La Crosse County Convention & Visitors Bureau gets $451,500 grant among $15 million statewide

(Explore La Crosse photo)

MADISON, Wis. (WKBT) — The state of Wisconsin awarded $15 million in grants Wednesday for Destination Marketing Organizations throughout the state, including a $451,500 grant to the La Crosse County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The grants are part of Gov. Tony Evers’ designation of more than $140 million American Rescue Plan Act fund investment in Wisconsin’s tourism and entertainment industries, according to a news release.

“Wisconsin’s tourism industry was one of the first and hardest hit industries of the COVID-19 pandemic, but our local folks at DMOs statewide have been innovative, dedicated and resilient, and it’s because of them that this industry is bouncing back and better,” Evers said.

“From the largest convention and visitor bureaus in Milwaukee and Wisconsin Dells to the smallest chambers of commerce in Pepin and Cassville, the $15 million investment … will help continue to fuel our local recovery efforts and ensure those rebounds are felt statewide,” he said.

The Destination Marketing Organization Grant Program will help 120 local DMO organizations across the state expand on their work to attract regional, national and international visitors.

Anne Sayers, secretary-designee of the state’s Tourism Department, said, “We are at a critical moment in the tourism recovery, and these funds will jump-start Wisconsin’s tourism recovery that will uplift local economies and hospitality workers.

“Wisconsin’s $17.3 billion tourism industry is not just big fun, it’s also big business,” Sayers said.

In total, 120 organizations received grants ranging from $2,000 to $1 million based on expenses incurred by eligible tourism-promotion and tourism development organizations.

Other west-central organizations and agencies that received grants include:

  • Chippewa Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Chippewa Falls, $75,000
  • Eau Claire Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Inc., $767,524.50
  • Wisconsin Mississippi River Parkway Commission in Ferryville, $11,941
  • Viroqua Chamber, A Main Street City Inc., $12,101.10.

The full list of grant awardees is on the Wisconsin Department of Administration website.

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