Tourism Secretary Klett, Cabinet leadership join Governor Walker in recognizing Wisconsin’s iconic supper clubs
MADISON – Governor Scott Walker joined Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett and Cabinet leadership today in presenting honorary plaques to several of the top ten winners of the Travel Wisconsin Supper Club Showdown. Governor Walker also declared today as Supper Club Day throughout Wisconsin to honor the state’s iconic supper clubs, their history, and their contributions to the tourism economy.
“Supper clubs are an iconic part of Wisconsin, and one that has played an important role in our state’s tourism economy for more than 100 years,” Governor Walker said. “Food and beverage spending in Wisconsin continues to rise thanks in part to the hard work and dedication of supper clubs and all restaurants throughout the state, many of which are locally owned and operated. Their hospitality is just one of the reasons why visitors come back to Wisconsin year after year.”
Governor Walker and Secretary Klett kicked off Supper Club Day with a lunch visit and plaque presentation at Lehman’s Supper Club & Cocktail Lounge in Rice Lake, followed by a stop at Ishnala Supper Club in Lake Delton, and dinner at Pinewood Supper Club in Mosinee. The Governor presented the Travel Wisconsin Supper Club Showdown award to the restaurant’s owners. Secretaries Neitzel and Gutierrez, Commissioner Nickel, and Deputy Secretaries Klavas and Maxwell visited five of the remaining supper clubs to commemorate their top ten wins.
“We know from our research that food is a big driver of tourism,” said Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. “When travelers visit a destination, they want an authentic experience, and food is a big part of that. Wisconsin is home to more than 250 supper clubs that not only provide an authentic dining experience, they’ve shared it with residents and visitors for generations.”
The Travel Wisconsin Supper Club Showdown, a month-long online contest, encouraged residents and out-of-state-visitors to vote for their favorite supper club in Wisconsin. The contest brought in nearly 400,000 votes, with Ishnala Supper Club in Lake Delton taking home the top prize. Final standing from the Travel Wisconsin Supper Club Showdown can be found here.
Culinary tourism is a top travel motivator, and supper clubs have been a Wisconsin tradition for more than 100 years. In 2016, Tourism launched its supper club-themed marketing campaign, which pays homage to this long-standing cultural icon and the fun that can be had when dining at one of the hundreds of supper clubs throughout the state. The campaign commercial is the most successful in Travel Wisconsin history, reaching 1.4 million views.
The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the state as the Midwest’s premier travel destination for fun by executing industry-leading marketing programs and establishing strategic partnerships. The Department plays a significant role in generating greater economic impact and jobs for Wisconsin. The portal for traveler information can be found at www.travelwisconsin.com.