Economic Diversity Amid Scenic Beauty
The best example of Hill City’s economic diversity can be seen on U.S. Highway 385 on the north edge of town. On one side of the road, steam pours from the lumber kilns at the Rushmore Forest Products sawmill. On the other side is Prairie Berry Winery, one of the most successful wine makers of the Upper Midwest.
Hill City has become home to artists, artisans, art galleries and specialty shops that cater to a variety of creative tastes. The Rushmore Region’s nonprofit arts-and-culture sector is a $114.3 million industry, supporting nearly 3,600 jobs and generating $10 million in revenue for state and local government. As the arts community of the Black Hills, Hill City continues to assert itself as a primary location for regional art of all media.
The diversity doesn’t stop there. At Hill City’s Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, visitors can see some of the world’s rarest and most complete dinosaur fossils. The institute, on Main Street, is part museum, part retail store and part research facility, where fossils collected by institute paleontologists are preserved and cataloged.
The city, with a population of 966, also attracts a diverse mix of outdoor adventure enthusiasts such as rock climbers and mountain bikers. The granite spires near Mount Rushmore and the Needles Highway offer world-class climbing.