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LETTER: Wisconsin Dells needs a new plan to bring visitors back to downtown

LETTER: Wisconsin Dells needs a new plan to bring visitors back to downtown


For many years, tourist experiences such as drinking have told a false narrative of Wisconsin Dells traditions. Even though nature might seem untouched in many places in the Midwest, it is almost always still utilized by the local people.

For visitors today, experiences are marked alongside inauthentic products. There is a lack of truly local products. There is an acute need for creating criteria, rules, and monitoring systems to guarantee the authenticity, responsibility, and ethical sustainability of tourism based on Wisconsin culture, as defined and accepted by our community. There is a need to focus on history, architecture, people, storytelling and sharing Midwest knowledge and values with guests to show authentic life of the region, along with focusing on authentic food - cheese, milk, chocolates, fruits, meat, fish, clothing, souvenirs, as well authentic tourism businesses - attractions, festivals/shows, restaurants and lodging, to be used in tourism marketing. This information can spread mutual respect for our community, while benefiting local economies. Every great community has a business - a historic community seat passed down from generations. For example, our business the Fitzgerald's Motel belonged to the Fitzgeralds, Phillips, Piotowskis and with pride has welcomed guests for 72 years - 27 for us. Every visitor is looking for something "special from Wisconsin."

Tourists' demand is to see both the traditional and the modern Midwest culture based on indigenous values and practices.

Margaret Gewont and Eugene Tokarczyk, Fitzgerald's Motel owners, Wisconsin Dells

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