About the Program
Great service is extremely important to the South Dakota Department of Tourism. That’s why we want to put a spotlight on the businesses that exemplify great service around the state. We value and appreciate the businesses that consistently put people first, continuously go above and beyond, and help strangers at every opportunity. The South Dakota Great Place program recognizes these businesses each year.
How to Apply
- To apply as a business for the South Dakota Great Place designation, click here for the online application form (the 2023 form will be available in February). The application deadline is October 15.
- Businesses that demonstrate the highest levels of service and hospitality will be considered for the George S. Mickelson Award given annually at the South Dakota Governor’s Conference on Tourism. To be eligible for consideration, the business must first have requested and received the South Dakota Great Place designation. For Mickelson Award consideration, the Great Place application must be received by October 15, 2023.
- This program replaces the Great Service Star (GSS) program. There are similarities to the GSS program, but please note that some requirements have changed.
Applications must include:
- Evidence of excellent customer service, including:
- Comment cards and/or online comments.
- Implements an employee recognition program. The Department of Tourism's South Dakota Great Face program is a sufficient program.
- Participation in a hospitality training program. The Department of Tourism’s Online Hospitality Training program is a sufficient program for this training.
- Examples of updates made designed to enhance the customer experience. This can include painting, welcome gifts, new bedding in rooms, flowers designed to welcome visitors, etc.
- Information about the business’ involvement in the local tourism industry and community (memberships or involvement in local DMO, CVB, and/or chamber of commerce, volunteer work, etc.).
South Dakota Great Place designees will receive:
- A letter from the Secretary of the Department of Tourism.
- A certificate to proudly display.
- A window cling for display in the front entrance, which indicates that the business is an official South Dakota Great Place.
- Access to the South Dakota Great Place logo for use in all marketing materials.
Recognition is for the year in which you apply and expires December 31 of that year.
Applications are accepted February 1-October 15 of each calendar year. No applications will be accepted from October 16 through January 31. For Mickelson Award consideration, applications must be received by October 15 each year. Businesses are eligible for recognition on an annual basis, but must reapply each year.
Deadline: October 15 - the nomination form for 2023 will be available in February
South Dakota Great Place Designees
The first group receiving the South Dakota Great Place designation was for 2020. Use the links below to view previous Great Service Star designees from 2015-2020.
If you are looking for information about recognizing an employee, please see the South Dakota Great Face program.
Please contact Bailey Carlsen, Industry Training and Legislative Relations Manager, for more information at 605-773-3301 or [email protected].