Hill City chamber gives update

Gray Hughes

At the meeting of the Hill City Common Council on Monday, Janet Wetovick-Bily, executive director of the Hill City Area Chamber of Commerce, presented to the board about how the chamber is doing thus far into the spring.

For April, the chamber was focused on membership, its annual dinner and hiring and training new staff, among other things, Wetovick-Bily said.

Also, the chamber — in conjuncion with the city — is preparing for a July 3 event this year. The event will feature, among other things, a parade down Main Street at 10 a.m., a pancake breakfast at the Hill City Senior Center and a pie and ice cream celebration at the Hill City Visitor Information Center in the afternoon.

Wetovick-Bily reported that while phone inquiries have been slightly down since April 2019 due to an issue with the phone system at the visitor information center (she said, too, due to the abnormal 2020 the chamber is not putting much stock in 2020 numbers), visitation at the visitor information center has been up.

This all bodes well for a very solid 2021 tourist season, Wetovick-Bily said.

“But for the most part, we are seeing a general uptick in visitation over 2019,” Wetovick-Bily said. “We are getting increased foot traffic (in the visitor information center). And the municipal sales tax is up, too.”

The chamber, too, is assisting people looking to relocate to the Black Hills. Wetovick-Bily said she spent time on the phone with a couple from Arizona who look to be relocating, and Hill City is on their list.

In other news, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office reported at the meeting that there were five arrests in Hill City for the month of April.

Sgt. Randy Harkins reported to the council that one of the arrests was a warrant arrest for traffic-related charges and the other four were non-warrant arrests: three for drug possession and one for driving under the influence.

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