Tourism In Superior Up: National Travel And Tourism Week

By KBJR News 1

May 8, 2013 Updated May 8, 2013 at 7:19 PM CDT

Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com) - Superior tourism boosters are hoping for the best as the community's tourism season gets off to a chilly start.

Superior spokespeople say despite the delay the city is on track for another successful season.

Justin Reis tells us how city leaders are looking at new ways to keep the hotels booked and the city on your road map.

If you are like many outdoor enthusiasts, the simple sound of a splash of water may just get your "long weekend getaway" juices flowing.

Sailors from across the Northland are overboard with winter and are moving full speed ahead for the warm season to come.

"Oh, the best part about sailing is getting out here and having fun. Getting out in the sun, seeing the weather, night time...being out there seeing the stars going out and seeing all the boats in the Duluth Harbor," Art Johnston, a sailor, said.

More than 320 boats are here at the Barker's Island Marina and about a dozen of those will be launched today.

Many of the sailors are itching to set sail and they say they're excited to take their friends from out of town with them.

"I bring my sons up from Minneapolis, my other son is from Washington D.C., they'll be coming up here sailing, plus all of our friends so, it's a really fun thing," Johnston said.

"This boat going by right now is the third boat of the day. We try to do ten boats a day," Eric Thomas, a Barker's Island Marinamanager, said.

Superior's boating industry has contributed significantly to the 74 million dollars spent on tourism in Douglas County since 2011.

"When people are going on vacation, and looking to go somewhere, for a lot of folks, that involves going to the water," Thomas said.

The Dragonboat festival is always a major draw to the waterfront.

"There are a lot of reasons to visit and the twin ports anywhere from our lakes, to our largest falls in the state of Wisconsin," Bruce Hagen, Superior Mayor, said.

Not to forget the camping and hiking in Douglas County's 300 acres of forest...to say nothing of the world renowned trout fishing on the Brule River.

"We have things other areas would only drool to have," Dave Minor, Superior Chamber President, said.

The President of the Superior and Douglas County Chamber says if it weren't for tourism property taxes would go up throughout Douglas County.

"Bottom line, is if we didn't have tourism, every resident of Douglas County would be paying an extra $575 in taxes to make up for the lost revenue we would have," Minor said.

Unlike Minnesota, Wisconsin cities must raise tourism marketing funds locally, and not depend on grants and state funding.

The city's hotel–motel tax covers much of the costs.

Justin Reis, NNC.