Wisconsin promotes Wisconsin

(AP) _ New television ads that promote Wisconsin tourism feature the unpretentious appeal of supper clubs and the joy of a family romping with their dogs on the shores of Lake Superior.

Gone are the Hollywood movie inspired tourism ads that featured former Milwaukee Bucks star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and actor Robert Hays from “Airplane!“

Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett says that instead of celebrities featured in the 2014 ads by Hollywood directors David and Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams, this time Wisconsin is the star of the ad campaign.

“I can think of no better way to encourage people to spend their vacation dollars in the state than by showing real people having fun experiences anyone can enjoy,“ Klett said in a release.

The ads are part of the state Tourism Department’s $12.5 million marketing and promotions budget and will run during the NCAA men's basketball tournament. The State Journal says the main $3 million summer advertising campaign begins in May and will include five supper club-themed billboards in the Chicago area.

Innkeepers, restaurant owners and others in the hospitality industry previewed the new ads during the Governor’s Conference on Tourism at the Ho- Chunk Gaming Hotel & Convention Center near Baraboo this week.

One of the spots was shot at the Buckhorn Supper Club on Lake Koshkonong in Milton and shows a bartender making an Old Fashioned and a couple dancing in a noisy, laughter-filled dining room with a deer head mounted on the wall.

Another ad follows a family and their two dogs playing along the lakeshore in Bayfield. The boy in the ad says “dogs are always welcome in Wisconsin. And if they want, they can bring their people too!'“

Tourism officials said that for every $1 the state spent on ad campaigns in 2015, $8 was returned to state and local governments in incremental tax revenue.

The History of Road America: In the early 1950’s, sports cars were racing on the streets in and around Elkhart Lake. When the state legislature banned racing on public roads, a man named Clif Tufte organized a group of influential local citizens and leaders of the of the Chicago Region of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). This group developed plans to build a permanent racecourse. Tufte’s dream became a reality in April 1955. The track sits on 525 acres. It is virtually the same today as it was when it was first laid out, and is valued the world over as one of the world’s finest and most challenging road courses. The first professional race weekend was the August 1956 NASCAR Grand National race. At the time NASCAR was just a regional southern series and not widely popular. On Saturday Paul Goldsmith won in a Jaguar Mk., VII sedan with a winning speed of 59.2 mph.

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