News release from the ND Tourism Division:
This year’s July Fourth holiday weekend prompted many people to get out and explore North Dakota’s various attractions and state parks. North Dakota Tourism reports strong visitation during the July Fourth holiday period, defined from July 1 to July 5.
State attractions pleased with visitation
From east to west and north to south, many North Dakota attractions experienced positive visitation.
The International Peace Garden near Dunseith attracted both Americans celebrating the long July Fourth holiday weekend, as well as Canadians celebrating a long Canada Day (July 1) weekend and it showed in this year’s numbers.
Doug Hevenor, CEO of the International Peace Garden, reported July Fourth weekend visitation of 4,200 visitors. “Our best weekend last year was during the three-day Métis Festival, which attracted about 5,000 visitors,” Hevenor said. “So, this year’s July Fourth weekend visitation numbers are great. I’m very pleased.”
Hevenor stated many people have been curious about the work being done to the Sunken Garden and the Interpretive Center. “It was great to see the large crowds during the July Fourth holiday weekend. Everything from our retail sales to our food sales reflected the strong visitation numbers.”
In the east, Bonanzaville USA in West Fargo reported a 400% increase in visitation. This year’s July Fourth holiday weekend brought in 434 people, compared to 106 last year during the same timeframe.
Out west, Annette Schilling, public relations and marketing director for the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, reported “Medora was hustling and bustling with people.”
According to Schilling, attendance at the nightly Medora Musical was up more than 14% from last year. More than 4,500 people attended the Medora Musical during the July Fourth weekend, compared to 3,950 for the same holiday weekend last year.
In addition, TRMF’s hotel occupancy rates were at 99% on July 3 and 97% on July 4. Schilling said these hotel occupancy rates were comparable to last year’s; however, with the recent expansion of the Rough Riders Hotel and Conference Center, TRMF now has 68 additional hotel rooms.
Camping up at North Dakota State Parks
Many people took advantage of the nice weather by pitching tents or hauling a camper to North Dakota’s state parks. According to North Dakota State Parks and Recreation, the number of campers for this year’s July Fourth weekend was 23,431, an increase of 1,355 or slightly above 6% from last year.
“AAA predicted travel during this July Fourth holiday weekend would increase 17.1 percent nationwide,” said Sara Otte Coleman, director of North Dakota Tourism. “The increase in visitation and camping numbers for North Dakota’s major attractions and state parks during July 1-5 is a positive sign that people are getting out on the road and exploring the various things to see and do throughout our state.”