February Snow Brings Winter Sports Enthusiast to Wisconsin

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wisconsin department of tourism
travel wisconsin news


Stephanie Klett

Hello Friends,

It’s been good news for tourism and winter sports with all the recent snowfall.  Last week, we activated our weather-triggered or “snow support” campaign. Digital banner ads, online radio and social media promoted Wisconsin’s popular outdoor winter activities in the Chicago, Twin Cities and Milwaukee markets.  And, according to our Arrivalist data, we saw a substantial spike in arrivals to Wisconsin on Friday, Feb. 9.

Our team presented the Department of Tourism’s Annual Report to the Assembly Committee on Tourism this month.  The report highlights accomplishments from the last year and the results of our marketing campaigns and public relations efforts.  It also summarizes our relationships and ongoing outreach with the tourism industry, legislature and our Tribal partners.

I had a chance to visit with some of our tribal leaders this month.  The State of the Tribes Address at the Capitol took place this past week and former Menominee Chairman Gary Besaw gave the annual address.  I also had the pleasure of attending the grand opening of the Ho-Chunk Nation’s new hotel and casino addition in Black River Falls.

We are only three weeks away from WIGCOT!  Keep reading this month’s newsletter for information on conference registration, marketplace opportunities and other important tips.  We look forward to seeing you in Appleton! 


Stephanie with Chairman Besaw
Ho-Chunk Hotel Opening


Visitors to this year’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis were treated to a taste of Wisconsin thanks to the American Birkebeiner International Bridge. The nearly 200-foot structure was built over Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis to showcase events like cross-country skiing, skijoring and fat tire bike racing. This is the first and only time the bridge has been built outside of Hayward, where it’s assembled each year for the American Birkebeiner “Birkie” week of festivities. This year’s American Birkebeiner takes place February 22-25, 2018.

    Birke Bridge
    WIGCOT Icon


    Registration for this year’s conference is now open! Visit wigcot.org for the conference agenda, sponsorship opportunities and lodging options. Those interested in sponsoring the event are encouraged to visit the website for more details.

    Book Your WIGCOT Marketplace Booth

    For $600 ($125 for non-profit organizations), you’ll have the unique opportunity to showcase your organization to conference attendees. Marketplace is Monday from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. Learn more and book your booth here.

    What Should I Wear at WIGCOT?

    • On Sunday, dust off your lederhosen and practice your polka skills for a night of friendship, good cheer and fun. Or as we like to call it, Gemutlichkeit!
    • Tuesday is "Wear Your Pride Day." Show off your destination, attraction, hotel, campground, business or organization with your favorite logo apparel.
    • Get gussied up for the Governor’s Gala on Tuesday night. The closing celebration will be black tie optional. We look forward to seeing you there in your formal wear!


    Excited for WIGCOT 2018? Follow @WIDeptTourism for conference updates! 


    Looking for Talent? Try WisConnect

    Are you looking to fill an open internship position or just increase your skilled talent pipeline? WisConnect helps you develop a robust internship program and recruit interns. Create a free WisConnect account to start your search for college interns today.

    Upcoming Conferences

    Travel Green Wisconsin

    Congratulations to Bay Shore Inn of Door County on its recent Travel Green Wisconsin certification. Click here to learn more about the Travel Green Wisconsin program.

    Grant Updates

    April 1 is the deadline to apply for a Joint Effort Marketing (JEM); Destination Marketing; Ready, Set, Go! (RSG) and Meetings Mean Business grant. Information and applications are available here


        Chicago Travel & Adventure Show

        Earlier this month, the Department of Tourism and tourism industry partners attended the Chicago Travel & Adventure Show. The trade show is the city’s preeminent travel marketplace, helping connect destinations with potential visitors and travel writers. The Chicago Travel & Adventure Show was also a great place to promote our SNOW MEANS GO Snowmobile Giveaway! Next up, the staff looks forward to attending the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show, March 7-11.

        SNOW MEANS GO Snowmobile Giveaway

        The snow has fallen, and the trails are groomed. All that's missing is you! Now through Feb. 28, enter our SNOW MEANS GO Snowmobile Giveaway for a chance to win your very own snowmobile!

        Circle Wisconsin Motorcoach Co-Op

        The Department of Tourism and Circle Wisconsin have partnered to offer a co-op print program in 2018. Don’t miss out on this amazing cost-saving opportunity to promote your business to active tour operators and planners. Click here for more information, or contact please contact Wendy Dobrzynski at wendy@circlewisconsin.com.

        Travel Wisconsin Deals Program

        Our updated Deals Program will help you advertise your promotions in a more effective way. With the launch of the new TravelWisconsin.com/Deals page, we’ve updated this co-op offering to drive more traffic to your site. Contact Elise Bayer at Laughlin Constable with questions. 


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        Cheese Shops

        7 Hole-in-the-Wall Cheese Shops You Can't Miss


        • Checking out the new Fox Cities Exhibition Center
        • Hearing from the inspiring keynote speakers
        • Celebrating the 2018 Governor's Tourism Awards
        • Networking with your fellow tourism industry partners

        vote here

        Last Month's Result

        Last month, 60% of voters said they prefer a serene snowshoe trail, followed by a tasty cheese trail at 30%