FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SILENT SPORTS MAKE A SPLASH IN LA CROSSE COUNTY WITH HELP FROM TOURISM GRANT
Grant funds go toward advertising for Year 2 of Driftless Outdoors Sports Show
Tuesday December 11 | 3pm | Onalaska Omni Center.
Explore La Crosse is embarking on the second year of its silent sports expo with help from a $13,322 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. The Driftless Outdoors Show promotes La Crosse County as a premiere destination for silent sports and will once again showcase outdoor sports equipment provided by some of the nation’s top experts and retailers. The expo takes place May 17-18, 2019 at the Onalaska Omni Center.
“We’re thrilled to support Explore La Crosse as they expand promotional efforts for the Driftless Outdoors Show,” said Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. “The Driftless Region is a perfect location for silent sports lovers due to its unique and diverse landscape. This expo not only highlights the area’s outdoor recreation opportunities, it also creates a positive economic impact for La Crosse and the surrounding communities.”
The Driftless Outdoors Show highlights 50,000 square feet of the latest in silent sports, from hiking, biking and kayaking to camping, fishing and archery. Beyond vendors, the expo features seminars and events, such as the DockDogs canine aquatic competition, live bird presentations and a craft beer night. This year, the Driftless Outdoors Show is expected to attract more than 3,800 visitors to the region, generating an estimated $161,600 in visitor spending. Grant funds will go towards outdoor, online, print and radio advertising.
“We are extremely excited to host the 2nd annual Driftless Outdoors Show on May 17-18th at the Omni Center in Onalaska. La Crosse County is known for its great outdoor attractions and activities. In 2017 we celebrated an all- time high in county wide visitor spending hitting $263,800,000 surpassing 2016 by $15,700,000,” said Executive Director of Explore La Crosse, A.J. Frels. “We recognize what La Crosse County has to offer to the outdoor enthusiast is a strong part of why people visit our area. The Driftless Outdoors Show allows us to showcase La Crosse County’s outdoor attractions for our residents as well as visitors.”
In 2017, the tourism economy in Wisconsin totaled $20.6 billion, a 3.2 percent increase from 2016. Tourism activity supports 195,255 jobs in Wisconsin, a seven-year addition of more than 23,255 jobs to the state’s total employment, an increase of 13.5 percent. Visitors generated $1.5 billion in state and local revenue. Business sales in La Crosse County totaled $426.5 million in 2017, supporting 4,387 jobs and $33 million in state and local taxes.
In fiscal 2018, the Department funded 56 JEM projects, awarding a total of more than $1.1 million. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $74 million. JEM grant funds are available to non-profit organizations for the promotion of Wisconsin tourism events and destinations. The state can fund up to 75 percent of a project’s first-year advertising and marketing costs, and provide support for second- and third-year projects with decreasing amounts for funding until projects become self-sustaining. For information on the JEM Program and application materials, visit http://industry.travelwisconsin.com.
The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the State as the Midwest’s premier travel destination for fun by executing industry-leading marketing programs and establishing strategic partnerships. The Department plays a significant role in generating greater economic impact and jobs for Wisconsin. The portal for traveler information can be found at: www.travelwisconsin.com.
Kristina LeVan, Wisconsin Department of Tourism
Brent Hanifl, Explore La Crosse