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Michelin Green Guide Awards South Dakota New Stars


PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota’s Black Hills and Badlands area has been awarded new stars in the 2017 edition of the Guide Vert Michelin Etats-Unis Nord-Ouest. Additionally, the cover of the guide will feature Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

The new star ratings are a result of a visit by French Michelin Guide Editor-in-Chief Philippe Orain, who came to South Dakota for the first time in June 2016.

“I had a great experience visiting the Black Hills and Badlands areas and was astonished by the concentration of potential three star landmarks,” said Mr. Orain. “I fell in love with Custer State Park and other intimate areas such as Sheridan Lake and Hill City.”

For 2017, Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, the Needles Highway, Badlands National Park and the panorama from Black Elk Peak (formerly known as Harney Peak) each received three stars, which is the highest rating given by Michelin. Only one other U.S. site gained three stars in 2017. Mount Rushmore will also be rated in the forthcoming TOPS of the Michelin Editorial Team as one of five monuments of the year to be seen in 2017.

“This recognition is a remarkable honor for South Dakota and the Black Hills area,” said James Hagen, Secretary of the Department of Tourism. “The Michelin Guide is the premier travel guide in all of Europe, and achieving a three-star rating is not easy to do. This will mean tremendous exposure for South Dakota among European travelers. The South Dakota tourism industry should be proud.”

The Michelin Guides are a series of guide books published by the French company Michelin. The Green guide evaluates tourist sites based on nine criteria, and awards up to three stars.

Criteria includes:

  1. First impression on the visitor
  2. Renown or popularity
  3. Number of monuments and/or museums to visit, or number of activities
  4. Awards and other official forms of recognition
  5. Intrinsic artistic value or historic significance of a site or work of art
  6. Beauty and aesthetic qualities
  7. Authenticity, charm and unity
  8. Convenience and visitor-friendliness, quality of reception
  9. Quality of visit

The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism and the South Dakota Arts Council. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.


Media notes:


Katlyn Richter, Global Media & Public Relations Director
South Dakota Department of Tourism
Phone: 605-773-3301