20th year of Progress!

This week’s Progress Editions of the Custer County Chronicle and Hill City Prevailer News mark the 20th consecutive year of their publications, and they come at a time when our readers could use a lot of good news for a change. The coronavirus has kept us apart for too many weeks. Hopefully, these editions in their respective communities can help bring us together again.
We started working on these editions in pre-virus times of January and February when things are a little slower. Little did we realize how all of our lives would be changed in just a few short weeks. Thankfully, our advertisers hung with us as the spread of the COVID-19 virus started to affect the business community as opening restrictions were put in place by state and local governments. 
There is a lot to look forward to this summer as you will see by reading about all the business changes and improvements planned in our areas. Once we get open, and we have to get open soon, visitors will suddenly appear in droves. Our hospitality businesses in the Black Hills are chomping at the bit to get their restaurants, hotels and gift shops up and running at full throttle once again. The fate of our state’s second-largest industry hangs in the balance.
In these special Progress editions this week you will read about a number of people who are just itching to get their businesses up and going once again. We seem to be living in an area that is relatively free from the dangers of COVID-19. Tests conducted thus far in Custer County have proven to be negative for the virus. If plans are to open up parts of the country incrementally, we seem to be ideal candidates for getting back to work.
Western South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota have very few reported cases of the virus. We hope our governor realizes that there is a big difference in the number of virus cases reported at both ends of the state. The wide open spaces of western South Dakota are not eastern South Dakota. And, we hope our local government elected officials will realize that Custer and Hill City are not Rapid City.
We may be able to survive another month of enduring the present shutdowns, but beyond that would be difficult. If we are not in full operational mode, everything open, by July 1, we will be in real trouble. The minute our area is back to near normal, look out! Visitors will be flooding into our Black Hills the likes of which we have never seen.
Everyone is so looking for this all to end. In the meantime, kick back and enjoy reading about what is in store for our area in this year’s special annual Progress Edition. This should help pass the time away and be informational as well. You won’t be disappointed!
Kudos to our great staffs at both papers for a job well done, and be sure to thank the many advertisers of these special pages because we couldn’t do it without their involvement and great support!

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