation forms to event organizer and Yankton area businesses for the Old Time Fiddle Contest and Jamboree, held September 17-18 in Yankton.
Print and radio ads had been placed in August to run in September for the Bad River Gathering, September 24 - 26 in Fort Pierre. Assisted the local committee with concession stand sales. Distributed 20 yard signs and two free standing directional Citigroup/Corps II information and directional signs. Tent of Many Voices will be in Fort Pierre until October 3. Took photos of the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, Missouri, as they arrived at the mouth of the Bad River. Mailed 37 evaluation forms to the local committee, lodging properties, and other businesses in Fort Pierre and Pierre. Assisted the Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates with organizing the Closing Ceremony.
Worked with the local committee of the Webster Pumpkin Festival, to be held October 8 - 9 in Webster, on creating and placing ads for their event in the Oaks and Ellendale Times Leader (1,000 combined), the Dickey Co. Leader (700), Minnesota Statewide Display Advertising Network includes 56 newspapers (117,000), and Midwest Living magazine (858,000). Worked with the committee to develop the Annual Webster Pumpkin Festival Carving Contest. Designed a flyer for the contest. Researched art teachers and schools in southeast North Dakota, central-west Minnesota, and northeast South Dakota, and sent the pumpkin carving contest flyer to 115 schools. Updated web pages.
Worked with event committee on the Last Chance Bonanza Rodeo, to be held October 21-23 in Brookings to finalize the promotional poster. Routed poster to committee for printing. Drafted copy for newspaper ads and placed them in Sioux City Journal, Fargo Forum, and in 150 central and southern Minnesota newspapers. Combined circulation is 580,000.
Made hosting/travel arrangements for a travel writer/photographer from Virginia who is doing a story for Copley News Service on the Black Hills.
Worked on arrangements for the Country Living magazine editor’s research in the Black Hills and Badlands for October.
Photographed autumn scenics in the Black Hills and Badlands, and Homesteader Day Harvest Festival at Beaver Creek Recreation Area near Brandon. Drafted additions to fall and winter photography hitlist.
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Continue Governor's $1 million challenge for 2005 and 2006.
Mailed information to 4,750 visitor-related businesses regarding the User Maintenance System. A total of 77 businesses have been approved for user-maintenance accounts. A password is given to each account and edits need to be approved.
Completed 37 updates to the Visitor Services Directory on TravelSD.com for a total of 4,815 entries, which does not include edits made by businesses on the User Maintenance System.
Continued design and layout of Group Tour Planning Guide (GTP), which is used by both international and domestic group tour companies and group leaders. The 148 text pages of the GTP contains co-op partner information in the following sections: general information on the state, major attractions and unique events; escort notes; itineraries; American Indian culture; cities, attractions, entertainment and shopping; gaming; accommodations and restaurants; receptive operators and transportation, and reference pages. The co-op is updated every other year with new and/or updated partners/information.
Brainstormed and drafted initial story ideas for 2005 Peak Season Giant Step magazine insert and Great Getaways newspaper insert.
Photographed paintball players for use in co-op advertising partner packages.
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Advance history and arts as essential to lifelong learning.
– Promote State Historical Society's traveling museum exhibits and educational kits program.
Photographed historical posters for new exhibit at South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center. Provided the photos on a CD-Rom to the Historical Society for use in producing the exhibit.
– Expand the Arts in School Program and Arts in Community Programs.
Drafting production schedule for the design of FY 2004 Arts Council Annual Report, which will be ready for distribution in January 2005.
Tourism staff member will be a presenter at the South Dakota Arts Conference, Oct. 1-3 in Spearfish. Presentation will include marketing opportunities available through Tourism.
– Discover opportunities for expanding other history and arts programs.
Worked with the Oscar Micheaux Film Festival committee to bring two different documentary film makers to the festival: Lisa Collins and Tim Reid, both award winning filmmakers. Reid – from WKRP in Cincinnati – is a well-known producer and actor and spent a week in Gregory documenting the event.
Will continue working with the Lewis and Clark Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, Missouri, as they continue travels through South Dakota through mid-October: Pike Haven, Sutton Bay, Forest City/West Whitlock, West Whitlock, Swan Creek, Indian Creek/Mobridge, Shaw Creek, West Pollock. Assisted the expedition with contacts for each of the communities on their schedule. They plan to participate in the Lewis and Clark events in Mobridge and Pollock.
Contacted by a staff member with the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls regarding a presentation during the annual meeting for the Association of South Dakota Museums in April 2005.
As a result of the mailing to South Dakota’s fourth grade teachers in August on Lewis and Clark learning opportunities, Tourism was contacted by a teacher in Sioux Falls for additional materials and information.
Photographed the Sioux Falls Sidewalk Arts Festival and Goosefest in Pierre to expand photo files for promotions.
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Facilitate the development of community plans.
Researched dates and locations for the 2005 Farm and Ranch Vacation Workshops.
Received approximately 380 submissions in September, for a total of 570 to date, for the 2005 statewide Calendar of Events. Events are in a searchable database on TravelSD.com.
Contacted by representative of the South Carolina Department of Agriculture regarding a tour for a group of 50 to 60 people visiting South Dakota in August, 2005. Working with representatives with the South Dakota Department of Agriculture to compile contact information for various ag-related businesses and accommodations along I-29. Will send this list to South Carolina representative to help him create his itinerary.
Continued working with the Value Added Ag committee in planning the 2005 Conference to be held in March in Brookings. Will be working with South Dakota State University, the Department of Agriculture, and the Specialty Producers to coordinate a session on Agritourism during the conference.
