Taylor County Lions Maple Fest taps into marketing efforts with help of tourism grant
Department of Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett presents $5,000 grant
MEDFORD — The third annual Taylor County Lions Maple Fest is sweetening up its marketing efforts with the help of a $5,000 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant, presented by Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett.
Hosted by the Lions and Lioness Clubs of Taylor County, the event will be held at the Taylor County Fairground in Medford on April 25. The organization estimates this project will generate an economic impact of $77,500 from traveler spending at area hotels, restaurants, and stores.
“Wisconsin is the fourth largest producer of maple syrup in the United States,” said Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. “There’s no better way to satisfy your sweet tooth than celebrating the state tree and joining in on the fun of Maple Fest. We are excited to take part in growing this event, which will create positive economic impact in the area.”
In the fiscal 2014 year, the Department funded 60 JEM projects, awarding a total of more than $1.1 million dollars. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $28 million dollars. In 2013 the tourism economy in Wisconsin totaled an estimated $17.5 billion, a 4 percent increase over 2012. Total business sales in Taylor County topped in $39 million in total business sales in 2013, supporting over 340 jobs and almost $3 million in state and local taxes.
The Lions and Lioness Clubs of Taylor County’s Maple Fest is designed to educate visitors to the values and culture surrounding Wisconsin’s state tree, the sugar maple. Wisconsin generates approximately $10 million annually from sugar maple products, representing over 5,000 producers across the state.
The Lions Club has teamed up with the Medford Chamber of Commerce and Taylor County Tourism Committee to make efforts to generate awareness about Taylor County tourism and increase visitor turnout. They will be bringing back their pancake breakfast, maple syrup judging contest, and a scavenger hunt for children along with a wealth of other maple-related activities. Grant funds will go towards print, online, radio, and television promotion of the event.
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 provide support for second- and third-year projects with decreasing amounts for funding until projects become self-sustaining. For information on the JEM Program and application materials, visit industry.travelwisconsin.com.
The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the state as the Midwest’s premier travel destination for fun. By executing industry-leading marketing programs, providing reliable travel information, and establishing strategic partnerships, the Department will play a significant role in delivering exceptional customer service and generating greater economic impact and jobs for Wisconsin. The portal for traveler information can be found at travelwisconsin.com.