West Bend, Wis. (June 17, 2020): The City of West Bend Tourism Commission has awarded $8,500 in promotional grant funding to support three Fall/Winter 2020-2021 events. Through an established competitive grant program, the Tourism Commission assists local nonprofit organizations seeking supplementary support to promote tourism and economic impact. Each grant period—fall/winter and spring/summer—awards up to $20,000.00 in promotional funding.
“The hotel industry depends heavily on local attractions and special events,” said Chris Gurrie, General Manager at Hampton Inn & Suites West Bend and Tourism Commission Member. “Last year, the Tourism Commission added this fall/winter grant opportunity to encourage new and expanding events during a time of year that our community is historically slower in tourism.”
Tourism Commission funding is derived from the Local Hotel Room Tax. The money is allocated directly back into the community to support local government and nonprofit organizations dedicated to tourism promotion and tourism development. For the Fall/Winter 2020-21 Promotional Grant term, the following organizations were funded:
- The Museum of Wisconsin Art received $6,000 to support Bloomin’ Holidays. This multi-day event will take place on November 5-8, 2020. The museum anticipates 4,000 visitors over the course of four days. This year, a digital art projection by Gabrielle Tesfaye will dramatically illuminate the south wall of the museum each night from 5-10 p.m. The MOWA Gardens will feature glowing white orb lights and museum curators will lead visitors on twilight walking tours. Inside the museum, floral designs will blossom in the galleries and there will be demonstrations throughout the weekend. The MOWA Shop will also offer unique handmade items by Wisconsin artists.
- West Bend Bike Enthusiasts and West Bend Friends of Parks and Recreation received $1,500 to support the Hugh Jass Fat Tire Bike Race Weekend. The two-day event will take place on Saturday and Sunday, January 23 and 24, 2021. It is estimated that the event will attract 1,500 attendees. Fat tire bike races will take place on the trails in Regner Park on Saturday and move to Lac Lawrann Conservancy on Sunday. In addition to the winter races, the event will offer free admission to spectators, food and beverage vendors, music, and a post-race party.
- Downtown DIVA Group and Downtown West Bend Association received $1,000 to support West Bend Winter Warm Up. This two-day event will take place in conjunction with the Hugh Jass Bike Race Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, January 23 and 24, 2021. The event estimates 1,800 attendees will enjoy boutique shopping, in-store tastings and giveaways, and ice sculptures displayed throughout the downtown. The event will feature an interactive ice sculpture demonstration in Old Settlers Park.
“West Bend is becoming a bicycling destination and I am most intrigued by the potential of the Hugh Jass Bike Race,” said Mark Allen, District 2 Alderman. “This event has expanded into a two-day weekend, which encourages participants and spectators to stay overnight and explore all that West Bend has to offer.”
The next Tourism Commission meeting will take place on Thursday, July 23, 2020, at City Hall. Tourism Commission members include: Randy Koehler, District 4 Alderman; Mark Allen, District 2 Alderman; Jay Shambeau, City Administrator; Chris Gurrie, Hotel Industry Representative; and Mike Nowack, Business Representative.