As leaves begin to change hues to the rich golds, oranges and reds, some New North communities like Green Lake are getting ready to welcome a big final push of visitors. Warm autumn days provide tourists an opportunity to get in perhaps a final weekend of boating, hiking or biking.
Loni Meiborg, executive director of the Green Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, says more people continue to enjoy their weekends away from home right through the end of October. “We’ve seen our tourism season stretch from four months a year to six as people come up earlier in the year and stay later,” she says.
Restaurants, resorts and small shops in downtown Green Lake (pictured) all benefit from the longer season, she adds.
Communities throughout the region are also doing more to attract winter tourists by promoting quiet weekends away at amenity-filled resorts and popular outdoor activities, such as snowmobiling, snowshoeing and skiing.
Whatever the season, the number of Wisconsin tourists was up in 2011, spending $16 billion, an increase of 8 percent over 2010, according to the Tourism Economics for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.
–By MaryBeth Matzek