The Big Idea: American Journeys

The Black Hills of South Dakota, from Mt. Rushmore to Rapid City, is a region rich in heritage, story, and natural resources our nation is proud to share. Natural beauty paired with man-made wonder make this region a must-see for over four million American and international visitors annually.

The Pete Lien & Sons mining company has been a fixture in western South Dakota since 1944. Over the decades, the Liens have made significant contributions to their community. Founder Pete Lien’s nine children wanted to honor their father’s legacy by creating a live-work-play destination that would welcome both residents and visitors to their beloved Black Hills.

The Lien family turned to Storyland Studios to master plan and design LIBERTYLAND USA, an all-American theme park that honors a wide variety of American Journeys (our Big Idea!) that anchors a broader mixed-use destination for travelers and residents to enjoy.


In the beautiful Black Hills of Dakota Territory, the authentic American spirit of the West begins again, allowing the world to experience freedom by making history real.

With a diverse array of American stories in mind, we set out to design a mixed-use development that would not only surprise and delight visitors of all ages, but would also inspire the next generation. Along with a theme park inspired by American heritage, the development will include a hotel and conference center; indoor/outdoor amphitheater; indoor waterpark; a retail, dining, and entertainment district (Liberty Village); and a themed RV resort.

LIBERTYLAND USA will serve as a point of connection in the region, as well as a unifying concept. Visitors who experience LIBERTYLAND USA will be able to easily branch out to visit other attractions and iconic sites, such as Mt. Rushmore. Crazy Horse, Badlands National Park, Devil’s Tower, Black Hills National Forest, and more.

In Development: The Rapid City Destination District

Development is set to roll out just in time for the nation’s 250th birthday in 2026. Phase 1, known as the Rapid City Destination District, sits on 302.1 acres along I-90. This planned development zone is expected to double the project’s size and scope, and will include property that overlooks Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

In November 2022, the Rapid City Destination District received unanimous zoning approval.

LIBERTYLAND USA’s annual attendance is estimated at over one million visitors per year