USA/SD: Wall Drug

“A tourist trap is an establishment (or group of establishments) that has been created or re-purposed with the aim of attracting tourists and their money”. And the town of Wall along the I-90 interstate highway is the ultimate road trap. The billboards announcing it start about 200 miles away in both directions and in other states. Wall Drug stands for a drug store that was originally established here in 1931 when a pharmacist and businessman from Nebraska bought a small store in a tiny town in South Dakota that at that time was known as “the middle of nowhere”. Business was very slow and he started advertising free ice water and 5 cents coffee to anyone going west to see Mount Rushmore some 100 miles away. And this still remains the main pitch – plus the cowboy-themes souvenirs shops, antique outlets, mini-museums, kitschy paraphernalia, and so on and so forth – over 2 million visitors come here every year (which is more then 2x the number of people visiting the nearby spectacular Badlands National Park). Wall Drug was packed with people like sardines in a can, everyone without masks, it’s all Trump country here.