Tourism by the Numbers
It is summer in 17th Senate District! Annual festivals, parades
and picnics happen every weekend. Our state, county and
municipal parks are bustling with families camping, hiking or
hanging-out, enjoying the weather and natural resources of our
state. Our bike trails take visitors and locals through gorgeous
terrain. Local retailers and restaurants offer unique treasures
and experiences unmatched in other parts of the state!
Summer in the 17th is a busy time of year that means a lot to
our local economies.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism (Tourism), the
economic impact of tourism in the counties of the 17th Senate
District was $1.7 billion in 2014, an increase of 6% over 2013!
We beat the state average of a 5.5% increase overall!
We employed 15,654 people in tourism-related jobs in the 17th
Senate District last year which contributed $319.7 million to
our local economies through the income generated by these jobs.
Most tourism-related jobs are small businesses, travel and
hospitality jobs that can’t be outsourced or exported. These
employees must work and live right here in the 17th Senate
Total Tourism Impacts
|Total Business Sales
17th Senate District
It is difficult to list all of the events, destinations and
activities that bring visitors to the 17th Senate District! Our
geography, which reaches from the border with Illinois and Iowa
all of the way north through Juneau County touches the
Mississippi River, the Wisconsin River, the Lemonwier River, the
Baraboo River, Castle Rock Lake, Lake Petenwell and a host of
other lakes, streams and natural attractions.
We have more than 100 trout streams enjoyed by anglers from
around the world. Cyclists use more than 150 miles of bike
trails that take them through beautiful natural areas, farm
fields, bluffs and forests. The 17th Senate District includes
parts of eight state parks and at least 57 county and municipal
parks, forests and natural areas.
Visitors also seek historical and educational experiences at the
wide variety of museums and attractions throughout our
communities. From Taliesin and the House on the Rock in Spring
Green to the Toy Museum in Fennimore; from the Pioneer Log
Village in Reedsburg to Gravity Hill in Shullsburg; from the
Mining Museum in Platteville to the military aircraft on display
at Volk Field in Camp Douglas; visitors and locals can
experience an amazing array of attractions and inspiring ideas.
Our local restaurants offer unique dishes and dining experiences
throughout the 17th Senate District. Many incorporate
locally-sourced products and design their menus to compliment
the ntural environment around us. Some of our local eateries
offer visitors homemade comfort foods that Wisconsin is known
for! Taverns and bars throughout our district create memorable
nightlife with local musicians, local craft beers and signature
drinks. I have enjoyed a limburger cheese sandwich at
Baumgartner’s in Monroe a time or two!
Main street businesses sell local art, unique gifts, handmade
items and a plethora of Something Special from Wisconsin
delicacies. With the wide variety of retail in our district,
visitors are drawn away from the big box into the small business
to find unique products and ideas.
Combine all of the business and natural wonders with local
people and you get a festival or picnic just about every
weekend. Whether enjoying a fish fry in Argyle or a pancake
breakfast with the American Legion in LaValle; or perhaps a ride
on the Ali Babba at Butterfest in Reedsburg or a catfish dinner
in Potosi; visitors who meet us in the 17th Senate District
appreciate our small towns and our brand of hospitality.
As your State Senator, I make my way throughout the district
every week, enjoying local events and parades while talking with
the people I meet along the way. It is clear to me that the
economic growth we have experienced in tourism is due to our
efforts to share the bounty of our communities with each other
and visitors from Wisconsin and beyond. Your local organizations
have done a spectacular job of promoting our communities and
building opportunities for visitors to spend money and time in
the 17th Senate District.
I look forward to continuing my summer in the 17th and hope you
will join me at a local event or attraction to experience
everything we have to offer!
Earlier this month, the State Senate was in session and passed
the following bills:
(photo: Sen. Marklein confers with Sen. Van Wanggaard on the
floor of the Senate.)
Senate Bill 71 - Registering on Election Day
Currently, the only people allowed to register voters on
Election Day is the election inspector at each polling place.
Additionally, a municipality, by adopting a resolution, may
allow an inspector’s registration duties to be performed by
special registration deputies appointed by the municipal clerk
or board of election commissioners.
