Dept. of Tourism: Kenosha receives $63,567 in tourism grants


Danielle Johnson, Wisconsin Department of Tourism

608-266-0458; [email protected]

Dennis DuChene, Kenosha Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

800-654-7309 ext. 10; [email protected]

Lou Molitor, Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation

262-654-1234; [email protected]

Two area projects receive marketing assistance from the Department of Tourism

KENOSHA, Wis. (August 17, 2012) – The Kenosha Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation are looking to draw more visitors with the help of a $32,567 and $31,000 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant, respectively. Department of Tourism Regional Tourism Specialist David Spiegelberg presented the checks today, totaling $66,613 in marketing power for the area.

The Kenosha Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is continuing marketing efforts to brand their destination and the Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation is expanding marketing for the 2012 Grill Games: Grilling Competition and Festival. The combined estimated economic impact for the two projects total $994,604 from traveler spending at area hotels, restaurants and stores.

“Located right on beautiful Lake Michigan, the Kenosha area continues to wow travelers with fantastic attractions, dining and accommodations, as well as exciting events like the Grill Games,” said Department of Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. “These marketing grants work to further expand Kenosha’s promotional power, which not only generates economic impact but introduces new travelers to the outstanding hospitality and diverse cultural experiences Kenosha offers.”

Kenosha Grill Games and DM Fun.jpg

Tourism expenditures in Kenosha County totaled $155.8 million in 2011, up 8.2% from 2010, and directly employed over 2,800 people in the county.

The Kenosha Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is in its third year developing and marketing the Kenosha. Now. brand. In 2011, when the brand was initially launched, all six of the campaign goals were exceeded, including hotel occupancy, visitor spending and website visits. This year, grant funds will work to continue marketing the brand, drawing travelers from northern Illinois and Wisconsin. Funds will be used for print and online ads, social media and public relations efforts as well as out of home advertising on the Chicago Metra commuter trains.

The Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host Grill Games: Grilling Competition and Festival August 24-25. This family-focused BBQ contest and music festival is held right on the lakefront. Professional BBQ teams and local celebrities will compete and attendees can taste and vote for their favorite BBQ fare in between enjoying a variety of live music throughout the event. Grant funds were used to enact a comprehensive marketing plan, including print and radio advertising, billboards, continued website development and an integrated social media and public relations plan.

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.

“The Kenosha Area would like to thank the Department of Tourism for their continued support of the JEM program,” said Kenosha Area Convention and Visitors Bureau President Dennis DuChene. “It greatly enhances our ability to market the Kenosha Area’s outstanding attractions, events, and diverse cultural experiences.”

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 provides support for second and third year projects, but with decreasing amounts for funding each year until projects become self-sustaining. For information on the JEM Program and application materials, 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: