March 17, 2020

Mike Tanner


WATERTOWN, S.D.–The Watertown Convention and Visitors Bureau announced Monday it is adjusting their business practices due to the COVID-19 outbreak.


Here are the changes announced in an email to KWAT News: 


We hope you’re all keeping healthy and safe. The Watertown Convention & Visitors Bureau like all of you, is adjusting our business practices to be in balance with the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

First and foremost is the safety of our staff, our families and our community. Effective immediately (March 16th, 2020) our office will be closed. All calls will be forwarded and answered during business hours. Our team members will be working remotely from home will have full access to Internet, email and cell phones. We will be implementing teleconferencing for upcoming meetings, and will create some partner social media groups so share local and industry information as we receive it. We will also be working to update our event calendars and communicate with other organizations as postponements and cancellations occur.

We always put safety first. We’re distancing to flatten the infectious rate curve so our communities don’t overwhelm our health systems. We’ll be monitoring the pandemic in real time and adjust our business practices as needed.

COVID-19 is affecting all industries and walks of life, globally the travel industry has taken a hit, however, Watertown as a destination is in an excellent position to weather this storm. We are coming off of four record years of healthy visitor growth, and will continue to work in that direction for 2020. We are currently in communication with The South Dakota Department of Tourism, to realign the marketing campaign strategy for Watertown’s upcoming travel season. We know that this may be a game changer in 2020 for ad placement, purchase habits, and general trends across the board. We will share those insights with our industry partners as we receive them.

As with all things, this too shall pass, and we will overcome any obstacles it leaves in our path. We have a lot of great new things to look forward to in Watertown for locals and visitors alike, that is the BIG picture.