ABA Names Corn Palace Festival a Top Event

Mitchell may be seeing more tour buses stopping by the Corn Palace next summer. The American Bus Association has named the Corn Palace Festival one of the top events for group travel in 2013 in their annual “Top 100 Events” publication. The Mitchell Convention and Visitors Bureau, an ABA member, nominated the event.

“This is a great award for a great event, and is a fantastic spotlight for the Corn Palace, the festival, and for Mitchell,” said CVB Director Jacki Miskimins. “Bus travel is a core component of Mitchell tourism, and this award speaks directly to group travel planners. On top of that, the publication listing also mentioned our other Mitchell attractions – money can’t buy that kind of exposure!”

Mark Schilling, Corn Palace Director, is also very pleased. “It’s quite an honor being selected. We’re very proud of the tradition we have with the Corn Palace Festival dating back to 1892.” Schilling added that the 2013 entertainment line-up will be coming soon. “We always offer something for everyone, and for bus groups we can be flexible with group rates to our shows.”

The American Bus Association is a trade organization representing the intercity bus industry. Its annual compendium “Top 100 Events in North America” features the best events for group travel in the United States and Canada. Events are chosen by a panel of member bus and tour operators, and winners are published in a special supplement to Destinations, ABA’s magazine.

“Mitchell is a popular stop for group travel, because we’re so accessible from the Interstate and the Corn Palace is a free attraction. Being named a top event for group travel is a huge honor, and will likely help our group numbers in the years to come,” Miskimins said.

According to CVB records, Mitchell has received over 180 tour buses each year for the past four years. In 2011, there were over 200. “Those numbers are just the buses that schedule ahead and let us know they’re coming; many more show up unannounced, and of course we’re happy to see them.” Miskimins added. “With this award, hopefully we’ll see an increase in our bus traffic next year. The more folks we can get to enjoy Mitchell and the Corn Palace Festival, the better.”

The Mitchell CVB will be representing Mitchell as a group travel destination at the ABA’s annual conference January 5-9, 2013. “We hope to capitalize on this award when we meet travel planners in person. It definitely helps us stand out.”

The 2013 Corn Palace Festival will be held August 21-25. The Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup Arts Festival, held Sept. 28-30 in Custer, SD, is the only other South Dakota event selected for the award.