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July 2013  

Stephanie Klett   
Department Secretary   

Arts Board  | Conference & Education | Council Perspectives | Customer Service & Technology
Grant News | Industry Relations | Marketing and Tourism News | Travel Green Wisconsin
Wisconsin in the News

 Secretary Message

Hello Friends,

At Tourism we celebrate two New Years. The first one usually includes the dropping of a carp or cheese and, the second is July 1, which marks the first day of the fiscal year and a new budget. Last month Governor Walker signed the 2013-15 state budget into law, providing nearly $1 billion in tax relief for Wisconsin families, additional state aid for public schools, and investment in workforce development. In addition, Tourism received an increase that will be directed towards growing markets like sports, international travel, and meetings and conventions, as well as boosting our core marketing and public relations programs.

Ringing in the "Fiscal New Year" with us are two new members of the Governor's Council: Scott Krause from the Heidel House Resort and Allyson Gommer from the Chippewa Falls Area Chamber of Commerce. Read this month's Council Perspectives column from Paul Upchurch to learn more about these two fantastic additions to our industry advisory group.

We've got an incredibly busy month ahead marked by some very big events. Next week, I'll be welcoming the U.S. Travel Association's board of directors during their summer meeting at the American Club. August begins with the Wisconsin State Fair (Aug. 1-11) and the National Governor's Association Annual Meeting (Aug. 1-4). The Connect Marketplace in Milwaukee is Aug. 22-24, and we look forward to seeing many of our industry partners taking advantage of this phenomenal event. The summer ends with a big party for the Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary (Aug. 29-Sept 1), which has an impact all across the state.

Kicking all of this off on Aug. 1 is the world premiere of the new fall ad directed by Hollywood producer Jerry Zucker and starring Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson. The event will be at the Meyer Theatre in Green Bay and is open to the public. We would love to have you join us for what should be a terrific event. More event details and ticket information is in Dave's Marketing Update.

Happy Summer Days,  

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Paul Upchurch   
Governor's Council on Tourism   

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Council Perspectives

Dear Industry Partners,

We welcome two new members to the Governor's Council on Tourism this month. The diverse and extensive tourism backgrounds of Scott Krause and Allyson Gommer will be great additions to the board.

Allyson Gommer is the Tourism Director of the Chippewa Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and has been responsible for coordinating and managing the advertising and promotion of the Chippewa Falls area since 2005. She graduated from the University of Eau Claire with a degree in Marketing and serves on numerous boards including the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Alumni Board. She also manages the Chippewa County Tourism Council. Allyson's expertise in advertising and promotion will be a fantastic new asset to the advisory board.

Scott Krause has extensive industry management experience. Prior to joining Heidel House Resort as General Manager in 2003, he served as Senior Vice President of Wisconsin Proprieties for Abbey Group Resorts in Lake Geneva, Wis. for seven years. He is a board member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH &LA) and the Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association (WH &LA). Krause also spent ten years working for The Walt Disney Company in Anaheim, Calif. Scott's tourism experience and wealth of knowledge will be a great new addition to the board.

We look forward to having Scott and Allyson join us for their first meeting on Friday, Oct. 17 in Madison.

Between now and the next Council Meeting, we'll be experiencing some of the busiest months for the tourism industry. It's good time to reinforce customer service skills with frontline employees so your business and the state are in the best position possible to maximize repeat visitors. With the new reality of instantaneous customer reviews on internet sites, businesses have to be on top of their game at all times – or be prepared to deal with bad publicity. The Department, along with many destinations marketing organizations, offers customer service training. I encourage you to take advantage of it.

Paul Upchurch

Next Council Meeting

Friday, October 17
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Department of Tourism Offices, Madison

Dave Fantle    
Deputy Secretary   
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Marketing Update

"Green & Gold" Carpet Event for World Premiere of New Fall Ad
When it comes to fall, there's no place Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson would rather be than in Wisconsin. That's the message in our new fall tourism commercial conceived and directed by Wisconsin native Jerry Zucker and starring Nelson and his wife, Emily. The premiere of the commercial is taking place at the Meyer Theatre in Green Bay on Thursday, Aug. 1 at 5 p.m. Tickets for the hour-long program are available for $15 in advance or $20 at the door and include a complimentary copy of the new Sports Illustrated coffee table book, "Packers: Green, Gold and Glory," which retails for $34.95. Tickets can be ordered online at We hope that you can join us for this fantastic event!

