RAPID CITY, S.D. — She’s a familiar face – spending a huge chunk of her time promoting the Black Hills area. Julie Jensen’s contribution to the local tourism industry is significant and will be remembered as she retires from Visit Rapid City.
After 21 years of pouring herself into the visitor industry and promoting Rapid City and the Black Hills, Jensen reflects on her career with reverence.
“I am the biggest fan of South Dakota and Western South Dakota. I have spent my life working to promote this area,” says Julie Jensen, retiring president & CEO of Visit Rapid City.
Born and raised in the state, she worked for a former governor of South Dakota, and cultivated a love for promoting this area.
“And I got engulfed in the tourism industry and I have never let it go because it’s such a huge part of our economy. I don’t know that people always appreciate how wonderful the visitor industry is in terms of you know, economic impact,” Jensen says. “I – we – are so blessed to have this amazing part of America.”
Her career has centered around the states offerings, specifically the Rapid City area – and her passion runs deep.
“We celebrate many of the icons that come with Mount Rushmore and Wind Cave and Jewel Cave, the Badlands…there is just no one event. It’s the everyday event that I celebrate. We live in God’s country and I could not be prouder.”
She considers the hospitality of South Dakota residents as a contributing factor to the success of the local travel and tourism industry.
“We’d say, ‘come here and enjoy what we have to offer.’ The way we treat visitors is impactful and I have for years talked about how it, how powerful that is.”
Jensen also serves on many nonprofit boards and has given her time to be a foster mother. She considers community involvement as a part of her life, and will continue to remain a fan and advocate for Rapid City and the surrounding area.
“Now that I’m retiring, I get to be a full time mom and grandma. Between my kids and my volunteerism, I am going to always be a Rapid City proponent.”
Jensen says, most of all, she will miss the relationships with her co-workers. We wish Julie the best in her future endeavors!