Project Description

The Prairie Gateway is a regional economic development web portal covering thirty counties of Northeast South Dakota. The goal of the gateway was to connect the regional organization with the many county and municipal organizations and unify their message.


“Golden Shovel’s professional services and technical support for the SD Prairie Gateway website and social media channels is like having a part-time employee devoted to promoting economic development in rural South Dakota. My experience with Golden Shovel has been outstanding!  From the beginning, with planning and building the website to developing social media channels, the Golden Shovel team has been constantly working to keep SD Prairie Gateway fresh and up-to-date as technology changes.  The fact that Golden Shovel is dedicated to economic development is a benefit because they are in-tune to our line of business and are also able to offer no cost expert webinars to help economic development practitioners have access to resources and professionals that help them in their everyday jobs.”

— Paula Jensen, South Dakota Prairie Gateway

When we first began working with Prairie Gateway, they were a freshly formed organization. They represented 30 counties that included 5 of South Dakota’s largest cities and over 150 rural communities. Prairie Gateway wanted our help designing and implementing a new website, and with it, a new brand.

Our aim was to create and implement something that represented both the wide, open prairies of the region, as well as the friendly, welcoming atmosphere of the rural communities. We implemented a color scheme suggestive of the local scenery - green, gold and brown fields, and blue skies. Much of the new website included images from across the region that displayed action - the action of a hardworking, progressive region.

Alongside the Prairie Gateway website, member organizations were given the opportunity to have personalized websites created for their cities, counties, and local regions. In total, we designed and implemented 9 more websites:









Information throughout the community is shared between websites, providing better information for both Prairie Gateway and their clients.

Notable Achievements

  • Designed and promoted a front page map that clearly highlights the region, their most productive cities, and their proximity to a developed highway infrastructure.
  • Created easy-to-find resource pages for common topics within the region, including local businesses, communities, higher education, ongoing events, and regional partners.
  • Planned, produced, and applied 9 personalized network websites that operate under Prairie Gateway. Total use of the network was over 142,000 times in 2015.

We first began our work with Prairie Gateway four years ago, and recently redesigned their website to take advantage of new tools and the latest trends in web design . In that time, the audience growth of Prairie Gateway has grown over 200%, with an international audience growing from 2% to over 30%. We also continue to provide advice and content driven towards meeting Prairie Gateway’s social and economic goals.

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Categories: Branding | Website | Communications | Portal

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