Thursday, September 8, 2011

NFL Kickoff Helps Boost Green Bay Tourism

Green Bay Press Gazette: Tourism numbers late this summer were described as looking good by Green Bay Area Visitors & Convention Bureau officials, and an infusion of NFL production staff and fans for tonight's game between the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints is expected to help bolster those numbers and the local economy.

Among visitors occupying local hotel rooms are people tied to the production of the NFL Kickoff 2011 staying at seven hotels in Green Bay and Appleton.

The league has issued 1,500 credentials for NFL staff and vendors, it said Wednesday. That includes about 250 NFL staff, NFL Network, NFL Films and production people working the event.

Those numbers do not include the Saints, national media or fans, according to the league.

Brenda Krainik, director of marketing with the Green Bay Area Visitors & Convention Bureau, said NFL personnel started arriving in the area late last month and booked blocks of rooms at area hotels.

"Having them here for all this preparation is going to take a typical impact and change that," she said. "We're excited they have been here for so long. … Our numbers are going to look pretty good for August anyway, and that just heightens everything."

Krainik expects strong numbers in September.

Finding a hotel room took a little work this week, something the bureau is working with both hotels and travelers to navigate

"Just as one fills up … there may be another hotel that maybe has two or three rooms available so they call us and if we get calls that come in, we refer that hotel to the caller," Krainik said.

There's the potential for other, longer-term, tourism-related fallout for the Green Bay area from tonight's game.

"All the national spotlight brings a new opportunity because it's reaching out to folks across the country on the 'Today' show … or E! Entertainment or CNBC," she said. "All these news organizations and entertainment companies are focused on Green Bay and that's something we wouldn't be able to buy."

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