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Friday, May 03, 2013

2012 Business, Leisure Travel Sees Continued Growth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information:

Jeannine Sherman
Director of Public Relations
414-287-6230
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2012 Business, Leisure Travel Sees Continued Growth

Milwaukee County Leads the State in Tourism Expenditures

MILWAUKEE — May 3, 2013 — In a kick-off to National Tourism Week (May 4-11), Governor Scott Walker made a stop at the Harley-Davidson Museum today to announce the 2012 tourism economic impact statistics for the state of Wisconsin and Milwaukee County.

Joined by Secretary of Tourism Stephanie Klett, VP Harley-Davidson Museum Bill Davidson and President & CEO Paul Upchurch, Governor Walker reported that total business sales related to tourism in the state were $16.8 billion in 2012, up 4.8 percent from 2011.

Total business sales related to tourism in Milwaukee County, the largest tourism economy in the state, were estimated at $2.9 billion in 2012, representing an increase of 4.16 percent over the $2.78 billion in 2011. Tourism-supported full-time jobs within Milwaukee County increased to 29,992, up 1.34 percent from 2011. Total labor income was $977.1 million, up 2.87 percent from 2011, and state and local taxes resulting from tourism business amounted to $203.3 million, up 3.29 percent from 2011.

The numbers are estimates from The Economic Impact of Tourism in Wisconsin, an annual tourism economic impact study commissioned by the state and conducted by Tourism Economics.

Total business sales related to tourism in the Greater Milwaukee Area (Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties) came to an estimated $4.42 billion for the year, representing an increase of 4 percent over $4.25 billion in 2011. In addition, the tourism industry supported 47,998 full-time equivalent jobs, up from 47,443 in 2011. Tourism was responsible for contributing $1.434 billion in wages (up from the $1.4 billion the previous year) and contributing $308.5 million in local and state taxes (up from $300 million the previous year).

“After a very strong year in 2011, the tourism economy in the Greater Milwaukee Area saw continued strong growth in 2012,” said Paul Upchurch, president & CEO of VISIT Milwaukee.

VISIT Milwaukee hosted 262 conventions in 2012, an increase of 26.5 percent over the 207 conventions in 2011. These conventions brought in more than 420,618 attendees, a 13.1 percent increase over last year’s 372,000. More than $100 million in estimated economic impact resulted from these conventions,

VISIT Milwaukee markets Greater Milwaukee to tourists, and convention and meeting planners, both nationally and internationally. VISIT Milwaukee has approximately 600 members, including hotels/motels, restaurants, attractions, services and area businesses. Tourism generated $2.45 billion in spending in Greater Milwaukee in 2012 and supported 48,000 local jobs. The City of Wauwatosa, Delta Air Lines, Inc., Potawatomi Bingo Casino and the Wisconsin Center District are strategic partners with VISIT Milwaukee, providing funding support for conventions and tourism programs. For more information call 1-800-554-1448 or visit www.visitmilwaukee.org.

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Great Running by a Great Lake

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact:

Jeannine Sherman
Director of Public Relations
414.287.6230
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Great Running by a Great Lake

Make it a Marathon Weekend in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE– April 11, 2013 – When it comes to outdoor recreation, Milwaukee outpaces most other cities. Milwaukee’s more than 100 miles of running and biking opportunities along the Oak Leaf Trail, an award-winning park system and Lake Michigan beaches add up to a winning combination for outdoor activity. 2013 brings some major runs to Milwaukee for everyone from the elite athlete to the weekend warrior. And when it’s time to cool down there’s no reason to race home. From architectural heritage to brewery tours to some of the nation’s largest festivals, Milwaukee is the perfect blend of cosmopolitan fun and relaxed attitude.

The Summerfest Rock 'n Sole Run, USA Triathlon and Milwaukee’s Lakefront Marathon are expected to draw participants from across the nation and internationally this year. The unique aspect of each run is that Milwaukee’s distinctive location allows athletes to do some sightseeing while competing!  It’s a convenient preview to all Milwaukee has to offer once athletes cross the finish line.

The 3rd Annual Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole Run kicks off Saturday, June 15, with three concurrent races - a half-marathon, quarter marathon and 5k. Last year’s event drew more than 7,400 participants including runners from 40 states and five countries. Part of the draw includes the chance to run across the two-mile-long Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge, a tied arch bridge spanning the Milwaukee River Inlet. This is the only time of year the bridge is closed for foot traffic, allowing runners the unique experience of traversing one of Milwaukee’s best-known landmarks. 

