About David T. Olsen

David T. Olsen Portrait

David T. Olsen, Broker Associate, has over 45 years of advanced business experience, including the ownership, management, marketing and operations of multi-faceted businesses and industries.

After studying Architectural Design at Iowa State and Black Hills State Universities, he began his business career in 1958 as a Contractor, Designer and Installation Supervisor of mechanical systems for a family-owned business, Mellgren’s Inc. In the late 60’s, David constructed, owned and managed three low income housing projects. In 1973, he established numerous corporations, becoming Co-Owner and Director of Operations, and developing, building and operating twelve Taco John’s Mexican restaurants in the Minneapolis-St.Paul region, and four Burger King restaurants at various locations throughout Minnesota, Iowa and North Dakota. He managed all facets of these franchises, including site acquisition, construction, marketing and personnel operations for over 400 employees.

Upon divesting his corporations, David relocated to Hawaii in 1980 and opened the first "One Hour Photo" facility in Kihei, Maui. In Hawaii, he chartered Olsen Export Trading Company, sourcing and exporting American products to Japan and establishing partnership offices in Aoyama, Tokyo. In 1990, the firm completed a unique project by which Mount Rushmore (the U.S. "Shrine of Democracy") was replicated in 1/3 actual scale size in Japan's Western Village at Imaichi. The two-year venture involved marketing consultant Dentsu Corporation, Asahi Contractors, high-level diplomatic consultations, and cost over $10 million. David then returned to his home state of South Dakota.

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In 1992, David accepted the Directorship of Technical/Customer Support for Magnum Diamond Corporation of Rapid City. From 1992 to 1994, he developed the firm's Risk Management Programs, Client Support systems, monitored surgical training issues, product sales and certifications, During his tenure, sales accelerated by over 800%. When the company was acquired by Chiron Ophthalmics and relocated to the west coast, David opted to remain in Rapid City. Between 1995 and 2000, David and his wife, Carol Rae, operated a marketing and media production business in Fort Collins, CO.

David entered the real estate market in 2000, employing his diverse business skills to professionally assist buyers and sellers of commercial properties, 1031 Exchanges, farm and ranch properties, and residential properties in and around the Rapid City and greater South Dakota regions.

David's primary hobbies include his children, six grandchildren, and competing on the old western-style Cowboy Mounted Shooting national pro circuit. As charter members of the Black Hills Cowboy Mounted Shooters Association, Dave and Carol enjoy their many quarter horses and in 2003, joined the British White Cattle breeding program, yielding specifically refined bulls and heifers. RockyTop Ranch, nestled in the matchless Black Hills west of Rapid City, is Dave & Carol’s private retreat.


  • David & Carol at their RockyTop Ranch
  • David, Carol and their rides at a CMSA competition
  • David & Carol at their RockyTop Ranch
  • David & Carol at Western World in Phoenix, AZ
  • RockyTop Ranch
  • Sunset at RockyTop Ranch in the Black Hills
  • Flowers at RockyTop Ranch
  • Carol and Friend
  • Overlooking RockyTop Ranch
  • Stored winter heat at RockyTop Ranch
  • David T. Olsen
  • David & Carol
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Rapid City      Black Hills      South Dakota