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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Milwaukee Kicks It Up a Notch

01/24/2006

 

Milwaukee Kicks It Up A Notch


Despite winter's chill, Milwaukeeans are "feeling the burn." The city jumped 10 places this year to land fifth on Men's Fitness Magazine's 2005 list of "America's Top 25 Fittest Cities." 

The magazine's annual survey compiled data from the 50 largest U.S. cities, using 17 weighted categories to determine final rankings. Categories included factors such as opportunities for outdoor exercise and health club usage. Milwaukee's strengths included participation in exercise and sports, amount of recreation facilities and access to quality health care. 

Milwaukee offers no shortage of opportunities for four-season fitness. Its prime Lake Michigan location makes it a choice spot for swimming, boating, jet skiing, sailing, and freshwater surfing. Miles of jogging trails just steps from the heart of the city and 15,000 acres of parkland - more per capita than any other U.S. city, beckon fitness enthusiasts throughout the year. 

Golf enthusiasts enjoy 16 golf courses featuring five levels of play, including one of just three municipal courses in the U.S. to host an annual PGA tournament. 

County parks offer free cross-country skiing, sledding and the thrill of high speed tobogganing during the winter months. Milwaukee is also home to The Pettit National Ice Center. This official, U.S. Olympic Training Facility houses one of the fastest 400-meter indoor speed skating ice ovals and two international size ice rinks used for hockey, figure skating and short track speed skating. 

Find firsthand accounts of the variety of recreational opportunities available in Milwaukee at http://www.playinthecity.blogs.com. 

VISIT Milwaukee markets Greater Milwaukee to tourists, convention and meeting planners nationally and internationally and is dedicated to ensuring our guests are warmly welcomed and enjoy an enriching experience in this jewel of the Great Lakes. VISIT Milwaukee has more than 700 members, including hotels/motels, restaurants, attractions, services and area business. Tourism generated $2.4 billion in spending in Greater Milwaukee in 2004 and supported about 61,000 local jobs. The Spirit of Milwaukee and Potawatomi Bingo Casino are strategic partners with VISIT Milwaukee, providing funding support for conventions and tourism programs. For more information call 1-800-554-1448 or visit http://www.visitmilwaukee.org. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: 
David Fantle, Director of Public Relations, VISIT Milwaukee 
414/287-4253



Thursday, September 01, 2005

Milwaukee Area Events Recognized with 29 Pinnacle Awards

09/01/2005

When the envelope was opened and the names were read, Milwaukee area events and attractions collectively took home 29 Pinnacle Awards. Local winners included Jazz in the Park, Summerfest, Wisconsin State Fair, Lakefront Festival of Arts, Bastille Days, Grape Lakes Food & Wine Festival and Irish Fest. 

For nearly 30 years the International Festivals & Events Association has recognized outstanding examples of special event promotions with its prestigious Pinnacle Awards competition. The Pinnacle Awards competition recognizes winners for implementing the highest quality in festival and special event promotions. VISIT Milwaukee is pleased to announce that several of its members were recognized with 29 Pinnacle Awards announced September 14th at the IFEA 50th Reunion Convention in San Antonio, Texas. Winners were selected by event category and budget amount. 

Following is a listing of Milwaukee-area winners: 

· East Town Association (six awards): Jazz in the Park (two awards), Grand Pinnacle and newspaper advertising. Bastille Days (four awards) promotional poster, newspaper advertising and two awards for street banners. 

· Milwaukee World Festival, Inc.: Summerfest (six awards), Grand Pinnacle, sponsor solicitation package, new sponsorship program, overall sponsorship, television and magazine advertising. 

· Wisconsin State Fair Park: Wisconsin State Fair (nine awards), television and radio promotion, Web site, promotional poster, miscellaneous printed material, event/program to benefit a charity, media kit, display advertising and direct mail piece or brochure. 

