Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

Tourism & Visitor Economy: The visitor economy can help us all

by JULIE GILBERT, President and CEO, Destination Door County

A new initiative we recently launched called the Community Investment Fund is now a reality.

Earlier this month, we hosted several informational sessions that included details on how local government entities and 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(6) organizations can apply for funding for projects that meet certain criteria. It was great to see the interest and excitement as we shared details about this new program. (Those who were unable to attend one of the sessions can find information and online application materials at CommunityInvestmentFund.org.)

As we continue to evolve into an organization with shared community values ​​that balances sustainability for our businesses, organizations and the environment, Destination Door County’s Board of Directors has recognized that with increased demands on local tourism infrastructure, it is imperative to better support our communities and other organizations .

In the summer of 2022, a task force was formed that included executives from the Destination Door County Board of Directors and the Door County Tourism Zone Commission, as well as other members of the community. With the help and encouragement of the Door County Community Foundation, the Community Investment Fund was established.

This new effort is a natural progression of Destination Door County’s work. Using a portion of room tax dollars paid by visitors, the Community Investment Fund will provide grants for projects that benefit our visitors while they are here and improve the quality of life for those who live and work in Door County.

Wisconsin’s lodging tax law requires that we use room tax dollars to benefit visitors, so this must be a requirement of any Community Investment Fund application. However, in order to receive a grant from the fund, a project must also demonstrate how it will significantly improve the quality of life for Door County residents.

The first priorities of the program include:

• Creative ideas that have a significant impact on the people who live and work in Door County

• Impacts across community boundaries

• Encourages collaboration

• Uses additional resources

• Residents experience the positive effects of tourism

The more of these focal points an application addresses, the more likely it is that a project will receive funding.

Possible project examples could include things like public park improvements or expansions, new public walking or biking trails, public beach restoration projects, new public restrooms, and other projects that would enhance the Door County experience for everyone.

We look forward to projects that are strategic, have a long-term impact, benefit many, transcend community boundaries, and benefit both visitors and residents.

Door County’s visitor economy benefits us and improves the lives of our residents. When people visit Door County, they spend here, which creates jobs for our families. These expenses also generate additional tax dollars and provide economic opportunities for residents. And visitors support more amenities that improve our quality of life.

We all look forward to seeing the positive impact the Community Investment Fund will have on Door County and on everyone who calls it home.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected]. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and suggestions that will help us continue to grow in a positive direction.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: