For more information, contact:  

Megan Vruwink, 715/344-2556, 


STEVENS POINT, Wis. (June 11, 2024) – Portage County tourism generated a record-breaking $258.3 million in total economic impact during 2023, according to figures released today by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. These dollars are part of a historic $25 billion in total economic impact, directly tied to tourism in Wisconsin.


Portage County tourism saw an increase of 5.2 percent from 2022, helping Wisconsin reach back-to-back record years for the state’s tourism industry. Portage County has seen growth in visitor spending incrementally since 2012. Dollars brought to the community through tourism are an important part of the economy, supporting local businesses and supporting jobs.


“Tourism continues to be a key economic driver in our local economy,” said Sara Brish, executive director of the Stevens Point Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Regional tourism industry drives innovation, fosters community vibrancy, and fuels economic growth. And while travel creates memorable moments for visitors, it also props up small businesses and supports job opportunities right here in the Stevens Point Area.”


Brish said the increase in visitor spending locally can be attributed to several factors, including the continuation of meetings and conventions, welcoming numerous sports events and tournaments, in addition to successful integrated marketing campaigns generating in-market visitation. 2023 also saw many developments and openings. Notably, SentryWorld hosted the 2023 U.S. Senior Open, the Food + Farm Exploration Center opened its doors, and Great Northern Distilling opened its new location in downtown Stevens Point. Additionally, the tourism economy remained strong with the celebration of major anniversaries in 2023—including the Hidden Studios Art Tour marking its 20th year, Central Waters Brewing Co. commemorating 25 years, and The Wooden Chair celebrating 30 years.


Statewide, the 2023 economic impact surpassed the previous record for Wisconsin of $23.7 billion set in 2022. Portage County also surpassed the previous record of $245.9 million set in 2022. Statewide, tourism’s historic year was fueled by economic impact growth in all 72 counties, a record number of overnight visitors for a second consecutive year, and investments tourism businesses made in goods and services.


“Wisconsin tourism powers the economy and strengthens the fabric of communities of all sizes,” said Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary Anne Sayers. “The historic impact of tourism reached every corner of Wisconsin and, in doing so, sustained livelihoods for thousands of our friends and neighbors.”


In 2023, Wisconsin welcomed 113 million visits, including 45.9 million overnight visits last year — the second consecutive year of record-breaking overnight visitation. Overnight visitors, on average, spend almost three times as much as a day-trip visitor. View the 2023 Wisconsin economic impact data, including a county-by-county breakdown, at

About the Stevens Point Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Stevens Point Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is an economic and community development organization whose purpose is to expand Portage County’s economy by attracting conventions, sporting events and leisure tourists to Portage County. Millions of dollars from visitor spending and increased tax revenues are generated to increase commerce, sustain jobs and to create a desirable destination.

For more information about the Stevens Point Area, visit The SPACVB can also be found on Facebook (, Instagram (, Pinterest (, and LinkedIn (