Glamp­ing Re­sort Opens In The Black Hills

Riverbank News - - NEIGHBORHOOD VALUES -

RAPID CITY, S.D. — If the idea of pitch­ing a tent and sleep­ing on the cold, hard ground doesn’t have its ap­peal, per­haps glam­our camp­ing — glamp­ing — is more your style. Glamp­ing of­fers the “rough­ing it” as­pect of an overnight stay in a tent with­out the need to give up a bath­room or a king- sized mat­tress and high- thread- count bed linens.

The Black Hills’ first glamp­ing re­sort opened last month near Key­stone, the Rapid City Jour­nal re­ported. Un­der Can­vas Mount Rush­more joins four other camps cur­rently op­er­ated by Boze­man, Mon­tana, based Un­der Can­vas.

Other camps serve Yel­low­stone, Glacier and Zion na­tional parks, with another in Moab, Utah, close to Arches and Cany­on­lands na­tional parks. Two more camps in the Great Smoky Moun­tains in Ten­nessee and the Grand Canyon in Ari- zona are slated to open later this year.

Un­der Can­vas- Mount Rush­more, sit­u­ated among the stately pines and gran­ite for­ma­tions about a mile and a half south­east of Key­stone, con­sists of 52 roomy can­vas tent cab­ins with mul­ti­ple floor plans.

All tents are erected on solid wood frames with a full floor and an ex­te­rior deck.

The ba­sic tent setup, called the Sa­fari, is a sin­gle, cabin- sized tent with close ac­cess to a com­mu­nal bath­house. The Deluxe, Stargazer and Suite op­tions in­clude a full bath­room with toi­let, sink basin and shower stall in­cluded. All tents in­clude small wood­burn­ing stoves.

The Stargazer of­fers a clear panel over the bed, com­bin­ing an un­der- thes­tars am­biance and pro­tec­tion from the weather.

Meals are served in the Em­bers Restau­rant and a check- in/ lobby area, also un­der can­vas and fea­tur­ing a large deck with a spec­tac­u­lar view of Mount Rush­more Na­tional Me­mo­rial just a few miles away. Many tent cab­ins also have a view of the me­mo­rial.

View­ing tele­scopes set up on the deck al­low guests to watch the even­ing light­ing cer­e­mony at Mount Rush­more. The view on last Wed­nes­day night came with a bonus, said as­sis­tant Mount Rush­more camp man­ager Alex Browere.

“It was cool with the sun­set,” Browere said.

The re­sort opened softly on May 24, with a grand open­ing on June 4.

Un­der Can­vas Mount Rush­more will op­er­ate on a sea­sonal ba­sis un­til Oct. 1. The tents and all in­te­rior fur­nish­ings will be taken down and stored un­til the re­sort re­opens for the 2019 sea­son, when the re­sort will ex­pand to 75 tents.

Start­ing nightly rates ( dou­ble oc­cu­pancy) range from $189 for a Sa­fari, $284 for a Deluxe, $339 for a Stargazer and $ 409 for a Suite with an ad­ja­cent tipi.

Multi- night pack­ages, in­clud­ing guided driv­ing tours of Black Hills at­trac­tions and other ac­tiv­i­ties, meals and other ameni­ties, are also avail­able.

South Dakota School of Mines men’s bas­ket­ball coach Ja­son Henry started A&Js Screen­ing, a screen print­ing busi­ness, as a side­line in 2002.

Now, Mike Lind­say has in­cor­po­rated the screen­ing busi­ness in a per­son­al­ized cloth­ing ven­ture called Park Bench Ap­parel.

Park Bench of­fers per­son­al­ized men’s and women’s cloth­ing, hats, stick­ers, signs and ban­ners and drink ac­ces­sories.

The shop is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon­day through Satur­day. Along with his own prod­ucts, he is help­ing oth­ers mar­ket their cre­ations.

“We show­case lo­cal artists and sell their stuff here too,” he said.

Strider fea­tured in Google small busi­ness re­port

Ryan McFar­land is billed not only as founder and CEO, but “chief en­thu­si­ast” of Rapid City-based Strider Bikes.

The pedal-less bike man­u­fac­turer main­tains both a bricks- and- mor­tar re­tail pres­ence but is also ac­tive and suc­cess­ful in mar­ket­ing its prod­ucts on the in­ter­net.

So much so that search en­gine Google has rec­og­nized Strider for be­ing the top-rated “Best first bike” search op­tion.

“We aim to do ev­ery­thing we can to sup­port phys­i­cal re­tail, but as a brand, we also need to be meet­ing par­ents and grand­par­ents on their terms, through web searches they are mak­ing on dig­i­tal de­vices,” McFar­land said.

Be­cause of their dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing suc­cess, Strider was se­lected by Google to rep­re­sent South Dakota as an ex­am­ple of mak­ing good use of the web to grow a busi­ness. Strider is fea­tured in Google’s an­nual Eco­nomic Im­pact Re­port, re­leased this month.

McFar­land started Strider Bikes in his garage in 2007, af­ter first re­mov­ing the ped­als and chain drive from a bike to teach his then-2year-old son to bal­ance.

Strider Bikes is now ap­proach­ing 2 mil­lion bikes sold, with distri­bu­tion in over 75 coun­tries.

“Our growth has been greatly ac­cel­er­ated by the web,” McFar­land said in a re­lease.

“The in­ter­net re­ally is the prime lo­ca­tion to run a busi­ness in to­day’s world. Our use of the web ef­fec­tively will en­able us to re­al­ize a world in which all kids possess the abil­ity to ride a bike in­de­pen­dently,” he said.

PHOTO CON­TRIB­UTED

The scenery from an Un­der Can­vas glamp­ing tent in the Black Hills.

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