UWEC, Visit Eau Claire form partnership to boost tourism - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UWEC, Visit Eau Claire form partnership to boost tourism

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - State and local leaders met at UW-Eau Claire Friday to announce a new cooperation aimed at expanding the local economy.

UW-Eau Claire and Visit Eau Claire are forming a new partnership to benefit both organizations.

"If Visit Eau Claire can use the facilities to draw in conventions, meetings and that type of thing, it provides additional revenue for the university.  It also will provide additional revenue to the city," says State Senator Terry Moulton.

The plan is to utilize and promote the Davies Center on campus.

"The bigger picture for Visit Eau Claire and for the city is that now we have the opportunity to have increased room stays, overnight room stays, which generate room tax.  In turn, that's a benefit for all citizens," says Catherine Emmanuelle of the Eau Claire City Council.

This project's confluence of city and state working together also draws light on another collaboration.

"The Confluence Project is a great public, private partnership that could be a model for the entire country," says Moulton.

"This model of looking to citizens, looking to business stakeholders, looking to government leaders to say, 'You know, we all need something.  We need something of a higher intrinsic value here in our community," says Emmanuelle.

Plans for the confluence project have been reshaped recently.  Developers announced they will not pursue state funding for student housing.  Instead, it will be privately funded.

"I think that was going to be a difficult obstacle to overcome with the state.  Because generally the state has not put funds towards that type of project on private lands," says Moulton.

"I think that's really a strong answer to say, you know, we are really serious at looking at this project going forward and we want to see this come to fruition," says Emmanuelle.

City council members and local lawmakers weighing in on a big project.

"Being funded by the private sector, I think, has gone a long way in helping that project go forward," says Moulton.

Visit Eau Claire plans to market the Davies Center as a tourism destination for meetings and events during off-peak times, like summer and when the university is on break.

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