We are entering into the Fall "shoulder" season here in the Black Hills. Some of the business' that cater to the tourists are starting to close for the winter and many of the seasonal workers are heading for warm weather regions. We are open year round at Crazy Horse, 365 days per year. Yep, we are open Christmas Day and yes, we do have visitors that day. :-)
Several of our work campers left in the middle of September but our tourist numbers have not declined leaving us with some very busy days with a limited amount of staff. The remaining work campers and seasonal workers will be done in the next few weeks and we'll say our "see ya later's" to them as we settle in for the winter. Some of the work campers will return but most are wanting to explore new areas, I can't blame them the call of the road and new adventure is appealing.
This year our tourist season has been extremely busy, possibly a record setter for this area. They have released the "official" numbers for attendance at this years Sturgis Rally. 739,000 people were here for just that one week! This is the largest number ever recorded for the rally and it doesn't include the numbers of people here for the weeks before and after.
We have seen a large increase in visitors, compared to prior years, this late in the season at Crazy Horse as well. The weather is still very comfortable and that, coupled with the lower fuel prices, have kept our season going strong.
Rudee's schedule has changed a little so now we don't have all the same days off. This week my boss is leaving for a week so I will need to work some extra hours to cover for him and this leaves us with just tomorrow as our only day off together :-(
No worries though because in the middle of October our open hours are decreased and we can get back to a more "normal" schedule and can say goodbye to split shifts and 14 -16 hour work days. I like the three days off that working that shift gives us but we are both pretty worn out by that fourth day at work.
One thing nice about living here is the grass doesn't grow as fast as in Indiana. I mowed our yard in the middle of July just before our Grand Kid's visited and the next time I did it was just last week. Even then it wasn't very high, of course the deer help keep it trimmed by grazing through our yard several times a day. :-)
For all you work campers out there, keep this area in mind for next year. We offer some decent benefits, competitive wages and try to be flexible with shifts and days off. The downside is that we are open early (7 am) and don't close until late in the evening 7 days per week so we need to cover all the different shifts. While the work is not extremely physically demanding, you can count on being on your feet for your entire shift. Some of our work areas require you to be outdoors at times and you can be exposed to the elements. We have work campers at the entrance booths, visitors center, bus tours, gift shop, snack shop, restaurant, campground and in maintenance. The latter two are more physically demanding and you will be outside working, mowing, cleaning etc. The campground is your basic full hook ups (30/50 amps, water,sewer), pull through sites type of campground. There is no cable TV or Wifi but the laundry and shower house are nice and well maintained. Here is a photo of our site last year.
Rudee and I will be more involved in recruiting and training work campers for next season and may be able to attend an event or two this winter so keep your eyes open for us! I'll keep you posted.