LAKE GENEVA, Wis.— Summer is king when it comes to tourism in Wisconsin, but high gas prices may have some visitors rethinking their plans.
With gas prices hovering at about $5 a gallon throughout much of the state, and even higher in neighboring Illinois, some said they are planning to adjust where they go for the summer.
For tourist focused communities around Wisconsin, it could prove to be a boon for the local economy.
Located less than a two-hour drive from Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison, Lake Geneva is one place that could see an increased number of travelers this summer.
Kyle Sherwood is one of them. Sherwood and his wife live near St. Louis.
They were planning to travel further this summer, even intending to fly. As fuel prices rose, along with airline tickets, they changed plans and came to Lake Geneva for the first time.
“We just wanted to have some summer lake time fun and within driving distance so having a good time,” said Sherwood as he waited to begin a tour boat cruise aboard the Lady of the Lake
It is stories like Sherwood’s that Stephanie Klett, Visit Lake Geneva president, said she sees everyday. Klett said so far the summer travel season has been strong in Lake Geneva and Walworth County.
Klett said with gas prices so high, marketing efforts are focused on reminding potential visitors about how close by they are.
“When we market, we know who our base is; we know that when fuel prices go up, people might switch their plans. That is a time for us to spend more money marketing because we want to get them here,” said Klett “We spend more money when prices go up to get folks here.”
Local getaways are aiming to entice more tourists with a message of, “location, location, location,” as gas prices remain high.
Read More: High gas prices may grow popularity of some tourist towns