A look at weddings’ impact on the local economy

Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 6:27 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Wedding season is on the horizon.

Unlike the past two years, venues are seeing larger ceremonies return.

Weddings bring in visitors who fill local hotel rooms, eat in restaurants and spend money throughout the Chippewa Valley.

“A traditional wedding block can be anywhere from 10 rooms to 50 rooms on average. And in that you’re usually having people pay a good rate who are excited to have a good time, might stay one or two nights, might come see the city and do other things around that,” Visit Eau Claire Executive Director Benny Anderson said.

Lismore Hotel sales manager Dustin Haugle said his ballrooms will be busy this summer. With nearly 30 events scheduled already for wedding season, the hotel will have plenty of guests joining happy couples.

“Weddings are a major piece of the summer puzzle for us,” he said. “Those wedding weekends, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturday nights, into Sundays, when we have an on-site wedding always fills up the hotel. And of course that business bleeds over into the other entities both in our building and in the buildings surrounding us as well.”

“You get catering and the gas and forgetting to buy a belt and a tie or whatever you have to do and grab while your in a town, it makes for a large impact when you look at all of the weddings that happen across our area for that,” Anderson said.

He said new studies show every dollar a tourist spends has $14 economic impact. That money impacts everyone.

“We are building the assets and amenities of our community with other people’s money,” Anderson said. “So people come in and they support our city and we use that to enhance the things that are great to live here.”

He said tourism is on the rise overall in Eau Claire. Numbers are up from pre-pandemic data in 2019 with weddings being a part of the success.

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