Governor Doyle Announces Tourism JEM Grant for Houdini Days
APPLETON, Wis. (July 16, 2004 Date) - Tourism promotional efforts in the Fox Cities received a welcome boost today when Governor Jim Doyle delivered a $29,750 check from the Department of Tourism to members of Appleton Downtown Inc. The funds were awarded through the Department's Joint Effort Marketing, or "JEM" program, and will help the organization promote the Annual Houdini Days Magic Festival scheduled for September 2-5, 2004.
The large return on investment is just one reason why Houdini Days was chosen to receive the state promotional grant. Organizers estimate the number of visitors expected to attend the two-day event will double from last year to 15,000 to 20,000 people. It is anticipated that the total economic impact for the event will top $571,500, benefiting businesses throughout the Fox Cities area. The Fox Cities Convention & Visitor Bureau estimates the economic impact of room nights alone will be $144,000.
"The Houdini name still has a very broad appeal, and has become linked with Appleton, Wisconsin," Governor Doyle said. "The celebration of Houdini's amazing life will give families, magic lovers, and visitors a new and exciting reason to come to the Fox Cities and have a significant impact on area businesses."
The grant money, matched by local promotional dollars, will help cover the cost of marketing the event through advertising and public relations. These promotional efforts will target travelers within 90 minutes of the Fox Cities area as well as other major markets in Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
The JEM program is available to non-profit organizations for promotion of their Wisconsin tourism destinations or events. The state funds up to 75 percent of a project's first year of advertising and marketing costs. The program also offers grant support during the second and third year of a new project, but in decreasing amounts each year in hopes that the project will eventually become self-sufficient.
For more information about the Houdini Days Magic Festival: www.houdinidays.com
Houdini Days Organizer