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Tourism Welcome Centers making a comeback in Wisconsin

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Rest Area and Travel Center along I-94 at Menomonie, WI.  Photo courtesy Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation.
Rest Area and Travel Center along I-94 at Menomonie, WI. Photo courtesy Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation.
WI Dept. of Tourism's Lisa M... (Download MP3)

MENOMONIE, WI (WSAU) -  Some state services have been cut over the past several years because of the lack of money in the Wisconsin state budget. One service that’s coming back is tourism and information at Wisconsin’s rest area welcome centers.

Lisa Marshall is from the Department of Tourism.  She says they’ve had to get very creative to restore these roadside welcome centers at key gateways to Wisconsin by working with area Chambers of Commerce and Visitor and Convention Bureaus to staff them.

When the Hudson rest area and travel center closed, Marshall says it was replaced with upgrades at the Menomonie rest area on eastbound Interstate 94.  Now, the eastbound Menomonie rest area is staffed five days a week in the winter and seven days a week in the summer to assist travelers and help them learn about Wisconsin destinations.  The Chambers of Commerce in Hudson, Chippewa Falls and Menomonie along with Visit Eau Claire got together to staff this remodelled location. They are also looking into working with University of Wisconsin Stout Hospitality and Tourism students in the future.

Travelers can also get travel assistance and information at Beloit, La Crosse, Kenosha, Platteville, Superior, Prairie du Chien, and Marinette.

Marshall says the department is open to working with more public and private groups to put more visitor centers back in service since the public-private model is working so well.

 

You can listen to the entire discussion with Lisa Marshall. Click on the application above.

 

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