· Friends of the Milwaukee Art Museum (seven awards): Lakefront Festival of the Arts (five awards), event program, event photography, miscellaneous printed material, and other and overall merchandising. Grape Lakes Food & Wine Festival (two awards), cover design and miscellaneous printed material. 

· Irish Fest Milwaukee: Irish Fest (one award), new promotions. 

"These Milwaukee area events were competing against events held in cities throughout the world," said Doug Neilson, president & CEO of VISIT Milwaukee. "From ethnic and music festivals to the arts and culture, our festivals and events are second-to-none. This recognition by the International Festivals & Events Association is really an invitation for visitors to come to Milwaukee and partake in the many wonderful events we offer." 
For a complete list of winners, visit http://www.ifea.com. 

Established in 1967, VISIT Milwaukee is the premier marketer of Greater Milwaukee. VISIT Milwaukee reaches tourists, convention and meeting planners nationally and internationally with sales, marketing and public relations programs. Tourism generated $2.4 billion in spending in Greater Milwaukee in 2004, which is 21 percent of the state's total tourism impact. VISIT Milwaukee has more than 700 members, including hotels/motels, restaurants, attractions, services and area businesses. Its main office is at 648 N. Plankinton Avenue, Suite 425, Milwaukee. It also has a sales office in Washington D.C. The Spirit of Milwaukee (SOM) and Potawatomi Bingo Casino are strategic partners with VISIT Milwaukee, providing funding support for conventions and tourism programs. For more information call 1-800-554-1448 or visit http://www.visitmilwaukee.org

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Sunday, May 01, 2005

2004 Tourism Spending Remains Strong

05/01/2005

Visitors to the Greater Milwaukee Area spent more than $2.4 billion in 2004, maintaining tourism's ranking as the number two industry in the region. The industry also supported 61,219 full-time equivalent jobs, $1.4 billion in wages and contributed $385 million in state and local taxes. 

These numbers come from the Economic Impact of Expenditures by Travelers on the Greater Milwaukee Area Calendar Year 2004, a tourism economic impact study conducted by Davidson-Peterson Associates, Inc. and commissioned by VISIT Milwaukee. According to the study, Greater Milwaukee Area tourism spending kept pace with 2003 figures, experiencing a slight decline of just 0.8 percent. The study focused on traveler expenditures in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties. 

The majority of visitor expenditures in the Greater Milwaukee Area were divided between shopping, which accounted for approximately one-third ($763 million or 32 percent) of all traveler expenditures; and food ($603 million or 25 percent) and recreation ($604 million or 25 percent), which each accounted for approximately one-fourth of expenses. 

The remaining traveler expenditures in the Greater Milwaukee Area went toward lodging ($282 million or 12 percent) and transportation ($153 million or 6 percent). 

"We're holding our own in a challenging economic environment and a tourism industry in which we compete with dozens of other urban destinations," said Doug Neilson, president and CEO of VISIT Milwaukee. 

Hotel occupancy in Milwaukee County experienced a 2.6 percent increase over the previous year, finishing at 61 percent for the year, slightly outpacing the national average. While 2004 was not a great year for convention business, occupancy percentage was up because of the increase in leisure travel. This year is shaping up to be a strong convention year, with 29 national conventions utilizing the Midwest Airlines Center and 33 conventions of 2,000 room nights or more coming to Milwaukee, both representing the most Milwaukee has ever seen. 

The city will be hosting its biggest convention year on record with such high-profile gatherings as the national NAACP Annual Convention, the Gospel Music Workshop of America and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Convention and Business Expo this summer. 

"With our investment in approximately $1 billion in new tourism attractions between now and 2008, we're extremely well-prepared to take advantage of the industry's pent-up demand, growing momentum and increased recognition of Milwaukee as a desirable convention and leisure traveler destination," added Neilson. "We're well-positioned for growth. Our hotel occupancies are moving in the right direction and our investments in new attractions will enable us to compete among other urban destinations for the tourism dollar from both the convention and leisure markets." 

