Green Bay, Wis – On Tuesday, June 28, Discover Green Bay hosted the ceremonial groundbreaking to commemorate the beginning of construction activities on the new Visitors Center located adjacent to Cabela’s on the corner of Lombardi Avenue and Argonne Drive.
This landmark event commemorated the journey that has been front of mind for Discover Green Bay officials for many years.
“The Green Bay community and our region is a major destination hub for the state of Wisconsin,” said Cameron Teske, Vice President of Visitor Experience for Discover Green Bay. “Despite our large visitor economy, we have never had a stand-alone visitors center to welcome travelers to the region.”
Discover Green Bay has called many venues home over the years. Most recently the organization opened a temporary visitor center in the former Imperial Supplies building at
789 Armed Forces Drive. In years prior they officed in the former Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena where a wall of brochures sufficed as the visitor center. The plan for a separate visitor center was already underway even before being relocated to make way for Resch Expo Center.
“It’s been a long road,” said Teske. “But with vast community support from Oneida Nation, Brown County, the State of Wisconsin, and many more, this dream that started even before my time here, has finally become a reality. It will make a great impact on our community.”
Discover Green Bay officials shared that the impact of a visitor center, especially in destinations the size of the greater Green Bay area, has great economic value.
“Despite living in a digital communication world, there is no replacing face-to-face conversations and personal recommendations by local experts,” said Teske. “In the travel and tourism industry we thrive to increase high-value touch points and we have a lot of them with our visitors before they arrive. Now we have a place and a tool to have high-value conversations when visitors are in market, in person. Communities with a visitors center have proven to increase dollars spent. Our goal is to expand visitors' spend throughout our community, extend the visitors stay, and encourage a repeat visit.”
In 2021 approximately 5.5 million people visited Brown County. Those visitors directly spent $632 million in the community having an overall economic impact of more than $1 billion on the local economy. The tourism industry in Brown County accounts for 9,860 jobs and has generated $86 million in state and local taxes.
Construction will officially begin on the visitor center in August of this year. Discover Green Bay anticipates the building will be complete in July of 2023.
During the ceremonial event, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, Oneida Nation Vice Chairman Brandon Yellowbird-Stevens, Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach, Discover Green Bay officials and others addressed the crowd and media.
The Discover Green Bay Visitor Center is supported by many community-wide donors who are passionate about growing tourism and the economic impact it has on our state and region. This includes a $2.5 million tourism infrastructure grant from the State of Wisconsin.