Dakota Datebook

Go North to Dakota!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tourism is North Dakota’s second largest industry, bringing an estimated 3.6 billion dollars into the state in 2005. But what did it
take to bring such a quiet state to tourism fame? On this date in 1970, the Bismarck Tribune unveiled an ad campaign
geared toward not only attracting tourists, but also geared toward stealing tourists from our neighbors!

The $25,000 ad campaign was aimed at the 81% of vacationers who were prone to impulse travel. Billboards spelling out “Go North to Dakota!”
marked roadsides in Montana and near popular South Dakota vacation spots, such as Mount Rushmore.

A catchy country tune was written, billboards urged drivers to take the next exit “North, to Dakota”, and brochures were printed, leaving
North Dakota with a booming industry. So, the next time you’re vacationing, join the 81% who spontaneously amend their trips and “Go
North, To Dakota!”

by Ann Erling

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Prairie Public.

Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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