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 Students in Dr. Ignatius Cahyanto's tourism course present their ideas on a kick-off to summer event for Rushmore Cave.
From a Father’s Day caveman game adventure and an art and wine festival  to a 5K fun run, Black Hills State University tourism students spent the spring semester creating and planning a kick-off to summer event that would boost community attendance at Rushmore Cave.
 

Students in Dr. Ignatius Cahyanto’s tourism course recently presented their ideas to Deb Hanna and Ross Johnson, representatives from the Southern Hills natural adventure park. 

”The students really gave us a lot of great things to think about. All these events give us more exposure and get people to spend more time with us,” Hanna said. Early June is a slower part of the tourist season for Rushmore Cave so students planned events that would boost attendance during those down weeks. 

Three student teams competed. Cahyanto, Hanna and Johnson evaluated each event and chose the student group, Black Hills Events, and their proposal for the Rushmore 5Kave Festival as the winning team. 

Students included:  Morgan Chavez, business administration – tourism major from Gillette, Wyo; Sonja Pederson, elementary education major from Sioux Falls; Jack Nelson, business administration – tourism major from Omaha, Neb.; Lexi Jones, business administration – tourism major from Midland; Taylor Escott, mass communication major from Rapid City; and Ashley Johnson, business administration – accounting major from Rapid City. 

Each team presented their event and included everything from budget and profits to marketing and crisis management. 

Cahyanto said projects like this provide a great learning opportunity for students and allows them to relate course materials to real situations. “I believe the best way to inspire students is through real life experience,” he said. “This is a great way for students to learn the complexities of being an event planner.”

The winning team’s idea centered around a morning run and a day-long festival with local vendors. “Our number one goal is to help promote Rushmore Cave. We would also like to promote local businesses and most importantly we would like to encourage local families to stay and visit the Rushmore Cave,” Chavez said.