Film Tax Credit
As of the new fiscal year, July 1, Wisconsin will no longer have a $500,000 pool of money available as tax credits for film, television and video gaming projects. In an effort to simplify the tax codes, a number of credits, including this one were eliminated in the new budget. The Department of Tourism will continue to work with and support the efforts of Film Wisconsin, the non-profit organization, to market the state for film and television projects. The Governor and members of the legislature are open to revisiting the issue if a plan can be presented that grows this industry with an emphasis on putting Wisconsin people to work. We encourage interested parties to develop the plan as soon as possible and start building advocates with members of the legislature.

All New Wisconsin Traveler
We're excited to share the new and improved Wisconsin Traveler consumer e-newsletter. As of July 1, this refreshed version goes out twice a month and combines the Events and Packages & Deals e-newsletters with the Wisconsin Traveler. This creates one comprehensive and fun email for consumers to plan their next Wisconsin getaway. Check out the latest issue here.

Click here for more information about advertising in the Wisconsin Traveler and getting your message to our 40,000 subscribers.

Record Attendance at International Pow-Wow (IPW)
U.S. Travel Association's IPW in Las Vegas attracted a record number of participants, including 6,400 total delegates from the United States and 70 other countries, 1,300 international and domestic tour operators, and nearly 500 media. Dave and Sarah represented Wisconsin at the event along with many tourism partners from around the state. Note that the IPW will be held in Chicago in 2014. Read the full article.

Walk with Walker
July's Walk with Walker event combined natural beauty and learning at Heritage Hill State Park in Green Bay. The 1.5 mile guided walk took the First Lady, Stephanie and participants around Heritage Hill, a living history museum, to learn what early life was like in the Green Bay area. These walks are a fantastic way to support the Year of Wellbeing and discover new areas of the state. The August walk is tentatively planned for the Trempealeau area, date is to be confirmed.

  LInk to Metrics

Abbie Hill    
Grant Coordinator   
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Grant News

Abbie Hill Now Managing RSG and MMB Grant Process
Effective this month, Abbie is now responsible for all of the Department's grant programs. She took over managing the grant application process for Ready Set Go and Meetings Means Business. Dawn remains a member of the review committee but all communications and the actual grant process falls under Abbie's purview.

Note, that this new alignment also involves a change in the spring deadline for RSG grants. A March 1 deadline for RSG grants will replace the former May 1 due date. This change will enable the Department to contract and encumber all elements of the approved grants before the end of the fiscal year. If you have any questions about these changes, please feel free to contact Abbie.

Grant Program Feedback Requested
We would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions regarding all of our grant programs. We are currently considering a process that would allow applicants to apply online. Is this a feature that would be useful? Let us know! Send your thoughts and suggestions to Abbie.

Upcoming Grant Application Deadlines

Joint Effort Marketing August 1
Meetings Mean Business - August 1
Destination Marketing September 1
Ready, Set, Go! September 1
Tourist Information Center January 1

Sarah Klavas    
Industry Relations & Services Director   
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Industry Services

Broadband Survey Helping to Determine Needs
In order to develop a strategic plan for broadband services in Wisconsin, the Public Service Commission (PSC) and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) have partnered to survey businesses about their broadband needs. We encourage CVBs and Chambers, especially in non-urban or rural areas, to pass along this Broadband Demand survey to your member businesses. Lack of access to broadband services has been identified by our industry as a challenge in certain parts of the state. Your input is needed!

Tourism at State Fair
The Department will once again have a highly visible and inviting booth in the Wisconsin Products Pavilion at the State Fair. The booth is staffed by our industry partners who can distribute literature and speak with fair goers about travel and FUN in Wisconsin. A limited number of dates are still available to industry partners to participate in the fair this year. Contact David Spiegelberg at 262-515-2806 or for more details.

Industry Recognitions and Accolades
Sundara Inn & Spa has been ranked a "Top 10 Destination Spa" by Travel+Leisure Magazine's 2013 World's Best Awards Readers Survey. This is the second year in a row that Sundara Inn & Spa has been ranked among the top destination spas worldwide.

According to a study done by Lumosity, Wisconsin is home to many -- 14 to be exact -- of the nation's 100 smartest cities. The cities are the following: Madison, Appleton, Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, La Crosse, Stevens Point, Sheboygan, Oshkosh-Neenah, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin Rapids, Marshfield and Eau Claire.

Wisconsin golf is committed to women golfers! Golf Digest has recently ranked two Wisconsin golf courses among the "Top 50" for women golfers. Geneva National (Player) in Lake Geneva is #36 and Whistling Straits/Irish is #48.

