The numbers are still modest compared to neighbors Brown and Door counties, but the rate of growth for Kewaunee County tourism was second to only one other county in 2017.

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism reports that direct visitor spending rose to $20.0 million in 2017 for Kewaunee County, which is up from $17.6 million in 2016.

The direct visitor spending increase for Kewaunee County in 2017 is 13.41 percent higher than it was in 2016, when it rose just 1.04 percent from 2015. Kewaunee County is one of seven counties to see an uptick of more than 10 percent and second in the state with the most growth, aiding in a $631 million increase for Wisconsin in tourism economic impact.

“We had two really big things happen for Kewaunee County in 2017,” said Jennifer Schneider, Kewaunee County tourism coordinator and public information officer. “We hosted Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, which had an attendance of nearly 27,000 people in just three days, and the County implemented a half-percent sales tax with hope that visitors would help boost local revenue.”

The good tourism news comes as the Kewaunee County Promotion & Recreation Department is working on some major improvements within its County parks system.

“The Zoological Society of Kewaunee County is developing a master plan for Bruemmer Park Zoo that includes potential new exhibit space, a nature center, new public restrooms, ADA accessible pathways and parking,” said Dave Myers, the county Promotion & Recreation Director. “Meanwhile, Winter Park, which broke an attendance record welcoming 11,073 visitors to the park this past season, is making room for the installation of a ski lift at the beginner’s hill.”

The Winter Park Association will be using the old tow rope system used at the tubing hill, replacing the hooks for tubes with handles for skiers.

Photo: Soar on the Shore at Crescent Beach in Algoma. Bob Kuhn photo provided by Kewaunee County.