Destination Madison will get $3.9 million, including $3.75 million for marketing and $150,000 for event booking assistance. Overture’s $1.5 million will help support the shuttered arts center as it waits for the pandemic to wane and crowds and revenue to return. Monona Terrace’s $3.75 million includes a $3.6 million operating subsidy and $167,500 to help cover basic capital needs.
The commission steered $158,000 to city tourism marketing activities, including $45,000 for a music tourism study with a focus on equity that will deliver data on how to grow and improve the local music industry, which has been hit hard by the pandemic. This fall, the commission will consider whether to deliver another $50,000 for an “optimization study” by Destination Madison, Monona Terrace and partners that would help the city better use the convention center to fill hotel rooms and other venues.
The commission’s decision will exhaust almost all projected revenues and leave only a $51,220 balance for 2021.
Commission member Glenn Krieg said the sums given to recipients are fair, but “not sufficient. We’re still under great, great duress,” he said.
In a bit of good news, Destination Madison president and CEO Deb Archer said she is “hopeful” the entity and perhaps others in the city will be eligible to get funds from an $8 million state Department of Tourism competitive grant program using federal COVID-19 relief funds that was announced on Monday.