Dept. of Tourism: Driftless Wisconsin initiative receives $34,300 tourism marketing grant

Danielle Johnson, Wisconsin Department of Tourism
608-266-0458; [email protected]

Julie Henley, Town of Gays Mills
608-735-4321; [email protected]


GAYS MILLS, Wis. (Nov. 12, 2012) – The Driftless Wisconsin brand is able to further promote itself with the help of a Year-2 $34,300 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant from the Department of Tourism. Presented by Regional Tourism Specialist Patrick Reinsma, the Driftless Wisconsin brand was developed from the first year of the project and includes nine Kickapoo River Valley communities: Gays Mills, La Farge, Soldier’s Grove, Ferryville, Westby, Viroqua, Viola, Boscobel and Prairie du Chien Main Street. This year two Destination Marketing grant provides funds to promote the brand and marketing strategy based on strong year one research.

“The Driftless Wisconsin area is one of the most beautiful in the state, so it makes sense these communities are highlighting it’s beauty and incredible natural resources in their brand,” said Secretary Klett. “The Driftless Wisconsin brand sets a terrific example of how so many communities can work together to promote their area. This partnership will create a positive economic impact in each of the communities and, as a result, successfully promote the whole area to travelers.”

In fiscal 2012, the Department funded 50 Joint Effort Marketing projects, awarding a total of over $1.1 million dollars. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $29 million.

“I am thrilled that the Wisconsin Department of Tourism recognizes the vitality, resources, and potential of this region and its communities. I believe that this grant can help facilitate collaborative strategies that can help us truly accentuate the individual community qualities, as well as the abundance of the Kickapoo Valley in the heart of the Driftless Region,” said
Recovery & Development Director Julie Henley.

The Driftless Wisconsin brand seeks to unite and promote these communities. Grant funds will go toward marketing and advertising the brand via print, online and billboard ads, In addition, funds will go toward welcome signs for each community as well as event promotions. Target markets include much of Wisconsin and Eastern Iowa. Promotions seek to establish the Driftless Wisconsin brand in the minds of travelers and, in doing so, position these communities as a desirable travel destination.

Destination Marketing funds are available to non-profit organizations for the promotion of at least three municipalities or communities. Two options are available for Destination Marketing grants. A development option allows the applicant to use a vendor of their choice to provide project deliverables. A second option allows an organization to use their own strategic planning research to conduct marketing campaigns. For information on all of the Department of Tourism grant programs, visit

The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the State as the Midwest’s premier travel destination 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:

# # #