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Boscobel Chamber of Commerce receives tourism grant
JEM grant
WISCONSIN TOURISM SECRETARY Stephanie Klett visited Boscobel Tuesday morning to present a $22,300 Joint Effort Marketing Grant to the Boscobel Chamber of Commerce to promote this area as Wisconsins Outdoor Recreation Destination. The marketing plan will include Boscobel, Wauzeka, Blue River and Muscoda. On hand for the check presentation were, from left, Joel Leonard, Wisconsin River Trail; Mayor Steve Wetter, David Hartburg, CEO, Gundersen Boscobel Hospital, Chamber President Tom Richter, Denise Fisher, Wisconsin River Trail; Ray Saint, Boscobel Developers; Stephanie Klett, Eric Swan, Chamber Marketing Committee Chair; Tim Jacobson, Boscobel Economic Development Director; Mike Reynolds, Boscobel Developers President; Robin Conley, Chamber Board; and Phyllis Groom, Todd Krachey and Larry Zeeh representing the village of Wauzeka.

The Boscobel Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for a new marketing campaign aimed at establishing Boscobel as “Wisconsin’s Outdoor Recreation Destination.” With help from a $22,300 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) Grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, marketing efforts include online advertising, traditional and social media marketing, and promotional videos to increase brand awareness.

On Tuesday, Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett stopped by the Boscobel Depot to present the grant check, praising community organizers and grant writer Tim Jacobson, director of economic development.

“This is a really big deal for a lot of reasons,” Klett told the crowd. “You’re staying true to your brand, you really are. The number one reason people come to Wisconsin is our tremendous outdoor opportunities and your brand, Wisconsin’s Outdoor Recreation Destination, really works to that.”

Klett had spent Monday night in Prairie du Chien at the Driftless Wisconsin banquet and drove from there to Boscobel Tuesday morning.

“What a beautiful drive we had up the river. This is its own unique place. It’s got that small town feel where people connect with one another, and that’s a special thing,” she said. “Congratulations; you earned it. This is the real God’s Country.”

The Boscobel Chamber of Commerce anticipates a nearly 20 percent increase in new visitors to the community as a result of the campaign, generating an estimated $750,000 in total visitor spending during the prime travel months of July through September.

“We know from our research that travelers give Wisconsin high marks for outdoor recreation. Boscobel and the surrounding region are home to some of the best natural resources in the state including the Lower Wisconsin Riverway, the Driftless Area, and the Kickapoo River,”Klett  said. “We are thrilled to support a marketing campaign that promotes the area as a playground for outdoor enthusiasts and creates a positive economic impact.”

In fiscal 2015, the Department funded 59 Joint Effort Marketing projects, awarding a total of more than $1.1 million.

Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $31 million. In 2014, the tourism economy in Wisconsin totaled $18.5 billion, a more than five percent increase from 2013. Total business sales in Grant County reached $77 million in 2014, supporting more than 880 local jobs and $5.3 million in state and local taxes.

At the center of the Outdoor Recreation Destination campaign is a new website and interactive map that highlights historic buildings, scenic parks and trails and countless opportunities for outdoor recreation in Boscobel and participating municipalities. The marketing effort will also include survey research to measure effectiveness and gain insight from visitors in order to grow the brand in the future.

“Boscobel and our neighboring communities of Muscoda, Blue River and Wauzeka are tremendous places for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy,” said Eric Swan, chair of the Boscobel Chamber Marketing Committee. “We’re a bit off the beaten path, which is a great for people who know what our area has to offer, but sometimes we get overlooked as a destination. We’re so thankful for the JEM Grant to help our communities get noticed,” Swan added.

“Thanks to the Scenic Lower Wisconsin Riverway, we have tens of thousands of acres of publicly-accessible land and miles of river for people to enjoy,” said Tim Jacobson, Boscobel’s Economic Development Director. “There’s no better place to escape to for a diversity of outdoor fun and relaxation year-round.”

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

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 and establishing strategic partnerships. The Department plays a significant role in generating greater economic impact and jobs for Wisconsin. The portal for traveler information can be found at: