Gov. Walker: Presents Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) Grant for Taste of Wisconsin

Contact: Cullen Werwie, 608-267-7303

$20,700 Grant to Have an Estimated $1.2 Million Economic Impact

Madison – Governor Scott Walker visited Kenosha on Monday to present the Kiwanis Club of Western Kenosha with a JEM Grant worth $20,700 for the Taste of Wisconsin event held in Kenosha from July 29 – 31, 2011.

“I am honored to present this grant to the Kiwanis Club of Western Kenosha for Taste of Wisconsin,” Governor Walker said. “This annual family event that rests on the shores of Lake Michigan hosts much of what Wisconsin has to offer – good times and great food. The $1.2 million dollars in estimated economic impact for the Kenosha Area makes this grant a good investment for Wisconsin.”

Taste of Wisconsin is a unique summer festival that showcases Wisconsin’s food and beverage fare through 50 food and beverage vendors. In addition, Taste of Wisconsin features over 40 live music performances, culinary demonstrations and workshops, children’s activities, and an art exhibit. In just two years, attendance at this event has doubled from an estimated 2009 attendance of 15,000 to nearly 32,000 in 2010.

Last year, the Taste of Wisconsin event generated over $930,000 of economic impact to the Kenosha Area through overnight and day traveler expenditures. This year, the event looks to easily surpass that total and is estimated to generate over $1.2 million dollars in economic impact to the Kenosha Area.

The Governor’s visit comes during the State of Wisconsin’s Tourism Week which is aimed at promoting the state’s one-of-a-kind travel destinations and attractions. The state’s Department of Tourism recently released a study by Davidson-Peterson Associates that showed that traveler spending increased by 1.8 percent in 2010.

According to the Davidson-Peterson study, tourism returned $1.37 billion to the state in tax revenues as well as $621 million to local governments. Tourism supported 291,964 full-time equivalent jobs in 2010, gaining 5,500 jobs over 2009. The majority of tourism jobs are directly tied to small businesses. According to data from the Department of Workforce Development, 15,000 businesses with less than 50 employees are currently employing nearly 220,000 of the 292,000 Wisconsin residents who rely on jobs in the tourism industry.

For information on all that Wisconsin has to offer, visit .