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Spring break tourism gives business boost to Wisconsin Dells

The area reports an uptick in visitors over the past few weeks.
Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 5:38 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2021 at 6:49 PM CDT
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WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. (WMTV) - Both Wisconsin residents and out-of-state guests are traveling to the Wisconsin Dells area for spring break.

At Brat House Grill, owner Patti Morabito has noticed an uptick of visitors to her restaurant.

“The spring break push right now is really taking off,” said Morabito. “I think we have one more really good week next week before Easter and hopefully a little bit after.”

She says after a difficult year and slower winter months, the increase in business is much needed.

“Coming off our low season and getting this boost is really helping us survive,” said Morabito.

Outlets at the Dells General Manager Michelle Zuelke says things are busy at the retail shops with a significant spike in shoppers during this past month.

“Compared to where we were last year at this point, we’ll take it all,” said Zuelke. “It’s amazing.”

Zuelke anticipates things will stay steady into the next month.

“We’re projecting that it goes through the middle of April as schools stagger out their spring breaks,” said Zuelke.

Area businesses say they are still keeping with COVID-19 precautions. At Outlets at the Dells, masks are required and there is capacity limitations for each retail store.

“Our stores are taking all of the guidelines serious,” Zuelke said.

Morabito says her staff are also continuing to wear masks, sanitize the restaurant, and offer additional seating to folks who feel more comfortable dining outside. She has plans to expand the outside area into the summer months.

“I think it’s going to be a fantastic summer,” said Morabito. “Everyone is saying it’s going to be the best one yet and I really do believe that.”

Recent data shared by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism indicates 2021 could be a record year for tourism in the state compared to last year.

“2021 looks to be the biggest year in that staircase back to normal,” said Anne Sayers, the acting secretary for the Department of Tourism. “Folks are pent up and ready to get back out there. We think it will be reflected in the numbers this year.”

The state says another survey shows 87% of Americans plan to travel within the next six months.

“Everyone is sort of experiencing this at their own comfort level but certainly we’re seeing that activity begin to pick up.” said Sayers. “The return the travel normal is going to look a little bit more like dial than a switch.”

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