Back in 1983 when the National Travel and Tourism week was established by congressional resolution, The Brookfield Convention and Visitor’s Bureau wasn’t even a blip on Brookfield’s radar. In fact, Visit Brookfield would not be established for another 10 years. It seems strange, doesn’t it, given all our great country has to offer, that tourism has only been a nationally recognized “thing” for 35 years.
Boy, have we made up for lost time.
Funded entirely by the city’s hotel room tax, Visit Brookfield exists to promote the image and name recognition of Brookfield. We are tasked with advancing the interest of all visitors to Brookfield; be it business travelers, families, conference-goers, or leisure travelers. In doing so, we also advance the economic climate for all those who reside or do business in Brookfield.
But really, tourism in Brookfield? Yes! If you watched the recent episode of Around the Corner with John McGivern on PBS featuring Brookfield and Elm Grove (If you didn’t, I encourage you to do so click here to view the episode!), it was mentioned that our daily population swells from 50,000 people to well over 120,000. If we agree that the modern definition of a tourist is 1) visitors staying away from home for 1 or more nights, 2) visitors staying away from home for more than 3 hours or 3) visitors who spend less than 3 hours away from home, then it radically challenges the traditional concept of a tourist as someone who packs a suitcase, grabs their map and camera and heads out the door. Now, a business traveler or conference attendee is a tourist. People who work in Brookfield but live elsewhere are tourists. Afternoon shoppers and evening diners are tourists. Economically speaking, that’s a game changer.
Let’s look at some numbers.
- Annually, Visit Brookfield invests $500,000 in local and national magazines like Key Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and Midwest Living. Advertising is also placed in leisure tourism magazines like Fun in Wisconsin, Wisconsin Map Atlas and Wisconsin Hotel and Lodging.
- Additional dollars are spent on the local Visitor’s guide, Coupon Book, Relocation Guide, the Visit Brookfield website and app, and Dine in Brookfield Event.
- The tourism economy supports nearly 25% of all food and beverage jobs in Wisconsin.
- The tourism economy generates $1.5 billion in state and local revenue, saving Wisconsin taxpayers $650 per household.
- Tourism had a $20 billion impact on the state’s economy in 2016. This is a 3.5% increase over 2015.
Hidden gems like Al Capone’s House, Dousman Stage Coach Inn, and the birthplace of Caroline Ingalls (yes, we mean Laura’s mother) only scratch the surface of Brookfield’s rich history. Acres of green space and parkland are attractions all on their own, as are all the shopping and dining options. Easy in and out via highways and interstates makes Brookfield a prime location for visitors from all points on the map. Whether your travels bring you to our community for a day or longer, I invite you to shop, play, dine and stay in Brookfield.