May 19th and 20th 2017 will be our next trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota. For those new to this – it will be the 4th Annual Black Hills Sounds of Silence Road Trip! Last year we had 59 cars and 105 drivers, friends, and spouses attending. Again, tell your friends & sign up by sending me a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. This next year we plan to automate registration on-line but until then I will add your name to thea invite list manually.
We will again have a minor registration fee of $40/car to cover the costs of food, drink, entertainment and to get a better count of those planning to attend. Considering your registration packet gives you $10 in “Custer Cash” and an annual pin, this is a pretty good deal. Register electronically at: http://www.blackhillsparks.org/tesla-black-hills-rally-2017-registration/
The Custer Chamber of Commerce Executive Director and host, Dave Ressler (my brother-in-law) has his team will be COMPLETELY on top of the event again.
Charging Will Be Awesome (again):
• The six Level 2 chargers in the Chamber lot will be live and available. Look on Plug Share for the exact location.
• In 2015 Tesla Destination Charging worked with local hotels to get Tesla wall chargers and 32A Clipper Stations installed in the community. There are now 8 locations throughout town at: 2 @ Bavarian Inn, 2 @ Super 8 Motel, 2 @ Comfort Inn, 2 @ Holiday Inn, 2 @ Rocket Motel, 2@ Rock Crest Motel, 2 @ Econo Lodge.
• In addition, we will have temporary chargers: 4 @ Dacotah Bank (across the street from the Chamber offices, 20 @ Buffalo Ridge Camp Resort (formerly Flintstones – and across from Holiday Inn Express). The chargers are spread about to several transformers to ensure we do not trip any circuits (like the first year…).
• All in all – I count 40+ charging locations – it MUST be the highest density of charging per capita in the nation!
• Dave is also planning shuttle service to the charging sites from the hotels for those needing a lift during their charging times – talk about great service! Dave has a tour company on-board for transportation around town to get to your cars after charging. Details on how this will work will be coordinated on Friday at the mixer.
• There are other charging locations near the site including local RV parks. We will ensure plenty of access for charging in town.
• For those coming from the east, there are four Super Chargers 45 miles from Custer in Rapid City, SD off of I-90 (north side in the mall parking lot).
• For those traveling from Denver, the last Super Charger is in Lusk, WY (at the Wagon Wheel Motel) so charge fully as it is uphill and often windy in Wyoming.
Local Accommodation and Special Rates:
• You can make reservations at the local hotels at the preferred rate. You might consider advance reservations as soon as you can.
• Dave has arranged discounted hotel room rates. Please take advantage of this as it is the way to say “thank-you” to the local community for sponsoring us. You can stay other places, but local is best for the Chamber (if you get my drift).
• Here are hotel details (2017 rates may increase slightly):
Holiday Inn Express $94.99/night (605) 673-2500 (2 chargers)
Super 8 $64.99/night (60) 673-2200 (2 chargers)
Bavarian Inn Call for Rate (605) 673 2802 (2 chargers)
Rocket Motel $89 or $99/nt (605) 676-4401 (2 chargers)
Rock Crest Lodge Call for Rate (877) 412-2246 cabin rates vary (2 chargers)
Comfort Inn $84.99 /night (605) 673-3221
• You need to let reservations know you are coming for the Tesla Rally in May 2017 in Custer.
• During the winter months, the area is not as active, so this is a way to get advance arrangements made and sometimes you may need to leave a message.
• Last year there was one camper pulled by a Tesla and we have arranged to stay near town at French Creek RV Park for others. Just let Dave know.
• Other local information can be found at the Custer Chamber of Commerce website: http://www.visitcuster.com/chamber/
May 19th “Mixer” Event:
• Arrive in Custer, SD by about mid-afternoon, parking in the Chamber of Commerce and Dacotah Bank parking lots (across from each other and separated by 6th Street) for an informal show and local “mixer”
• This is a monthly event but with this special show, last year we had 700 people visiting, including us!
• We will have local enthusiasts mixing with our owners, so be prepared to be an informal advocate.
• Dave is the consummate host and he has arranged an excellent way to get to know your fellow owners and the Custer area locals.
