Wisconsin businesses brace for tourist rushVacation season in Wisconsin is back with a bang.
By: Jessica Hamilton, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Vacation season in Wisconsin is back with a bang.
Following past years of lackluster summer business in Northwestern Wisconsin, resort owners have high hopes for this summer. Regardless of gas prices or time Tourism Department Secretary Stephanie Klett says things are looking up.
“Nationally, consumer confidence and economic trends indicate a really positive outlook for the summer travel season, so were really excited about that,” she said.
Bayfield Chamber of Commerce Marketing Manager Erin Johnson says business is already picking up and attributes that to the warm spring that we have had.
“Everything is actually getting going a little earlier than usual for instance a lot of the boats have already been up and out on the water so I would say it’s a little bit of an early season since the weather has been so nice,” Johnson said.
Dan Virnig owns the Birch Island Resort in Phillips. He says business has been slow the past few years, especially winters with little snow but says this summer the number of people staying with them is going up.
“The bookings are already up. We’re booking people last minute, we booked people yesterday already,” Virnig said.
Kait Carig works at the Telemark Resort in Cable. She says business will pick up quickly.
“It’s about the same right now, but we have a lot more events scheduled for this summer than we did last summer,” Carig said.
Tourism Secretary Klett says one thing on Wisconsin’s side. “Something that is really helping Wisconsin is a trend that is going on nationally and that is a time poverty issue,” she said.
Klett says that the U.S. passed Japan as the hardest working industrialized nation in the world, with an average of 50 hours per week. Instead of week long vacations, people started using smaller chunks of vacation time to create extended weekends.
“Wisconsin, especially Northwest Wisconsin, weekend getaways are really what they excel in,” she said.