The summer tourism season is just starting and already more people from around the United States have visited Falls Park in Sioux Falls. In fact, numbers are up from this time last year.
The kick off to the weekend is looking busy at Falls Park in Sioux Falls. We're finding more people from out-of-state like Idaho and Iowa than in-state.
Reporter: Where are you from?
"Minneapolis, Minnesota," Lee Hile said.
Reporter: Where are you from?
"We are from Belmond, Iowa," Kirt Crist said.
Reporter: How far away is that?
"Four hours," Crist said.
And there are a few reasons why they're visiting.
"We're actually passing through and going to Rapid City," Hile said.
"We were actually at the zoo before this and we picked up a guide and it has a map that brought us to the Falls," Crist said.
Visitors say Falls Park and seeing other parts of the city has been fun, no matter how old you are.
Reporter: Where did you go with mom and dad?
"The zoo," 4-year-old Karli Crist said.
Reporter: What did you like about the zoo?
"Well there's baby monkeys and I saw giraffes and zebras," Karli Crist said.
From the beginning of this year until now more than 57,000 people have visited Falls Park and when you come you're encouraged to sign the electronic guest book. While you can't see who was here, workers also keep track on paper and we found people from all over including Texas, Minnesota, Tennessee even Massachusetts.
"We're up 7,000 people from the same time period from last year," Schmidt said.
Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Teri Schmidt might have an idea why.
"I think early spring, the nice weather is really a part of it," Schmidt said.
Or it could be because the visitors bureau has done double the marketing and advertising.
"We really hope that's driving people in. Somehow they're getting the word and finding out about Sioux Falls and Falls Park," Schmidt said.
And it must be working because people who visit say they'll come back.
"Everyone seems nice and it's a beautiful day. We're having fun," Hile said.
And the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau hope numbers continue to increase this summer. The office prints out 250,000 of their visitors guide which is spread across the city, state and country.
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