Established in 1967, VISIT Milwaukee is the premier marketer of Greater Milwaukee. VISIT Milwaukee reaches tourists, convention and meeting planners nationally and internationally with sales, marketing and public relations programs. Tourism generated $2.4 billion in spending in Greater Milwaukee in 2003, which is 21 percent of the state's total tourism impact. VISIT Milwaukee has more than 700 members, including hotels/motels, restaurants, attractions, services and area businesses. Its main office is at 648 N. Plankinton Avenue, Suite 425, Milwaukee. It also has a sales office in Washington D.C. The Spirit of Milwaukee (SOM) and Potawatomi Bingo Casino are strategic partners with VISIT Milwaukee, providing funding support for conventions and tourism programs. For more information call 1-800-554-1448 or visit http://www.visitmilwaukee.org. 

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: 
David Fantle, Director of Public Relations, VISIT Milwaukee 
414/287-4253



VISIT Milwaukee Captures 2005 Diversity in Action Award

05/01/2005

VISIT Milwaukee's emphasis on multicultural tourism and internal diversity initiatives were key to its selection by The Leaders Forum as a "2005 Diversity in Action Award" recipient. The award is given in recognition of an organization that is succeeding through focus on diversity and actively maintaining internal initiatives that advance and foster multiculturalism. 

Since 2000, with the assistance of its multicultural advisory committee, VISIT Milwaukee has booked 64 multicultural conventions representing an estimated $48 million in economic impact. The city is poised to enjoy its biggest convention year in history, in large part due to a summer convention roster that includes three national, multicultural groups. The combined economic impact of delegates attending the NAACP Annual Convention July 9-15, the Gospel Music Workshop of America Aug. 13-20 and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Business Expo Sept. 13-17 is expected to top $20 million and bring national media exposure to the city. 

"We are honored to receive this award," said Doug Neilson, president and CEO of VISIT Milwaukee. "Multicultural convention business and leisure travel are among the tourism industry's fastest growing market segments. This underscores our success in capitalizing on that demand by promoting Milwaukee as a destination that is inclusive and welcoming for people of diverse backgrounds." 

The Leaders Forum, an organization that promotes leadership through relationship, retention and resource sharing among African-American professionals in southeast Wisconsin, will present the award at its Connecting for Success Awards Luncheon on Thursday, May 19 at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee. 

VISIT Milwaukee's internal diversity initiatives played a significant role in its selection as well. Publications directed at niche travel markets, including a guide to multicultural businesses and attractions, and a guide for the lesbian/gay traveler that won the Award of Distinction in the 2005 Communicator Awards were cited. 

Focus on diversifying the organization's membership resulted in a 98 percent increase in multicultural members since 2001. VISIT Milwaukee's diversity initiatives extend to training for staff, board and membership, including its recent Maximize the Moment - M3 Milwaukee Multicultural Meetings, an event designed to ready Milwaukee's business and hospitality sectors to welcome and best serve the needs of multicultural visitors this summer and beyond. 

Established in 1967, VISIT Milwaukee is the premier marketer of Greater Milwaukee. VISIT Milwaukee reaches tourists, convention and meeting planners nationally and internationally with sales, marketing and public relations programs. Tourism generated $2.4 billion in spending in Greater Milwaukee in 2003, which is 21 percent of the state's total tourism impact. VISIT Milwaukee has more than 700 members, including hotels/motels, restaurants, attractions, services and area businesses. Its main office is at 648 N. Plankinton Avenue, Suite 425, Milwaukee. It also has a sales 
office in Washington D.C. The Spirit of Milwaukee (SOM) and Potawatomi Bingo Casino are strategic partners with VISIT Milwaukee, providing funding support for conventions and tourism programs. For more information call 1-800-554-1448 or visit http://www.visitmilwaukee.org. 

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: 
David Fantle, Director of Public Relations, VISIT Milwaukee 
414/287-4253



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