The local clerks are allowed to register voters every day up to
the election, but not on Election Day- which doesn’t make sense.
Requiring a local resolution to allow clerks to appoint special
registration deputies can be very time consuming and at times
has resulted in the polls being short staffed.
Under this bill, the election inspector’s duties may be
performed by the municipal clerk, if the clerk is not a
candidate on the ballot, or by other special registration
deputies appointed by the municipal clerk or board of election
Everyone involved is required to complete training prior to
working the polls. This legislation was requested by our
Senate Bill 79 - Donating Wild Turkeys
Currently, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) administers
a program to reimburse eligible counties for the costs incurred
in processing and donating venison from certain deer (Venison
Donation Program). To make that county eligible for
participation in the donation program, the county must accept
deer carcasses for processing, must pay the cost of the
processing, and make reasonable efforts to donate the venison to
a food distribution service or charitable organization, such as
Under current law, counties that participate in the Venison
Donation Program are entitled to full reimbursement from the
state or costs associated with processing the meat. The program
is funded by a $2 surcharge on most hunting licenses. This bill
would expand Wisconsin’s current Venison Donation Program to
include wild turkey.
Since donations under the current program accounted for less
than $2,000 in cost last year, it is estimated that expanding
the program to include donations for wild turkey processing
would require a minimal amount of cost.
In 2013, hunters donated 2,265 deer out of a total statewide
hunter harvest of 342,631 animals, which equates to 0.66% of
harvested deer. In 2013, hunters harvested 37,804 turkeys. If
0.66% of those birds were donated, it would equate to about 249
turkeys. A review of the cost to professionally process a turkey
at a Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP)
licensed meat establishment is $10 per bird of 15 pounds or
more, or a potential cost to the donation program of $2,490.
In the District
Weekend Events in the 17th Senate District
With the warm weather and longer days there are plenty of things
to do out and about in the 17th Senate District. This weekend, I
plan to be in a number of different locations and I hope to see
The following are some events taking place in the district.
If I missed an event, please let me know and I will be sure to
add it to my files for 2016!
Thursday, June 25- Sunday, June 28th
Elroy County Fair
Friday, June 26th
Cassville Rescue Squad Dance 6pm-Midnight
Cassville Riverside Park
Saturday, June 27th
La Valle Legion Pancake Breakfast 7:30am-10:30am
La Valle American Legion Post 242 (116 W. Main Street, La Valle,
Mineral Point Rescue Squad Brat Feed 4pm-8pm
Rescue Squad Garage (907 Ridge Street, Mineral Point, WI)
Great Strawberry Dinner 4pm-7pm
United Methodist Church (833 3rd St, Reedsburg, WI)
Argyle Annual Fish Supper 4pm-9pm
Argyle Fire Department
Sunday, June 28th
Juneau County Dairy Breakfast at the Elroy County Fair 7am-11am
Cazenovia Area Dairy Breakfast 7am-Noon
St. Anthony’s School (Hwy V, Cazenovia, WI)
Livingston Summer Celebration Festival and Parade 1:30pm-3:30pm
Final Dedication of the Richland County Veterans Honor Roll
Richland Center City Government Building (450 S. Main St,
Richland Venter, WI)
Mauston American-Legion Post #81 Meat Raffle 3pm
(1055 East State Street, Mauston, WI)
Grant County Summer Festival
Grant County Fairgrounds
I look forward to seeing you out and about in the community this
summer. Again, if I missed an event in this list, please let me
know and I'll be sure to add it to my schedule for next year!
Please continue to keep me informed and up to date on things
happening within the district!
Wisconsin Local Employment and Unemployment Estimates
The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) released the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) estimates of unemployment and
employment statistics for metro areas, major cities and counties
in Wisconsin. The estimates include revisions for April 2015 and
preliminary estimates for May 2015.
The following table shows the local unemployment rates from May
2014 and May 2015 for the counties in our district.
*Source: Department of Workforce Development
Senator Marklein is pleased to provide this
legislative E-Update to the constituents of the 17th State
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