Marketing Coalition Steps Up Fundraising Efforts

The Door County Peninsula Strategic Marketing Coalition, an independent group of Door County business owners, has begun raising funds for the purpose of developing a comprehensive tourism marketing plan for the county.

The Coalition, formed in January in response to the Door County Chamber of Commerce’s Tourism Assessment, is seeking to raise $80,000 in sponsorships from peninsula businesses and individuals. More than 40 business owners from Southern Door to Gills Rock have committed time and resources to the project in the three weeks since the group’s first meeting January 12. But coalition members expressed a sense of urgency at their February 6 meeting at the Bertschinger Center in Egg Harbor.

“We have to admit things aren’t real rosy up here right now,” John Lowry said. “We have a group here that has recognized this fact and formed a coalition to address this and move things forward.”

Tourism-related spending in Door County has decreased from a high of over $467 million in 2000 to under $398 million in 2004, according to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. For many businesses, the decrease has been exacerbated by ever-increasing numbers of shops, restaurants and lodging and condominium units.

Coalition Chairman David Eliot echoed Lowry’s sentiments.

“In order to get something done for 2007, we need to get things done now,” Eliot said. “For those who have complained about and been frustrated with business up here, this is an opportunity to get involved in part of the solution.”

The group aims to raise $40,000 by the end of March.

A “Get It Together Gathering” has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 21 at Husby’s Food and Spirits in Sister Bay. The casual gathering will begin at 5 pm and is open to all business owners and residents to meet with coalition members to learn more about the effort, engage in informal discussion, and share ideas.

More information is available online at

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