Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wall Drug

It's no secret that I am 5 years older than Rick. For those of you who didn't know that, well, now you do :) The age difference has never been a problem for us. We're still from the same generation, still remember the same things.

Until I said I wanted to go visit Wall Drug in Wall, SD. He had no idea what I was talking about! Why would I want to go to a drug store in a little town when I could just go to Walgreen's anywhere?

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He claimed (and still does) that he has never heard of Wall Drug! I find that surprising! So, if you're like him, here's a little background information taken from Wikipedia.

The small town drugstore made its first step towards fame when it was purchased by Ted Hustead in 1931.  He bought Wall Drug, located in a 231-person town in what he referred to as "the middle of nowhere", and strove to make a living. Business was very slow until his wife, Dorothy, got the idea to advertise free ice water to parched travellers heading to the newly-opened Mount Rushmore monument 60 miles (97 km) to the west. From that time on business was brisk.

To date, Wall Drug still offers free ice water, but as they have become more popular, they have started to offer free bumper stickers and signs to aid in promotion, and coffee for 5 cents. Some popular free bumper stickers read "Where the heck is Wall Drug?", "How many miles to Wall Drug?", and "Where in the world is Wall Drug?".

Now, here is today's Wall Drug! I'd say they were marketing geniuses!

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The place is huge! And, yes, that’s Rick in the LL corner sitting on the lap of a bunny :)  You can wander from one store to another without leaving the building…or when a building ends, they’ll make sure you can move into the next building without a hiccup. They make it very easy for you :) The town is still small and their main claim to fame is Wall Drugs. It appears that the entire population is employed there along with some of the neighboring folks. We wandered the entire property and patted ourselves on the back for not buying any of it :) We did support the local economy by buying lunch at the Cactus CafĂ©, though :)

That’s about it for this day. The temps were in the high 90’s so we headed back to Lucy and the A/C :) Thanks for stopping by. Turtle

12 comments:

  1. Wall Drug was burned into my brain from my first trip to Yellowstone Park over 55 years ago. They had me anxious to see the place from all those road signs:) Have been back with my kids and a couple of times since we started full timing:)

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  2. I went there about 45 years ago with my parents and sister. For many years my Dad had a Wall Drug sign hanging in his garage. We went to Wall Drug last year and we did make a purchase, Terri got a postcard! :)

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  3. Well, I'll admit it, I had never heard of "Wall Drug". Then again, you might be able to cut me some slack, since I'm one of those "Danged Foreigners".
    I wanted to say "furriners", but I wasn't sure it would 'sound' right. Hard to spell phonetically.
    A harmless gimmick like free ice water seems to have worked out for them. Not too shabby.

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  4. We zipped through Wall Drugs during our travels. Reminded us of South of the Border here in South Carolina! Both are major Tourist Traps;o))

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  5. The thing I remember most about Wall Drug is all the highway signs - must be hundreds of them. We just had to stop and take a look. It was a fun visit.

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  6. We went thru town with the RV and couldn't find it. Found out later we turned on the exit all the signs said to but it's really the next exit for big rigs. bummer, we'll try it again when we're in the area with our wheels.

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  7. I'm sure I must be old enough to have heard of Wall Drug but I hadn't. Maybe it's just if you were lucky enough to have parents bring you "out west". We haven't been although we've seen all the signs and have been to the Black Hills, Custer State Park and the Badlands. Haven't been to South of the Border for the same reason.

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  8. Fun, I have seen the bumper stickers but did not know the story.

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  9. I'm probably old enough to have heard of Wall Drug but too far away to know what it is...thanks for the story very interesting history...great marketing on their part..

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  10. Yep - that's on our list of places to go to! Looks like a cool place!

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  11. We're both younger than the two of you but we'very heard of Wall Drug and the free ice water. Enjoy SD.
    Syl

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  12. Though the place is tacky, it's a hoot! We ate at the Cactus Cafe too, and ate one of Wall's famous donuts.

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