With the help of a cartoon character named “Piney,” the Rapid City (S.D.) Convention and Visitors Bureau is hoping to attract more people to the destination for conventions and meetings — namely, kids.

Piney the Pinecone was created by the CVB to generate excitement among children of convention delegates so they would ask their parents to take them to Rapid City to see the area attractions. Piney resides at the CVB's Web site (www.rapidcitycvb.com), where he is the star of his own game, “Piney's Black Hills Adventure.” In the online game, Piney acts as a guide in an animated map of area attractions, such as Mount Rushmore, Bear County USA, and Badlands National Park. When a child clicks on a destination, a little car carrying the pinecone guide scoots off to the attraction and a short video plays. At the end of the video, an “I-spy” game appears and the child must find the hidden pinecone. Once the pinecone is located, the player wins a coupon to the attraction.

Try it out for yourself. You might get hooked.