Great Lakes Logging expo receives $21,000 grant

OSHKOSH Wis. After almost 70 years, the Great Lakes Logging and Heavy Equipment Expo, aims to expand visitor attendance with the help of a $21,000 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant from the Department of Tourism.

As the largest forestry and equipment tradeshow in the Midwest, the weekend of Sept. 5-6 will have more than 300 diverse exhibitors, as well as 200 vendors, to display and promote the forestry, wood, and construction industry.

The logging and equipment expo is expected to generate an economic impact of $452,000 from traveler spending at area hotels, restaurants and stores.

“We are thrilled to support The Great Lakes Logging and Equipment Expo in Oshkosh, as it draws attention to the second largest industry in Wisconsin,” said Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett.

“Visitors will be able to return to Wisconsin’s roots while enjoying family activities and learn about the massive lumberyards that lined the Fox River in the 1800s,” Klett added.

In fiscal 2014, the Department funded 60 Joint Effort Marketing projects, awarding a total of nearly $1.1 million dollars. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $28 million dollars.

In 2013, the tourism economy in Wisconsin totaled an estimated $17.5 billion, a four percent increase over 2012. Total business sales in Winnebago County topped $412 million in 2013, supporting more than 4,760 jobs and over $28 million in state and local taxes.

Wisconsin is ranked number one in the United States for forestry jobs, employing over 50,000 workers, providing an economic value of wood and paper products shipped at a combined total of more than $15 million, according to the 2012 report by the American Forest and Paper Association.