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NFAA Easton Yankton
Archery Complex

800 Archery Lane
Yankton, SD 57078
605-260-9282
info@neyac.org

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Yankton Trying to Capitalize on Archery

If Yankton is to become a target for archery enthusiasts and businesses, local officials know it is going to take a concerted effort to get it there.

So, instead of waiting for a magic arrow to strike, they've been going to work to promote the community in the archery world since Yankton was named the new home of the National Field Archery Association's (NFAA) national headquarters, as well as an Easton Sports Development Foundation archery training center.

Recently, a contingent of Yankton officials traveled to Las Vegas to participate in the NFAA's World Archery Festival and Vegas Shoot.

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"Some good things really came out of it," said Nate Franzen, president of the Yankton Area Chamber of Commerce. "It was a real eye-opener to me. They had 5,000 archery enthusiasts there and a lot of industry people."

Franzen, along with Yankton Parks and Recreation Director Todd Larson and Yankton Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Lisa Scheve, promoted Yankton as a vacation destination, especially to those who may be interested in participating in two NFAA tournaments being held here in July. The 3-D Unmarked Nationals and the Outdoor National Championship will be held July 19-20 and July 21-25, respectively.

"As we get the national headquarters in town and we hold some of their major archery events, there's a real opportunity for us to showcase what a great community we have," Franzen said.

Bruce Cull, president of the National Field Archery Association (NFAA) and co-owner of Yankton's Dakota Archery & Outdoor Sports, has offered valuable advice, according to Scheve.

"We've been very fortunate to have Bruce Cull, who has been a really great resource for us," she said. "We can bounce ideas off him."

In addition to attracting visitors, officials hope to bring archery-related businesses to Yankton.

"It's fair to say we're putting special emphasis on planning for that industry," Franzen said. "The Black Hills has made a concerted effort from an economic development standpoint to cater to the firearms industry. I think Yankton is positioned now to do a very similar thing toward the archery industry."

Yankton Mayor Charlie Gross said that between the Chamber, the Economic Development Council and the Office of Economic Development, there will be a very proactive effort to convince those businesses that Yankton makes sense for them.

"With Bruce Cull's work in the last few years, we've seen what can happen," Gross said. "It's now up to us to continue those efforts. Very seldom does it walk in the door; someone has to go pursue it. What we're seeing is, there are a number of smaller businesses that are related to archery for whom having the (NFAA) headquarters here would be a draw. Continuing to have the tournaments is a draw. You work it."

Franzen said he doesn't expect companies to move here overnight, but Yankton officials have been making an effort to meet with industry officials and let them know the city is interested in making them a part of the community. Gov. Rounds even invited some archery representatives to his annual pheasant hunt, Franzen added.

"Really positive conversations have taken place," he said. "Some archery-related industries have expressed a sincere interest in the coming years to look at doing something in our community. There's potential for announcements in the future."

Since the Lewis and Clark Lake Area is the second-most visited destination in South Dakota, and the recent archery developments will only add to that influx of visitors, Franzen said the time may be appropriate for the community to look at the costs and benefits of building an events center.

"It's nothing we rush into, and it is nothing we can do overnight, but with the number of visitors we have that come here," it could very well be an economical option for the area, Franzen said.

In the meantime, officials said they will continue to promote Yankton as a target for archery enthusiasts.

"I think there's a lot of potential for Yankton to continue to grow in the archery world," Scheve said. "The NFAA headquarters and Easton stepping on board is a whole new stepping stone for us. It's another avenue that makes us so much more marketable to visitors."

As archers once again descend on the community for the tournaments in July, Franzen said he believes Yankton can make an impression.

"I really think this is a great opportunity for the community as a whole to put its best foot forward," he said. "That's not just the Chamber or economic development officials - that's our residents, our businesses."