The Boscobel Chamber of Commerce recently received a $22,300 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism to promote Boscobel and surrounding communities on the Lower Wisconsin Riverway as Wisconsin’s Outdoor Recreation Destination.
Over the past several months, the Boscobel Chamber of Commerce has been working with the Developers and the City on the concept of rebranding the community as Wisconsin’s Outdoor Recreation Destination. This rebranding concept allows Boscobel to promote the scenic beauty and wide array of outdoor recreation activities residents and visitors can enjoy in the Boscobel area. The JEM Grant will greatly leverage Chamber resources to proceed with the promotion aspect of the rebranding process and improve the ways in which the community is marketed to visitors and potential businesses.
“We live in a special place. Boscobel and the surrounding area has scenic beauty and outdoor recreation options that can’t be beat,” says Tom Richter, Chamber President. “As we look to most effectively market our community, we need to highlight all of our strengths and not just limit ourselves to a few things. Sometimes as residents we take for granted the natural resources we have around us that visitors will drive miles to come experience and enjoy.”
Boscobel (which means “Beautiful Woods” in French), is nestled in the heart of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway, which boasts over 44,000 acres of publicly accessible land. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy fishing, canoeing, kayaking, bird watching, camping and hiking, among a host of other activities along the river. Road cyclists and motorcyclists both love to explore the varied, beautiful terrain of the Driftless Region that Boscobel is located within.
There are over 170 miles of trout streams (nearly 90 are designated as high-quality Class I streams) in Grant County and neighboring areas, making the area a world-class destination for trout fishing. The area is also well known for small game, deer, and wild turkey hunting. Simply driving the rural roads and viewing the beauty from various vantage points in the unique Driftless Area of Wisconsin is an adventure to share with family and friends.
A key component of a JEM Grant is the requirement to partner with multiple communities on the project. The Boscobel Chamber has partnered with Muscoda, Blue River, and Wauzeka on the initiative to strengthen tourism along the Lower Wisconsin Riverway.
“If one rural community approaches tourism marketing alone, they are limited in the resources and geographic area available to promote,” explains Tim Jacobson, Boscobel’s Economic Development Director, who was crucial in helping the Chamber apply for the grant. “By working with the surrounding communities, we have a stronger pull to bring in visitors and those looking for a weekend of activities.”
“The funds from the Destination Marketing JEM Grant will be utilized to launch a marketing campaign which, at its center, will include a beautiful visitors website with an online, interactive map to highlight the abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities in the heart of the scenic Lower Wisconsin Riverway,” explains Eric Swan, Chamber Board member. “This site will be coupled with a social media marketing campaign and promotional videos to build enthusiasm for outdoor recreation here, as well as to develop contacts who we can continue to reach over time.”
Creation of the website is currently underway, with plans to have an initial launch by July 4th. There will be components of the site and online campaign, such as the interactive maps and apps that may be added later in the year.
“Tourism marketing is a sound investment,” says Jacobson. “In 2014, Grant County enjoyed a $42 million economic boost from tourism, an increase of more than a million dollars from the year before. It’s incumbent upon us to make our river communities inviting and to be more competitive for visitor spending.”
Vital to the success of the project is participation from the community. The Chamber is in need of photographs and videos of people enjoying outdoor activities and events in Boscobel and the surrounding area. Please submit photos and videos to