South Dakota Great Place Program

About the Program

Great service is extremely important to Travel South Dakota. That’s why we want to put a spotlight on the businesses, communities and organizations that exemplify great service around the state. We value and appreciate these entities that consistently put people first, continuously go above and beyond, and help strangers at every opportunity. The South Dakota Great Place program recognizes these entities each year.

South Dakota Great Place Program

How to Apply

  • To apply as a business for the South Dakota Great Place designation, click here for the online application form. The application deadline is October 15.
  • Businesses, communities and organizations 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 entity must first have applied for and received the South Dakota Great Place designation. For Mickelson Award consideration, the Great Place application must be received by October 15, 2024.
  • This program replaces the Great Service Star (GSS) program.

Applications must include:

  • Evidence of excellent customer service, including:
    • Current year visitor feedback and positive reviews.
    • A current employee recognition program. Travel South Dakota's South Dakota Great Face program is a sufficient program. If a different program is used, be sure to describe it.
    • Participation in a hospitality training program. Travel South Dakota’s Online Hospitality Training program is a sufficient program for this training. If a different program is used, be sure to describe it.
  • Examples of updates made designed to enhance the customer experience at your place of business. Examples of this include upgrades to your business (new landscaping, new updates to buildings), welcome gifts for visitors, upgraded conference facilities, upgrades to lodging (new bedding, TVs, furniture, etc.), 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 South Dakota Great Place award and official window cling for display in the front entrance.
  • South Dakota Great Place certificate to proudly display.
  • Access to the South Dakota Great Place logo for use in all marketing materials.
  • Display of the South Dakota Great Place logo on
  • Inclusion in list of designees on (see below).
  • Inclusion in a South Dakota Great Place press release.
  • Share list of designees on LinkedIn.
  • Recognition during the South Dakota Governor's Conference on Tourism.


Recognition is for the year in which you apply and expires December 31 of that year.

Applications are accepted February-October 15 of each calendar year. No applications will be accepted from October 16 through early February. 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.


South Dakota Great Place Application Form


Annual Deadline: October 15


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.

2023 Great Place Designees

2022 Great Place Designees

2021 Great Place Designees

2020 Great Place Designees

2020 Great Service Star Designees

2019 Great Service Star Designees

2018 Great Service Star Designees

2017 Great Service Star Designees

2016 Great Service Star Designees

2015 Great Service Star Designees


If you are looking for information about recognizing an employee, please see the South Dakota Great Face program.




Please contact Bailey Tysdal, Industry Training & Legislative Relations Manager, for more information at 605-773-3301 or [email protected].