All Rock ‘n Sole Run participants receive a post-race party pass to festivities at the Henry Maier Festival Park along Lake Michigan, which is a great way to warm up for the main event of the Milwaukee summer. Run registration also includes free entry to Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival, held June 26-30 and July 2-7, 2013. 10 ground stages, a 23,000-seat amphitheater and dozens of food and marketplace vendors are a great reason to return to Milwaukee to experience the lakefront’s largest party.

The USA Triathlon is the fastest growing sport in the U.S. Olympic Movement and its calling Milwaukee home for the next two summers. Qualifiers of all ages will swim in Lake Michigan and bicycle and run along the lakefront on August 10 and 11. The event takes participants past the Milwaukee Art Museum's magnificent brise soleil, the North American architectural debut of Spanish-born architect Santiago Calatrava. The city’s signature icon, this commanding, moveable, wing-like sunscreen has been called one of the “new wonders of the world” by Conde Nast Magazine and the Sexiest Building on the Planet by Virtualtourist.com.

The first days of fall bring the 33rd Annual Lakefront Marathon on Saturday, October 6. The event attracts 3,100 runners every year to participate in the 26.2 mile journey from Grafton, WI, along the shore of Lake Michigan to the finish line in Milwaukee’s Veterans Park.  Architectural standouts along the way include the beautiful Italianate gardens and water stairs of the historic Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, the mid-century modern appeal of the Bradford Beach Boathouse and the award-winning rehab of an 1880s river pumping station into Alterra at the Lake, a local coffee shop and popular lakefront hangout. 

Post-race Milwaukee offers competitors a chance to unwind and enjoy some relaxation MKE-style. From one of the nation’s top-ranked brewery tours, to the cuisine of James Beard chefs to a casual stroll along its award-winning RiverWalk, Milwaukee offers a well-deserved reward. 

VISIT Milwaukee markets Greater Milwaukee to tourists, and convention and meeting planners, both nationally and internationally. VISIT Milwaukee has approximately 600 members, including hotels/motels, restaurants, attractions, services and area businesses. Tourism generated $2.36 billion in spending in Greater Milwaukee in 2011 and supported more than 47,000 local jobs. The City of Wauwatosa, Delta Air Lines, Inc., Potawatomi Bingo Casino and the Wisconsin Center District are strategic partners with VISIT Milwaukee, providing funding support for conventions and tourism programs.  For more information call 1-800-554-1448 or visit www.visitmilwaukee.org.

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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Milwaukee’s Festival Season Brings the Biggest and the Best to its Shore

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PHOTOS AVAILABLE

For more information contact:

Jeannine Sherman
VISIT Milwaukee
800.231.0903 or 414.287.6230
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Milwaukee’s Festival Season Brings the Biggest and the Best to its Shore

Your World Tour Starts Here

MILWAUKEE –April 3, 2013 – Milwaukee lives up to its “City of Festivals” nickname when music, food and traditions from around the world draw hundreds of thousands to the Henry W. Maier Festival Park along Lake Michigan. Nearly every weekend brings a new cultural experience filled with art, history and entertainment for all ages to enjoy. 

The festival season kicks off with PrideFest (www.pridefest.com), the largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender pride festival in Wisconsin. Join the festivities June 7-9, 2013 with food, entertainment and shopping in the marketplace. The Indigo Girls take the stage on June 8, and don’t miss the Bad Romance Show, a live concert theatrical production to the music of Lady GaGa, in the PrideFest Dance Pavilion.

The parade of world cultures begins with one of America’s largest Polish-themed festivals, Polish Fest (www.polishfest.org), June 14-16, 2013. See historic exhibits, folk art demonstrations and old-world crafts. Enjoy enchanting legends coming to life, traditional dance troupes swirling and twirling, and scrumptious dishes served in heaping portions to satisfy your appetite. Stop by the 15th Annual Chopin Youth Piano Competition, a family favorite for years.

The world’s largest music festival, Summerfest (www.summerfest.com), rocks out at the lakefront from June 26-June 30 and July 2-7, 2013 (closed on July 1). This world-renowned musicfestivalis an 11-day event offering the best in regional and national entertainment on 10 different ground stages and an amphitheater featuring a diverse array of music. The area’s finest restaurants serve delicious fare and entertainment is inescapable with comedic performances, a children’s play area and daily demonstrations and activities. Headliners this year include Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Tim McGraw, John Mayer and FUN.

Romance, nostalgia, and rich Italian delicacies fill the air at Festa Italiana (www.festaitaliana.com), America’s premier Italian cultural event. From July 19-21, 2013, enjoy the pomp and circumstance of the Sicilian brass marching band, browse the cultural exhibits or be a part of the colorful religious procession following Sunday mass. Every night offers explosive fun with a dazzling Italian-style fireworks show. See a replica of an ancient Roman home, take a gondola ride, play bocce ball and more.

