Nestled into the foothills of the Black Hills is Hart Ranch RV & Camping Resort, a sprawling full-service park right outside of Rapid City.
The five-star resort has 413 full hookup RV sites with cable, electricity and sewer, along with 73 cabins, and 47 partial hookups. There’s a miniature golf course, a paintball gun course, and more across the half square mile ranch.
The population of the park fluctuates, in a typical year they see about 30,000 people. At one point in time it was considered the 11th biggest city in South Dakota, ballooning at 2,000 people.
A lot of the activities are self-run, including a three-par pasture golf course, tennis courts, and the Southern delight, pickled ball.
“It’s kind of like playing gigantic ping pong ball,” said Resort Manager Tim Schnabel.
It includes oversized ping pong rackets on a small tennis court.
Almost all the activities are included free in the membership.
As far as events go, there are plenty, with live local bands playing almost every night.
They also have theme nights, usually along the lines of ‘70s game shows or dating shows, such as the “newlywed game” and other spin-offs. Social events also include board games and card games for the whole family.
Their biggest event over the summer is Fourth of July weekend. They show outdoor movies, barbecue, and have a beer garden, all set up underneath a 40 x 100 foot tent with a dance floor and live music all weekend. For the kids, there’s a Fourth of July parade.
In terms of normal events, the weekly rodeos are certainly the biggest, says Schnabel. Wild West Wednesdays starts July 11, and consists of riding bulls and broncos.
But Schnabel said the activities aren’t the main reason a lot of the same people come through the resort every year.
“It’s the relationships, building on those relationships and building those friendships,” he said. “It’s just like summer camp or coming home.”
The park is on a membership basis, meaning he sees the same people coming through every year – both in the summer and the winter months.
“That’s one of the more fun parts about the business, getting to know, not only the people, but their friends and family,” said Schnabel. “It truly is generational, people pass it down to their kids and from their kids to their kids, they just keep coming back.”
For more information, visit hartranchresort.com.
Hart Ranch has a wide variety of activities.
- Olympic-size outdoor pool
- Hot tubs
- 9-hole, par 3 pasture golf course
- Paintball Course
- Pickleball Courts
- Tennis, volleyball, and basketball courts
- Children’s playground
- Bicycle rentals
- Mini golf
- BMX/Remote control racetrack
- Weekly rodeos
- Sand volleyball
- Shuffleboard lanes
- Dog run
- And more
There are five different memberships to suit vacation styles:
P: The P membership gives a choice of any cabins, as well as RV sites any time of the year.
A: The A membership gives access to any of the newly remodeled Colt Cabins, as well as the Colt II Cabins, in addition to RV sites.
B: The B membership grants access to any of the RV sites during peak season, as well as access to any cabin during the off season.
2W: This includes full use of all recreational facilities, use of one of the RV sites for 14 consecutive nights during peak season, then must leave resort for 14 nights before returning for another 14 consecutive nights. Rental rights to Colt & Colt II unites during peak season.
FT: The FT membership gives access to RV sites for a “float” week during peak season of Memorial Day through Labor Day, as well as the opportunity to take advantage of the RPI network of resorts and campgrounds.
Resort Options by Numbers
modern and furnished cabins (pet-friendly)
partial hook-up RV sites