Before Country Fest cranked up its 2018 run in Cadott, local tourism was already feeling its impacts.
Jackie Boos, tourism director at the Chippewa Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, said events like Country Fest, its cousin event, Rock Fest, in July and other music festivals in the Chippewa Valley help boost tourism dollars during the events as well as prior to and after the festivals.
“We feel the effects before the festival starts and kind of right after as well. We do have some higher traffic downtown,” Boos said. “We definitely see we can see and feel the impacts of what happens.”
On average, those who visit Chippewa County for a day trip spend anywhere between $100 to $199, Boos said. That number increases to $129 to $179 per night for overnight visitors.
Though exact averages during the festivals are unknown, events like the music festivals increase the number of chances for those averages to be brought in, Boos said.
Go Chippewa Falls and Explore Chippewa County also work with the festivals as an “extra arm” of promotion, Boos said, adding that the festivals do a great job of getting acts worth promoting.
“It’s a really good partnership,” Boos said. “We’re really lucky that it’s here in Chippewa County, because they put on a good show.”
While campers fill the grounds of Rock and Country fests, hotels with shuttles in the area are also available, Boos said, and a number have already reported being at capacity. Bed and Breakfasts, campgrounds and vacation homes can also feel the impacts of the festing tourists as lodging fills, Boos said.
Kathy Reed, owner of Kathy’s Diner in Cadott, said she sees an influx of tourist visitors with Country Fest a couple of days before the event kicks off.
The country music festival in June and the rock music festival in July help boost and impact Reed’s business, as many return customers come back for her home-cooked meals every year.
“They come to the festival; they come here to eat,” Reed said.
Typically, breakfast and lunch are Reed’s busiest times of the day, she said. Boosting her staff and increasing hours for the weeks of the festivals helps the diner stay afloat during the busy times.
But she’s grateful for the extra work.
“Thank you for all the support,” Reed said to local visitors and tourists alike.
Country Fest is just one of the first music events scheduled to continue to make these reverberations in Chippewa County communities this summer.
Located in Cadott, Country and Rock fests bring in thousands of people each day each summer.
And those aren’t the only events going on in the county.
Rock Fest runs the same week as one of the big events in Chippewa Falls, the Northern Wisconsin State Fair, which featured Martina McBride and Cheap Trick.
New to town this year, Chippewa Falls’ first OneFest, a Christian music festival, will be taking the stage Saturday, July 28, wrapping up the next day at the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds.
“It’s Chippewa County; there’s something for everybody…” Boos said. “It’s giving (attendees) a snapshot of true Wisconsin tourism.”