There’s things to do in Menomonie.
Downtown Menomonie director Dustyn Dubuque tells this to people far too often.
Downtown Menomonie is one of multiple stops that Discover Wisconsin, the country’s longest-running tourism television show, hopes to showcase in an upcoming episode featuring Menomonie. The episode airs Jan. 18-19. It can be viewed over the air on WQOW 18 on Sunday, Jan. 19 at 5 p.m., on cable channels Fox Sports Wisconsin and Fox Sports North on Saturday at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18 as well as be streamed through the Discover Wisconsin app on streaming devices.
The film crew made five stops to Menomonie throughout 2019 to put together the episode and a special viewing for community members is being held Jan. 13 at The Mabel Tainter at 3 p.m.. The event is free and open to the public. Snacks and a cash bar will be provided after the showing.
“I hope that they see we have year-round activities,” Menomonie Area of Commerce program coordinator Maya Canon said of the state-wide audience “We don’t just have things in summer, we also have a lot of winter activities, and in the fall and spring.”
The episode is part of a tourism campaign between the Menomonie chamber and Discover Media Works to promote tourism within Menomonie and surrounding area. The campaign will also include a podcast, blog, e-newsletter and online digital streaming. The chamber has previously worked with Discover Media works to encourage tourism in Menomonie.
“Our goal is to get visitors into your community to embrace the activities and attractions that we feature on your show,” Lisa Beck with Discover Wisconsin said. “Our goal is to really to boost your tourism in your area and your region and really just to highlight all the assets that you have.”
The episode will feature stops at Jake’s Supper Club, the Menomonie Lions Club’s Lake Menomin WaterX event, Red Cedar Speedway, UW-Stout, The Mabel Tainter, Whispering Emerald Ridge Game Farm, Govin’s Farm, Tanglewood Greens, Menomonie Disc Golf Association, local breweries and downtown Menomonie.
“I think that a lot of people might look at Menomonie and think it’s just your classic small Wisconsin, and in some ways I see that in all the best of ways,” Discover Wisconsin host Mariah Haberman said, “but I’m always very surprised when I visit Menomonie. I love that it’s a university town, it has that small town hospitality that one would expect here in Wisconsin, but there is a surprising number of things to do and that’s what I want to get across to our viewers.”
The film crews were on location at Downtown Menomonie’s Ladies Night Out event in October, Dubuque said. The publicity is good for not only the businesses featured but all downtown businesses, he said, as Menomonie’s downtown is doing as well has it has in several years.
“Our downtown is full right now. There’s almost no empty spaces. There’s places to eat, there’s places to shop and there’s a lot for everyone down there right now,” Dubuque said. “So right now I think the downtown is the best it’s been in five, six years. That’s why we want people to come down for, is to just support local and show that we have a variety of different things and things for people to do and show that Menomonie is a destination in Wisconsin to actually come to.”
Discover Wisconsin is viewed in eight states across the upper Midwest reaching a weekly audience of 600,000, Haberman said. The first step of the episode planning process is to collaborate with the local tourism group to plan what they view what bring tourism in an then together plan for what would appeal to viewers across the Midwest.
What Haberman most took away from her visits were the new experiences and the chance to meet people that really care about their community.
“What I enjoy most about my job is getting plucked out of my own hometown and dropped into different towns all across the state and learning about what makes local proud to be from Menomonie,” Haberman said.
“You can have some really cool tourism attractions but it’s always about the people to me, and everywhere I went from the watercross event to Jake’s Supper Club to Red Cedar Speedway, to Whispering Emerald Game Farm and Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts, everyone you could tell was so proud of their own destination, their own venue and proud to be in Menomonie and I hope that translates on camera. I want people to feel that when they come and visit for themselves.”
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