Boscobel is hitting the airwaves with its own episode on the Discover Wisconsin television series. Filming is set to begin this summer, with the program to air in the spring of 2014.
“We’re in our 26th year of promoting Wisconsin tourism. That is the longest running travelogue in the United States,” Discover Wisconsin managing director Greg Smith told members of the Boscobel Common Council Monday. “What we want to do is feature you in a program on Wisconsin River communities, specifically the Lower Wisconsin.”
Tentative plans call for four communities to be involved with the production: Boscobel, Prairie du Chien, Spring Green and Sauk City. Together they would split the $40,000 production cost.
“I know that’s a big number, but by splitting the cost among the four communities I think we can make it work,” Smith said. “This is a great opportunity for Boscobel to be on television as part of a Wisconsin River community.”
In approving the proposal, the Council was informed that much of the $10,000 pricetag has already been accounted for, including $5,000 in room taxes, $3,000 from the Chamber of Commerce and, hopefully, $2,000 from Grant County Economic Development.
Smith estimated the direct tourism value to each community as a result of the contract at $200,000—including television, radio, trade shows, public relations and the internet. He estimated the indirect media value at $1.5 million.
“This is a two-year marketing campaign, with the program airing three times over that period,” Smith said. “There will also be five radio programs on 40 to 50 radio stations.”
City Administrator Arlie Harris lauded the plan, saying, “To me this is great, because wherever they’re going to be advertising, Spring Green, Prairie du Chien, Sauk City, we’re in the mix as a Wisconsin River community. It beats the heck out of running expensive ads in Chicago.”
Discover Wisconsin airs on Channel 27, WKOW in Madison, at 6:30 p.m. on Saturdays, as well as at 5 p.m. Sundays on WXOW, Channel 19 in La Crosse.
The Council also approved the purchase of a $5,000 45-watt radio signal repeater unit for City Hall, improving communications with city crews working in the field.
“We just struggle everyday. We can’t hear anyone, and it happens all the time,” said Mayor Steve Wetter, citing a recent incident at the airport when crews were plowing snow and couldn’t communicate with City Hall.
“It’s not any different than our squad cars, where we have a 50-watt repeater so we can hear our handhelds in the hospital or somewhere else in town where we can’t reach the tower,” said Police Chief Todd Stenner.
In separate items, the Council gave Stenner approval to purchase a new radar detector at a cost of $600-$1,000, and to advertise a surplus squad car for sale.
“It is no longer needed because we now have three marked squad cars,” Stenner said of the 2008 Ford Crown Victoria.