With sports events being canceled or played without fans due to the pandemic, it looks like Road America, which opened in 1955, was way ahead of its time. Fans at the racing venue can choose to watch from anywhere along the 4-mile track. They were practicing social distancing before anyone knew what the phrase meant. Venue leaders believe the lack of other live sporting events will boost the track’s exposure, increasing its fan base.
While people easily identify Road America with racing, it’s actually a lot more, offering 500-plus events annually in addition to onsite geocaching, paintball, disc golf and team-building activities. All that helps the venue deliver an estimated annual economic impact of $100 million. Jessica Thiel explores Road America’s rich history, its investments to improve the fan experience and more in this month’s cover story starting on page 22.
Road America’s events may still be going on, but that’s an anomaly right now. Large annual events from EAA AirVenture to Mile of Music have been canceled due to COVID-19, devastating the local tourism industry. In this month’s New North feature, Kat Boogaard looks at the monetary impact these events have and how area tourism officials are trying to make it through. You can read more in her feature starting on page 14, including the potential economic impact of fan-less games at Lambeau Field.
Most of us don’t fully use our computer’s power, which means that excess could be donated to a distributed computing project. An employee at RB Royal Industries heard about a project that’s working to discover a coronavirus vaccine and decided to get the Fond du Lac business involved by donating unused computing capacity. Turn to page 3 in our quarterly I-Tech section to read Jessica’s story about the program.
With this month’s issue, you will also receive our Women of Influence Awards special section. Late last month during a livestreamed event, Insight honored and celebrated eight women from throughout the New North region who are making a difference in their industries and communities. I encourage you to read the special section to learn more about these amazing women or visit insightonbusiness.com/women to watch the event. You’ll definitely be inspired!
2020 Insight Innovation Awards
The 2020 Insight Innovation Awards will be livestreamed at 4 p.m. on Aug. 19. Keynote speaker Craig Dickman of TitletownTech will kick off the event before we honor the five organizations being recognized for their groundbreaking efforts. Register for the free event — and receive the link to watch it in your inbox by going to insightonbusiness.com/event/insight-innovation-awards.
An extra dose of Insight
Listen to Road America President and General Manager Mike Kertscher discuss how the Elkhart Lake venue is much more than just a racetrack.
Kertscher’s video is just one of many you will find online at insightonbusiness.com/home/cover-story-videos.
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