MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced that COVID-19 Lodging Grants have been awarded to 663 Wisconsin lodging operators. The grants aim to provide stabilization to our state’s lodging industry as it continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and related reductions in travel across the nation. Grantees were awarded an average of approximately $350 per eligible room in Wisconsin.
“The folks in our hotel and lodging industry have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic as folks have reduced their travel this year to help stop the spread of the virus,” said Gov. Evers. “The tourism industry will be core to our state’s economic bounce back, and these funds will help provide some economic stabilization now so visitors to enjoy their favorite destinations later.”
In 2019, visitors to the state spent $3.7 billion on lodging but recent surveys by the Wisconsin Hotel and Lodging Association indicate that nearly half of Wisconsin hotel and lodging properties will close within six months without loan or grant assistance.
Funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds and administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA), the grant program assists hotel, motel, and bed and breakfast operators whose facilities have been negatively affected by COVID-19.
“The economic recovery for many Wisconsin communities depends largely on the tourism and lodging industries,” said DOA Secretary Joel Brennan. “By injecting these funds into local lodging and tourism partners, we hope to provide a lifeline and some stabilization to local economies, businesses and jobs.”