Grab a stein, put on your finest lederhosen and cool off with your favorite brew at North America’s largest annually held German festival, German Fest (www.germanfest.com). Indulge in unforgettable German cuisine, marvel as craftsmen demonstrate old world artistry, enjoy a colorful brass band or stroll through the Marktplatz for unique German gifts. You especially won’t want to miss the Dachshund Derby, the genealogy area or the Glockenspiel. Join in July 25-28, 2013 for a wunderbar experience.

Celebrate African-American heritage and culture at African World Festival (www.awfmke.com/) August 3-4, 2013. Explore the cultural village, taste a variety of ethnic foods, shop at the marketplace, let the kids play in the Children’s Village and enjoy great entertainment.

Irish Fest (www.irishfest.com), the world’s largest Irish cultural festival, brings the Emerald Isle to Milwaukee’s lakefront August 15-18, 2013. Cultural exhibits, displays, theater, poetry readings and demonstrations bring alive the spirit of Old Ireland's folklore and charm, while contests, raffles and sporting events add to the fun. Celebrate Irish music and dance on more than a dozen stages or enjoy the roaming performers dressed in traditional costumes walking the festival grounds. Stop at one of the two marketplaces to take a piece of Ireland home with you.

Spice things up at Mexican Fiesta (www.mexicanfiesta.org) August 23-25, 2013! A south-of-the-border experience featuring mouth-watering food, rousing mariachi bands, foot stomping rhythms, and an elaborate swirl of traditional dancers. Walk through the cultural pavilion and learn about the history and traditions of Mexican and Latin cultures from ancient civilizations to the present.

The Indian Summer Festival (www.indiansummer.org) offers a fun and entertaining way to experience the diversity of both traditional and contemporary American Indian culture. Held September 6-8, 2013, the festival celebrates the rich American Indian heritage with authentic tribal villages, storytellers, traditional handcrafts, dance troupes and lacrosse. Other highlights include a competition Pow Wow, fireworks, Aztec dancers, canoe rides, a fashion show full of beautiful Native American designs, food and an Education Day on Friday.

Other festivals, concerts and events taking place around the city in different locations include:

VISIT Milwaukee markets Greater Milwaukee to tourists, and convention and meeting planners, both nationally and internationally. VISIT Milwaukee has approximately 600 members, including hotels/motels, restaurants, attractions, services and area businesses. Tourism generated $2.36 billion in spending in Greater Milwaukee in 2011and supported more than 47,000 local jobs. The City of Wauwatosa, Frontier Airlines, Potawatomi Bingo Casino and the Wisconsin Center District are strategic partners with VISIT Milwaukee, providing funding support for conventions and tourism programs. For more information call 1-800-554-1448 or visit www.visitmilwaukee.org.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Upchurch Named Chair of Wisconsin Tourism Council

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE           

For more information:

Jeannine Sherman
Director of Public Relations
414-287-6230
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 

Upchurch Named Chair of Wisconsin Tourism Council

MILWAUKEE – March 25, 2013 – Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett announced that Paul Upchurch, president & CEO of VISIT Milwaukee, has been elected as the new chairman of the Governor’s Council on Tourism.

Most of the twenty-one members of the Council are appointed by the Governor and represent all walks of tourism life. All are experienced in marketing, and act as a sounding board for the Department of Tourism as it develops annual tourism plans. Members also serve on subcommittees dedicated to grant reviews, general marketing, meetings and conventions and sports marketing.

Upchurch has led VISIT Milwaukee since 2010 and has more than 30 years in the tourism industry as general manager of major convention hotels, and also serving as vice president of hotel operations at Marcus Hotels & Resorts.

“I am honored to chair the prestigious Governor’s Council on Tourism as it builds on the success it has garnered in the past few years, said Upchurch, who takes over his one-year term immediately.

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s portal for traveler information can be found at: www.travelwisconsin.com .

VISIT Milwaukee markets Greater Milwaukee to tourists, and convention and meeting planners, both nationally and internationally. VISIT Milwaukee has approximately 600 members, including hotels/motels, restaurants, attractions, services and area businesses. Tourism generated $2.36 billion in spending in Greater Milwaukee in 2011and supported more than 47,000 local jobs. The City of Wauwatosa, Delta Air Lines, Inc., Potawatomi Bingo Casino and the Wisconsin Center District are strategic partners with VISIT Milwaukee, providing funding support for conventions and tourism programs. For more information call 1-800-554-1448 or visit www.visitmilwaukee.org.

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