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Contact: Christine Czazasty, 605 433-5240
Contact: Eric Leonard, email@example.com
Cactus Flat, SD –The staff and volunteers of Minuteman Missile National Historic Site invite the public to a grand opening ceremony for park's visitor center at 1:00 p.m. on the afternoon of Saturday, September 24, 2016.
The visitor center presents an opportunity to reflect on a peaceful prairie that once held the power to destroy the world. From a grassy overlook off Interstate 90, the visitor center is a public venue for examining the challenges and paradoxes of Cold War. The new exhibits share stories of the technology that made it possible, service men and women, citizens near and far who feared the worst, the call for civil defense, and leaders at home and abroad who led the world to the brink and back. Funded by the National Park Service and the Air Force, the 7,000 square-foot facility incorporates both a visitor center with interpretive space as well as administrative offices.
While the building was completed in late 2014, comprehensive interpretive exhibits were only completed and installed this past spring. Located at the eastern gateway to Badlands National Park, the visitor center is perfectly situated to accommodate large numbers of visitors. In 2015 park visitation saw a 62% increase to a record 100,488. Through August 2016, visitation for the year in progress is 103,916, an increase so far of 34% over last year's record.
"We welcome the public to join us in celebrating the completion of the visitor center and exhibits. This is an exciting milestone for South Dakota's youngest national park site," remarked Superintendent Eric Leonard.
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. Authorized 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. The park is open daily 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. 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 413 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.