Dept. of Tourism: Milwaukee area receives nearly $100,000 in tourism grants


Danielle Johnson, Wisconsin Department of Tourism

608-266-0458; [email protected]

Tourism Deputy Secretary to present grants

MILWAUKEE (Nov. 15, 2012) – Tourism Deputy Secretary Dave Fantle presented three Milwaukee organizations with Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grants totaling $99,580. VISIT Milwaukee received a $39,550 JEM Destination Marketing grant for their Milwaukee Area Image Project, Milwaukee Community Sailing Center received a $20,530 JEM grant for the Milwaukee U.S. Disabled Sailing Championship, and Milwaukee Winter Fest received a $39,500 JEM grant for the second annual Winter Fest.

“The Department is proud to support these three projects, which showcase the diverse urban opportunities that Wisconsin’s largest city offers travelers,” said Deputy Secretary Fantle. “These projects are positioned to generate a strong return on investment for the state by positively branding Milwaukee, attracting new visitors and creating an economic impact from hotel bookings and traveler spending.”

VISIT Milwaukee is driving brand awareness through its recently launched Dear Milwaukee Film series. This is a community collaboration that tells the Greater Milwaukee story by profiling the people, places, and things that make the city special. The project will bring more visitors to the area as they discover what makes life good in Milwaukee. The film series will also be distributed through Marcus Theaters in Northern Illinois and Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee Community Sailing Center (MCSC) has been selected to host the 2013 U.S. Disabled National Championship by U.S. Sailing, the national governing body for the sport of sailing. The event will be held Sept. 5-8, 2013 and features a daily racing clinic and a final race on Sunday. The event is open to any sailor with a disability and is typically used as a qualifying event for other national and international Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls. Medalists from the 2012 Olympic Games in London are expected to attend.

The second annual Milwaukee Winter Fest will take place Dec. 26-31, 2012 at the Delta Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee. This premier family event, in its second year, will offer indoor zip-line, sports gaming area, concert stage, rock climbing wall, Eurobungee, an interactive Children’s Educational and Activity Area, Holiday Village, Igloo Island for younger children, carnival rides and much more. This year’s goal is to market the event to a larger audience by advertising in Northern Illinois, Chicago, Madison, Green Bay and the Fox Cities. The goal is to increase attendance to 20,000 – a 25% increase from 2011.

In fiscal 2012, the Department funded 50 Joint Effort Marketing projects, awarding a total of over $1.1 million dollars. Traveler spending in Milwaukee County topped $1.5 billion in 2011, supporting almost 30,000 jobs and $198 million in state and local taxes.

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: