Gov. Walker Opens Menomonie Area Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center

Eighth Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center under new public-private model will serve critical I-94 corridor with travel information.

Gov. Scott Walker was joined by Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett, Department of Transportation (DOT) Deputy Secretary Mike Berg, Sen. Sheila Harsdorf and local tourism businesses and marketing organizations to officially cut the ribbon on a brand new, fully-staffed welcome center located at the Menomonie Rest Area. The new Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center will serve the critical I-94 corridor between the Twin Cities and Wisconsin with travel information.

“Every day thousands of motorists use the I-94 corridor to travel from the Twin Cities, and for many of them their final destination is Wisconsin,” Gov. Walker said. “Serving these travelers with friendly, knowledgeable staff is critical to tourism in this state, which is a $16 billion industry supporting 1 in 13 jobs.”

The new center is the result of a public-private partnership between Tourism, DOT and four local destination marketing organizations: Chippewa Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, Visit Eau Claire, Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau and the Greater Menomonie Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center. The eastbound Rest Area 61 was retrofitted with new counters, literature racks, displays and will be staffed. The westbound Rest Area 62 features self-service racks for travel literature. This is the eighth Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center to be opened under the new public-private business model since Gov. Walker took office.

“This is a great day for tourism because for nearly two years we have been working toward the goal of having a Welcome Center serving visitors in this part of the state. It’s a valuable opportunity for destinations all around the state that are trying to reach travelers between Minnesota and Wisconsin,” said Secretary Klett. “This center also serves as a model for partnership in our tourism industry as it’s the only one of the eight that required the commitment and resources from not one, but four different local organizations.”

The new business model creates a branded presence for TravelWisconsin.com inside the welcome center, which is operated and staffed by the local tourism organizations. In addition, the center will distribute travel brochures at no charge to the state’s travel and hospitality industry.The eight Travel Wisconsin Welcome Centers are located in Menomonie, Kenosha, Beloit, Platteville, Prairie du Chien, La Crosse, Superior and Marinette and will serve more than 600,000 travelers annually.

The Menomonie Area Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center winter hours of operation are Wednesday-Thursday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday-Saturday 9 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s mission is to market the state as the Midwest’s premier travel destination for fun. By executing industry-leading marketing programs, providing reliable travel information and establishing strategic partnerships, the Department plays a significant role in delivering exceptional customer service and generating greater economic impact and jobs for Wisconsin. The portal for traveler information can be found at www.TravelWisconsin.com.