Badwater Bash & Bass Tourney Receives Tourism Grant

June 27, 2013

Danielle Johnson

Wisconsin Dept. of Tourism

New event gets $6,881 marketing boost

FLORENCE, Wis. (June 27, 2013) – Splash into some fun at the Badwater Bash and Bass Tourney a brand new event in Florence, July 13. Tourism Industry Relations and Services Director Sarah Klavas presented the $6,881 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant, giving the new event a boost of marketing power to attract visitors. The event is looking to attract 500 visitors generating $28,000 in traveler spending at campgrounds, lodging, restaurants and stores.

“From fishing to water sports, beach fun to kayaking and canoeing, the outdoor recreation in Florence is simply fantastic,” said Klavas. “We applaud the creation of this new event to showcase the area’s strengths and create a positive economic impact in the community.”

Held on July 13 at Vagabond Park on the Twin Falls Flowage off US Hwy 2, the event invites families and fishing enthusiasts to Florence. In addition to the Bass Tourney, the event includes shoreline family activities like minnow racing, a celebrity dunk tank, the official weighing of the fish, and fire department water cannon for kids to try. There will also be a celebrity water ski show at 5pm, by featuring the Badwater Ski-ters. Bash entertainment continues after the ski show with the Rock Band ‘OZ’ playing on a stage right by the water from 6pm until 10pm. Grant funds will be used for targeted radio, online and print advertising.

“We were excited to receive this JEM grant from our State Tourism partners,” said Wendy Gehlhoff, Florence County Economic Development Director and grant/event organizer. “Having extra marketing monies to target new visitor attraction gives Florence County more exposure. It is creating a facebook buzz about the event that should translate into a big event crowd and more traveler spending at our area businesses that weekend.”

The event is sponsored by: WE Energies, Cirrinity by Niagara Telephone, Coleman Engineering Company, Nine Lakes Sport & Marine, MirroCraft Boats, Demko Electric, Saloon No. 2 and Travel

In fiscal 2013, the Department funded 56 Joint Effort Marketing projects, awarding a total of nearly $1.2 million dollars. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $36 million dollars. In 2012, the tourism economy in Wisconsin totaled an estimated $16.8 billion, a five percent increase over 2011. Traveler spending in Florence County reached $4.5 million in 2012, up over 5 percent from 2011.

JEM grant funds are available to non-profit organizations for the promotion of Wisconsin tourism events and destinations. The state can fund up to 75 percent of a project's first year advertising and marketing costs and provides support for second and third year projects, but with decreasing amounts for funding each year until projects become self-sustaining. For information on the JEM Program and application materials, visit

The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism 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, we will play 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:

Danielle Johnson, Wisconsin Department of Tourism

Wendy Gehlhoff, Florence County Economic Development Commission

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