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Contact: Eric Leonard, 605 433-5552, ext. 1238
Cactus Flat, SD – 2015 was a significant milestone for Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. It not only marked the first full year of operations in our new Visitor Center, it also marked the largest single-year visitation since the park began public operations in 2004. Making a 62% increase from the previous year, 100,488 visitors stopped by the park. Visitation statistics are calculated by using a combination of visitor center numbers and program participation to calculate the number of monthly recreational visitors. Detailed park visitation information and additional information on how these statistics are calculated is available online at https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/Reports/Park/MIMI
Much of the increase is directly due to the new visitor center, located directly off of Interstate 90 at exit 131;the previous visitor contact station was two temporary buildings to the south of the present location. "The visitor center provides a great improvement in the capacity of the park to serve visitors to the area during the busy summer season," stated Park Superintendent Eric Leonard.
The installation of permanent exhibits is expected later in the spring. Exploring the full context of the Cold War, the new exhibits will give voice to the Air Force personnel and South Dakota citizens who worked and lived in the South Dakota missile field. A Grand Opening event is planned for the summer to mark the full completion of the visitor center. In addition to the exhibits, a park film is in production and should be finished in the fall of 2016.
This winter the park is open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. Ranger-led tours of the Delta-01 launch control facility are offered twice daily at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., weather permitting. Tour tickets may be obtained at the visitor center daily on a first come, first served basis. The Delta-09 missile silo is open daily, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., weather permitting;a narrated cell phone tour of the silo is available year-round using your cell phone.
Minuteman Missile National Historic Site's headquarters and visitor center is located off of exit 131, Interstate 90. The park consists of three sites along a fifteen mile stretch of Interstate 90 in Western South Dakota. Established by Congress in 1999, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site preserves components of the Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missile system, interpreting the deterrent value of the land-based portion of America's nuclear defense during the Cold War era and commemorating the people and events associated with this recent period of American history. More information about the park can be found on the internet at www.nps.gov/mimi or by phone at: 605-433-5552. Visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MinutemanMissileNHS and Twitter at https://twitter.com/mimi_ranger
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 409 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.