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NY Times Finds Deadwood Confused; Build Brand on Outdoors!

Deadwood makes the New York Times... for being confused:

This old Western town of gunfights and gambling is going through an identity crisis.

...“It feels more modern, a little bit more Vegas style,” said Russell Lehmbeck, 43, a tourist from Wyoming who complained that Deadwood seemed confused about what it wanted to be. “It used to feel like I could get on a horse and ride down the road and no one would say a thing” [Steven Yaccino, "As Gold and Gambling Lose Their Luster, Deadwood Seeks a Spark," New York Times, 2014.07.10].

As we discussed in February, this identity crisis is motivated in part by the decline of gambling. It's not the smoking ban draining Deadwood's casinos; it's competition from 48 states that have legalized gambling in some form. Deadwood thus continues its civic conversations about how to retool its downtown and its community brand.

I still say build the outdoor-recreation brand. Get more hikers, bikers (the pedal kind), climbers, and skiers. Pitch the natural beauty that surrounds Deadwood... and make sure Wharf and the other miners don't take away any more of the mountaintops on which Deadwood should base its brand.


  1. mike from iowa 2014.07.11

    Might I suggest running KXL through downtown Deadwood,mountain top removal mining ,oil wells and fracking rigs in neighborhoods,open pit gold mining on the creeks along with uranium mining. As long as wingnuts want to despoil the environment,having all these attractions in one place should sure enough attract them and their families and wealthy backers to enjoy their spoils. Don't forget an actual,vintage soap box so they can stand on it and blame Obie for their wealth.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.11

    Letting the pipeline construction crews spend their nights gambling in Deadwood and tent out in the forest would be more fun and profitable than building man camps out in the middle of boo-yah nowhere. Running the pipeline through Deadwood would also provide more recreation opportunities for the two and a half permanent workers in charge of monitoring the pipeline once it's built.

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