About Rapid City, South Dakota
Rapid City today has a population of 70,000 and serves a metro area of 120,000 including our very good neighbor (for 68 years), Ellsworth Air Force Base, just 8.5 miles to the east. The estimate for the entire Black Hills area is 149,750. Our retail trade area counts 253,370 people and our wholesale service area 468,595. Add to those numbers, our part-time population comprised of 3,000,000 tourists to Mount Rushmore, 400,000± conventioneers at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, 400,000 bikers at the 10-day Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and so many more. Tourists visit South Dakota in the summertime and also for winter enjoyment, and since the federal and state governments own a major part of the area in their park systems, the area belongs to the full-time residents most of the year.
Our community was founded along the banks of Rapid Creek which flows from the hills in West Rapid City to the valley on the east side. The area now is a source of beauty, entertainment, and recreation for the community and the region. Traveling from Canyon Lake and the adjoining park on the west side to the east side of Rapid City, you’ll find fishing (two lakes), sports fields from polo to baseball, running tracks, soccer, plus swimming pools (indoors and out), year-round ice skating (We have an ice arena with our own hockey team.), playgrounds, over 10 miles of walking and bike paths, and much more. Our convention center, fine arts center, theatre, Journey Museum (providing a high-tech trip through 2.5 billion years of Black Hills history) with a recent planetarium addition, and many unique shops are in the city center.
Rapid City is becoming more popular each year with retirees as “the community of choice" because of the variety of activities it offers plus affordable housing and top medical facilities. We have Senior Citizens’ Centers and many organizations and assistance groups dedicated to our older citizens along with retirement subdivisions, assisted living centers and more. Rapid City Regional Hospital employs over 2,600 people and provides state-of-the-art cancer care, heart surgery, and more with specialized treatment in many areas. Finally, we offer the benefits and services of big-city living with the comfort and freedom of small-town life here in the Black Hills (the beautiful Paha Sapa) with nature and activities at their best in summer, fall, winter, and spring.