Lisa Marshall   
Communications Director    
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Wisconsin in the News

Upcoming Media Tradeshows
Our PR team will be busy in the coming months preparing for and attending tradeshows with travel media from all over the country. In August, we'll be at Travel Media Showcase (Aug. 20-23) in Rockford. Registration for exhibitors is open to destination marketing organizations, hotel chains, airlines, cruise lines, as well as entertainment attractions and gaming venues.

Danielle will attend the Association of Great Lake Outdoor Writers annual conference in Fond du Lac (Sept. 23-26). Contact the Fond du Lac CVB for more information on opportunities associated with this event.

David Spiegelberg from Tourism and staff from Laughlin-Constable will attend the Interbike Trade Show in Las Vegas, the largest bicycle industry trade show in North America. Thanks to Saris Cycling Group, which has provided Tourism with space in their trade show booth, this is the second year that we will attend Interbike in an effort to network with media to promote the state's bicycling opportunities. Last year's event generated a number of leads from outdoor and cycling writers. This year Interbike is launching a new initiative to allow select consumers into the 2013 event, which gives us another chance to promote travel.

Vote for USAToday's 10 Best Awards
Vote here for Noah's Ark and Wilderness Waterparks in Wisconsin Dells, both nominated for USA Today's 10 Best Readers' Choice Travel Award for Best American Water Parks. Out of 20 nominations, 10 will be selected on July 31. In addition, Wisconsin Cheese Curds are in the #3 spot for "Best Iconic American Foods." Help us get to #1 before voting ends on July 20.

Wisconsin in the Headlines
Wisconsin tourism has been making headlines across the country in the past month. called out La Pointe for incredible 4th of July fireworks; Chicagoland magazine, Make It Better, highlighted Wisconsin resorts; and, Roadside America featured Green Bay's Zippin Pippin. In addition, our top-secret new fall ad with Jerry Zucker and Jordy Nelson has created some buzz with articles in the Milwaukee Business Journal, Minneapolis Star Tribune and even the San Francisco Chronicle. Find more of our recent clips in the media room.

Visiting Journalists
Journalists from all over the country experienced different areas of Wisconsin in the past month. Madison, Middleton and Spring Green hosted 17 journalists on a group tour in June. We've also helped individual writers on stories, including a writer who did several articles on resorts for outlets in Chicago and contributor to the Tampa Tribune who fished the Waupaca Chain O'Lakes.

Joellyn Merz   
Technology & Customer Service   

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Customer Service & Technology

Harley-Davidson 110th a Statewide Event on
Motorcyclists making plans to attend the Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary in Milwaukee can now find statewide travel opportunities tailored just for them on Since all Wisconsin roads will be leading to Milwaukee, Aug. 29-Sept. 1, we've created a new Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary page covering other H.O.G. events and rallies throughout the state, popular scenic drives, statewide dealer locations, map of Travel Wisconsin Welcome Centers and a twitter feed for the 110th celebration. We'll keep the page up after the event to encourage bikers to visit Wisconsin for a great place to ride. Highlights
Visits to in June were up 31% over the same month last year. Overall, metrics showed strong engagement with page views up 135% as well for the month. We also have some fun facts about June web traffic. The most popular article was Eight Great Rivers For Tubing with 20,296 pageviews. The most popular blog was 10 Things Wisconsinites Don't Know about Wisconsin with 5,681 pageviews. The top search term on the site was "dairy breakfasts."

George Tzougros  
Executive Director   
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Arts Board

Happy Birthday Arts Board!
The Wisconsin Arts Board is celebrating their 40th birthday next month. On August 2, 1973, Governor Lucy signed legislation that created the Arts Board as we know it today. Board members are working on plans to recognize the occasion throughout the coming year.

New Appointees to Wisconsin Arts Board
Governor Walker has recently appointed three new members and reappointed one existing member to the Wisconsin Arts Board (WAB). The new members are: Ann Brunner, Kewaunee; Ron Madich, La Pointe; and Matthew Wallock, Madison. Bruce Bernberg of Racine was reappointed. The WAB also announced its elected officers for Fiscal Year 2014. The officers are Bruce Bernberg, Chairperson, Racine (board member since 2004); Robert Ade Wagner, Vice Chairperson, Milwaukee (board member since 2002); and Kevin Miller, Secretary, Fond du Lac (board member since 2013).


Jason Zarling   
Program Manager    
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Travel Green Wisconsin

Welcome New Travel Green Wisconsin Certified Businesses
  • Hotel Marshfield
  • Black Pointe Estate
  • The Danish Mill
Travel Green Logo

Harnessing the power of tourism to build a better Wisconsin.
See how on:
  Wisconsin Department of Tourism
201 W Washington Ave Madison, WI 53703