• On 6th Street between these lots we will have a stage facing North at the end of the street with live band entertainment.
• In the middle of the street we will be serving food (part of your registration).
• Between the stage and parked Tesla cars, we will have picnic tables and a keg on tap (part of your registration).
• The welcome event/mixer has many local sponsors and it will run from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Friday night.
• The Custer Area Chamber of Commerce will handle promotion of the event through media channels…last year got some great exposure with local television and news coverage.
May 20th Touring the Area and Monuments:
• The Chamber will highlight two or three driving routes for people to see the surrounding hills and monuments. There will be a map in your welcome bag with routes and charging locations.
• We can have “rally-type” drives (in groups) if you like, but it is not necessary. We can make that call the evening of the 19th
• Wonderful destinations include the Historic Town of Custer (with oldest bar) and great eating venues, Custer State Park, The Wildlife Loop Road (complete with wild bison, donkeys, turkey, pronghorn, elk, and the like), Crazy Horse Memorial, Mount Rushmore MNational Memorial, Wind Cave, Jewel Cave National Monument, and other surrounding Old West towns like Deadwood and Hill City. The photo of my black Tesla is on the Needles Highway
• There will be another great event at Crazy Horse this year for dinner (part of your registration). The last 3 years we had a group photo of all our cars in the foreground parking lot in front of the memorial. The group photo is scheduled at 5:00 pm on Saturday. Following the photo, there is self-access to tour the museum, and the Chamber dinner at 6:30 pm. They light up the mountain for the group. This gives everyone the whole day to drive around and come back to Crazy Horse. The photo to the left is last year’s event with 35 cars.
• Dave is providing complimentary passes to Custer State Park, Wildlife Loop Road and Crazy Horse (part of your registration). Mount Rushmore parking lot is controlled by an NGO non-profit so you will need to pay for your own parking if visiting. We found a couple of chargers near the elevators that are not advertised but parking is hit/miss so do not count on it. No problem as it is a short drive to Custer anyway!
• The Custer Chamber of Commerce is also providing a welcome gift bag with local information. We will have a table set up in the Chamber office or a tent very near it to register. This way you can get your goodie bag with your ANNUAL pin and yes, a different color every year – last year was blue to match the new car color with the founders having gold for year #1. We will also need information from you for ongoing coordination over the weekend and to connect with courtesy shuttles.
• You will receive $10 in “Custer Cash” in your gift bag for each car (use it just like cash in Custer) exclusively offered for those staying in Custer (part of your registration). If you choose another town to stay in, you will miss this benefit!
Other Technology Ways to Connect:
• Thanks to the Colorado Springs Electric Vehicle Club and Wilson Hitchings, we now have our own website where we will be developing a more consistent communication process than this mass e-mail. It is at http://www.swteslarally.com/
• Milo Eckles, one of the 10 original road trippers, updated another way to connect electronically in advance of the event. The site was down for a while and now should be operational. The website contains pertinent emails about the event that will be migrated to our site next year. We are not planning to coordinate congestion at the superchargers as it looks as if most people will be spread out enough & charging generally only takes 20 minutes. Milo’s sites are either custer.eckles.us or www.custer.eckles.us If you have questions, he can be reached at email@example.com or 720-560-9859.
• Another enthusiast and participant, Bill Talbot has created a way to track each other on the trip. Here are the details: The concept is called a bang tag and if you choose to use it, feel free. The tag created is (!soundofsilence) note the exclamation mark, or bang in the tag. Anyone that knows this tag can follow the progress of the rally. First they must go to www.glympse.com to down load the app, add tag !soundofsilence and then it can be e-mailed or texted.
Our special thanks to the Custer Community and its business leaders – they will be recognized at our mixer for their generous support! Also thank you to Patty Ressler (Dave’s wife and Executive Director of Black Hills Parks and Forests Association) for providing the annual pins.
We hope to see you there! Above nis a photo of my car on one of the beautiful drives.
Rod Hoffman, PE
S & H Consulting LLC
115 Cedar Way | Evergreen, Colorado | 80439
Phone: 303.674.0475 | Cell: 303.517.9430 | Fax: 303.679.9998