Summary Report of the Crawford County Tourism Assessment August Developed by youmustknowme


									                       Summary Report of the
          Crawford County Tourism Assessment
                                 August 2008

Developed as a collaborative effort by the
Tourism Assessment Planning Team

Laura Brown -Community Development Educator Crawford County
University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension; Will Christensen -Outreach
Coordinator Wisconsin Department of Tourism; Eric Frydenlund- Tourism
Coordinator, Crawford County Tourism Council; Robert Moses -Director
Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce; Pam Ritchie –Director Prairie
du Chien Downtown Revitalization; Patti Wacker- Tourism Coordinator PDC
Area Chamber of Commerce; Report compiled and edited by Laura Brown


 The Crawford Country Tourism Assessment consisted of three work sessions involving community leaders interested in tourism
 growth and development. Members of the Tourism Assessment Team (Note: some participants did not attend all three sessions):

 Char Bender -President, PdC Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; Patti Wacker- Tourism Coordinator PdC
 Chamber of Commerce; Susan Caya- Villa Louis State Historic Site; Hazel Connors- Crawford County Tourism Council;
 Tom Cornford- Crawford County Board City of PdC; Michael Douglass      -Director Villa Louis State Historic Site; Don
 Fossum- Crawford County Tourism Council; Phyllis Groom- Crawford County Tourism Council Village of Wauzeka;
 Virginia Johnson- Crawford County Tourism Council Tourism Business Owner; Larry & Madonna Kapinus- Town of PdC
 Tourism Business Owner; Pete Knapik- Soldiers Grove Development Corp Tourism Business Owner; Gerald Krachey-
 Crawford County Board – Village of Wauzeka; Ron Leys -Crawford County Board Chairman Town of Scott; Sharon
 Martin- Fort Crawford Museum; Marlene Meyer - County Tourism Council / Business Owner; Tom Nelson- PdC Tourism
 Council President ; Sherry Quamme - Crawford County Tourism Council Village of Ferryville;; Jerry Raha - Gays Mills
 Economic Development Association; Darlene Severson- Crawford County Tourism Council Village of Ferryville; Bird
 Skemp- PdC; Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors ; Janelle Swenson- Director, Country Inn and Suites; Vance
 Haugen- UW Cooperative Extension Agriculture Agent ; Kevin Mulroony- Vice President PdC Chamber of Commerce
 Board of Directors; Melodie Betts- Crawford County Board – City of PdC
Crawford County Tourism Assessment Background
Communities practice economic and tourism development to improve the well being of local residents.
Successful community economic development supports a diverse range of industries, makes the most of a
community’s unique character and resources, and builds the capacity of local residents and organizations. For
many of Wisconsin’s rural communities Tourism plays an important role in achieving these goals. Tourism
development may represent sources of income that the community is not able to generate from other
industries, generate new business development in the form of tourism services and supporting industries, and
create opportunities to engage community involvement.

Tourism is a diverse industry that takes many different forms; water-parks to bike trails, cooking workshops to
trout angling. That said, tourism may not be right for every community and every community may not be ready
to embark on tourism development. Community Tourism Assessments help communities identify if and what
forms of tourism are appropriate.

A tourism assessment is a tool used to help a community identify its potential and needs with respect
                                      to tourism development

                                        In the Spring of 2007 community leaders and staff of Crawford County’s
                                        destination marketing organizations, the Crawford County Tourism
                                        Council, the Prairie du Chien Chamber of Commerce, and the Prairie du
                                        Chien Downtown Revitalization Initiative as well as the State of
                                        Wisconsin Department of Tourism came together to discuss next steps
                                        for tourism development in the area. Following the initial meeting,
                                        directors of key tourism organizations in Crawford County met again to
                                        propose next steps and decided to form a Tourism Assessment Team
                                        comprised of board members from each of the organizations, elected
officials, and business owners. This team would be responsible for further assessing Crawford County’s
assets and opportunities related to tourism.

The Crawford County Tourism Assessment was developed to involve
people who have a stake in the local tourism industry including business
owners, citizens, local officials, representatives of tourism organizations
and economic development professionals. Through focused discussions,
the stakeholder group generated ideas about the community’s resources,
barriers to tourism, opportunities for growing tourism, actions to address
key issues, and ways existing organizations can work together better.
Background research, surveys, and other forms of data collection were
also considered in the assessment but are not included in this summary report. The assessment process
generally allows a community to develop a plan for tourism that will be supported by local residents, build
community well-being, and serve as an active guide for tourism related economic development.

The following report is based on a series of three assessment team meetings held in Crawford County,
Wisconsin on November 6, 2007, November 27 2007 and March 11, 2008. The assessment was based on a
process used by the Department of Tourism and modified to meet the goals of collaborating tourism
organizations; Prairie du Chien Chamber of Commerce, Prairie du Chien Tourism Council, Prairie du Chien
Downtown Revitalization, and the County Tourism Council. Directors of these groups comprised the Tourism
Assessment planning Team. The Tourism Assessment Planning Team defined the assessment goals and

  For more information contact Laura Brown 608-326-0224 or visit
Crawford County Tourism Assessment Goals & Process
  •   Create data toward the development of a county wide marketing strategy
  •   Inform council and organization board members so they are able to
      communicate about the likely economic impact of tourism
  •   Help to address negative perceptions of tourism in the county
  •   Include public participation/education in the assessment process
  •   Involve tourism groups in a collaborative manner

  Session One: Tourism Resource Inventory- The first step is to take a look at
  Crawford County’s tourism assets, barriers, opportunities, and resources.

  Session Two: Issues and Opportunities - The team will learn about key
  issues and needs of existing tourism groups in Crawford County.

  Session Three: Goals and Objectives - The team will prioritize key issues and opportunities and identify
  gaps and overlaps.

Key Recommendations
                     While tourism development was the focus of the assessment, it is interesting to note that
                     many of the key recommendations were related more to community capacity building to
                     support tourism including education, data collection, and collaboration. To address the
                     need for better coordination between organizations, the assessment team decided to
                     continue to meet in May, September and November 2008. Each organization also
                     agreed to bring their annual event plans to the November meeting so the organizations
                     can better coordinate events. Another capacity building issue that the group felt needed
                     urgent attention was the need for better education of the public and elected officials about
                     the value and impact of tourism.

As a result of the assessment process the assessment team identified the following key

      Issues to be addressed immediately
      • Planning for the Welcome Center
      • Tourism education to the public and local officials
      • Development of a rack card with all of the organizations information and web links

      Issues to be addressed within 6-12 months:
      • Track visitors
      • Facilitate Tourism Coordination among existing groups
      • And begin the process to improve public transportation

      Issues to be addressed within 2-5 years
      • Continue to address physical barriers to tourism
      • Create a cohesive county-wide marketing and target marketing strategy

  For more information contact Laura Brown 608-326-0224 or visit

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