March is National Women’s History Month and North Dakota Tourism is grateful for the contributions of women who are leaders in destination marketing in North Dakota.
The impact of women leaders in the tourism industry cannot be overstated. A recent study found that women make up 54% of the worldwide tourism workforce. In North Dakota, contributions include those of Jennifer Morlock, president of Dakota Cyclery in Medora; Anne Reimers Hoffert, owner of Pipestem Creek Garden Lodging and Nature Retreat near Carrington; Kelly Sorge, owner Indian Hills Resort near Garrison; and Becky Barnes, paleontologist with the North Dakota Geological Survey.
Morlock took her enthusiasm for mountain biking to Medora in 1994. Her full-service bike shop runs shuttles and conducts guided mountain bike tours through the Badlands and along the Maah Daah Hey Trail. Tours are geared toward beginners and experts alike and range from two hours to fully supported multi-day adventures from May to October. www.dakotacyclery.com
Hoffert has been a birder since age five and returned to open Pipestem Creek in 1991 to share her lifelong passion with others. Her 700-acre gardens are a quaint retreat for guests looking for a quiet, relaxing afternoon or overnight stay in one of the renovated grain bins, Bobolink or Longspur. www.pipestemcreek.com
Sorge is a second-generation resort owner at Indian Hills, located on the north shore of Lake Sakakawea west of Garrison. The resort started by her mother, Tolly, is an important access point to the big lake and a recreational hub for anglers and boaters and hikers and bikers on the Nux Baa Gaa Trail. https://www.fishindianhills.com
Barnes doesn’t own her own business, but she does own a keen sense of dinosaurs and where to find their remains. A “girl who loves monsters,” she conducts popular dinosaur digs across the state of North Dakota each summer. The popular digs from the Pembina Gorge in the northeast to Medora in the southwest fill up quickly so participants are encouraged to sign up soon. https://www.dmr.nd.gov/dmr/paleontology/fossil-digs
These women, and many more like them, play key roles in the hospitality and tourism industry in North Dakota, where visitors can follow their curiosity and not the crowds to wide-open spaces and inspiring adventures.