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My 2012 South Dakota Trip

On the way from the Badlands to the Black Hills your road leads you to the greatest tourist trap in the world - "Wall Drug"

Wall Drug Store, often referred to simply as "Wall Drug", is a tourist attraction located in the town of Wall, South Dakota, United States. It is a shopping mall consisting of a drug store, gift shop, restaurants and various other stores. Unlike a traditional shopping mall, all the stores at Wall Drug operate under a single entity instead of being individually run stores. The New York Times has described Wall Drug as "a sprawling tourist attraction of international renown that takes in more than $10 million a year and draws some two million annual visitors to a remote town"
The small town drugstore made its first step towards world fame when it was purchased by Ted Hustead in 1931. Hustead was a Nebraska native and pharmacist who was looking for a small town with a Catholic church in which to establish his business. He bought Wall Drug, located in a 231-person town in what he referred to as "the middle of nowhere", and strove to make a living. Business was very slow until his wife, Dorothy, got the idea to advertise free ice water to parched travellers heading to the newly-opened Mount Rushmore monument 60 miles (97 km) to the west. From that time on business was brisk. Wall Drug grew into a cowboy-themed shopping mall/department store. Wall Drug includes a western art museum, a chapel based on the one found at New Melleray Abbey near Dubuque, Iowa, and an 80-foot (24 m) Apatosaurus that can be seen right off Interstate 90.
Wall Drug earns much of its fame from its self-promotion. Billboards advertising the establishment can be seen for hundreds of miles throughout South Dakota and the neighboring states. In addition, many visitors of Wall Drug have erected signs throughout the world announcing the miles to Wall Drug from famous locations. Wall Drug has over 500 miles (800 km) of billboards on Interstate 90, stretching from Minnesota to Billings, Montana. Wall Drug spends an estimated $400,000 on billboards every year.
To date, Wall Drug still offers free ice water, but as they have become more popular, they have started to offer free bumper stickers and signs to aid in promotion, and coffee for 5 cents. Some popular free bumper stickers read "Where the heck is Wall Drug?", "How many miles to Wall Drug?", and "Where in the world is Wall Drug?".
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Comments on this photo:

Sep 07 2012 19:53 GMT elsje323
great shot
Sep 07 2012 21:15 GMT 25barb
An outstanding an magnificent photo. Great pov and dof.
Love the natural lighting and the composition...
Fantastic capture with wonderful light.
Great notes... most interesting.
Sep 08 2012 03:57 GMT hallo
Very nice lighting!
Sep 08 2012 13:59 GMT EveCN
good job
Sep 08 2012 14:09 GMT FRIESIAN
Outstanding photo John!

FT2