Will be attending a Highway 212 meeting in Faulkton in October. The committee is working to reinstate the organization. The association’s goal is to increase visitation and economic development in the communities along Highway 212.
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Develop greater recreational opportunities along the state- and Corps-owned land along the Missouri River.
Hosted MSNBC on a trip along the Lewis and Clark Trail in South Dakota. Stories have appeared on MSNBC and will remain on MSNBC.com. Media also focused on water sports and hiking and biking along the Missouri River.
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Recognize the effect of camping, hunting and fishing opportunities on our quality of life.
See listing of outdoor press hits under Goal One: 1A.
Photographed fishing and camping scenes on the Missouri River, wild turkeys in the Black Hills, mountain biking on the Mickelson Trail, hiking in the Black Hills, buffalo, a red-tailed hawk, and mountain goats at Mount Rushmore.
Shot video of dove hunting in the Pierre area, walleye fishing on the Missouri River, and elk near Ipswich.
Outdoor hostings also come under niche markets and shoulder season promotions:
Worked with Ron Schara enterprises on the filming of two television shows “Pheasant Forever Television/Backroads with Ron and Raven,” which will focus on opening pheasant season festivities and opportunities for pheasant hunting. Shows will air on ESPN and the Outdoor Life Network.
Hosted writer from BASS Times, official B.A.S.S. publication, during a large bass fishing tournament in the Yankton area. Provided writer with background information and photographs.
Made final edits to Outdoor News, which is sent to 3,000 outdoor writers and editors across the country three times a year. This edition will be mailed in October. It contains story ideas on Paddling East and West of the Missouri: Big Sioux and James Rivers, Cheyenne River, Little White River, etc.; Southeast Birding Trail Guide; Ice Out Pike: northern pike fishing on Lake Oahe; Fat Tire Biking and Fishing – Have bike and fishing pole – will travel; and South Dakota provides Training Dollars to Firearm Companies. It will be placed on MediaSD.com as well.
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Continue to improve rural tourism efforts with tribes.
Worked with casting director on a press release for an open casting call for American Indians of all ages for the upcoming HBO mini-series, “Into the West.” Worked with KILI, KINI, KLND, and public radio as well as in-state newspapers to advertise the casting call.
Contacted by in-state actor regarding future film projects and marketing ideas.
Photographed Lewis and Clark Signature Event activities in Pierre, including the Bad River Gathering, Corps II exhibit, and Lakota Heritage Society Pageant.
South Dakota’s Signature Event “Oceti Sakowin Experience: Remembering and Educating” concluded at the Bad River Gathering. A follow up report will be sent to the Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates (ATTA). Will continue attending ATTA meetings and providing assistance to the organization as applicable and to market the Native American Scenic Byway.
Contacted representative of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe for a tour of bison herd for a journalist from Germany. The journalists also visited the Buffalo Interpretive Center and attended the pow wow in Lower Brule; Red Cloud Heritage Center and Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation; and Wounded Knee Museum in Wall.
Provide media with updates on a regular basis.
Distributed and posted press releases for Corn Palace Polka Festival, Bad River Gathering, and Old Time Fiddlers Jamboree to State News Web site and MediaSD.com. Drafted copy and sent upcoming event information to Governor’s Office for inclusion in weekly news tips.
Fulfilled request from the Des Moines Register for editorial direction for article on fall travel to South Dakota. Interviewed live for 20 minutes on Depot Radio to promote the shoulder season, Lewis and Clark Signature Event, and other Great Events. Interviewed live for 15 minutes on Travel Queen, a travel show on Michigan Talk Radio Network, to discuss travel opportunities during the shoulder season. Interviewed by South Dakota Public Radio for story on Lewis and Clark re-enactors. Interviewed by Dakota News Group on media interested in South Dakota. Provided general information and/or interviews to American Heritage, MSNBC, Midwest Living, Country Living, Nebraska Radio, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, and freelance journalists, Dakota Arms, Tony Dean Outdoors, Wisconsin Outdoor News, Pointing Dog Journal, Fishing the Midwest, Raghorn News, Field and Stream, Outdoor Life, Chicago Tribune, and Sports Afield.
See listings under 1.B. Shoulder Season Promotions for travel writer hosting and Buffalo Roundup press hosting.
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Governor’s Invitational Pheasant Hunt: Coordinated mailing of invitations to prospects and media. Sent files for production of vehicle decals and license plates. Reviewed designs for other Hunt items. Researched, designed, and arranged for the production of other print materials and other Hunt items.
Tested the newly updated versions of MSN search and Ask Jeeves. Added several meta tag keywords to the Kid Zone section of TravelSD that should make it friendlier to the SoDakLive directory. E-mailed Intellicast.com regarding their Fall Foliage section and asked them to include a link to our Fall Foliage page on TravelSD.com.
Assisted: Authentic Entertainment Productions with their television show “Vacation Home Search” with production services, crew, and lodging assistance in the Sioux Falls area. “Discovery America” with their High Definition project, to be shot in South Dakota in October, with crew, services, and recommended activities in October.
Contacted by a New York producer regarding a music video in the Black Hills; a production company regarding catering for a commercial shoot in Sioux Falls; a producer regarding locations and crew for a television program shooting in the Black Hills; a location scout for locations for a commercial shoot; and a Washington D.C. producer regarding grip, lights, and crew for an ad to be shot in Sioux Falls.
Mailed 24 production guides to production companies in California, New York, Washington, New Jersey, Colorado, Florida, Oregon, New Mexico, Virginia, Iowa, Tennessee, and Indiana.
Sent a list of events taking place from October 1-18 to a producer for coverage in a television show. He is planning on shooting at the Buffalo Roundup.
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