Governors Visit

University of Wisconsin - River Falls

July 12, 1996

Gov. Thompson to Visit St. Croix, Campus

Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson will participate in the The Third Annual Governors' Cruise of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway and then participate in Kansas City Chiefs Family Fun Night on July 31.

Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson will join with community leaders, tourism industry officials and the Board members of the St. Croix Valley Regional Tourism Alliance to celebrate tourism activities. Gov. Arne Carlson will be unable to attend due to a scheduled trip to Sweden. Lt. Gov. Joanne Benson, who oversees Minnesota Office of Tourism activities, will attend in Carlson's place.

Tourism Alliance President Sheryl E-Marshall, president of the River Falls chamber, said the Cruise will provide an opportunity to report on the Alliance's many accomplishments over the past year.

"Just three years ago Governors Carlson and Thompson participated in the incorporation signing ceremony during our first Cruise as the Alliance became a reality. We all had high hopes for the Alliance. We want to report back that those hopes have been realized and surpassed," Marshall said.

The cruise will depart from Afton, Minn., on board the Grand Duchess, which can accommodate over 350 persons. Boarding will begin at 1 p.m. The cruise will end in Afton at 3:30 p.m., followed by a Downtown Outdoor Barbecue until 6 p.m. According to Marshall, invitations are being sent this week.

According to Marshall, the Alliance will ask Gov. Thompson and Lt. Gov. Benson to participate in several activities while on the Cruise:

  • A review of the Alliance's "Ask Us" cross-selling publication that lists all tourism and hospitality assets in the Scenic St. Croix Valley. This 120-page database book is a major tool for businesses to answer visitors' questions about the attractions and activities throughout the Scenic St. Croix Valley.

    The directory includes an comprehensive, alphabetized listing by communities of attractions, automotive services, boat rentals and services, campgrounds, churches, lodging, medical information, parks, boat landings and bait shops, recreation, restaurants and bars, retail services, scenic and dinner cruises, and miscellaneous travelers aids.

  • "Surfing" to the Alliance's World Wide Web site: (The address is:
    Last year, the Alliance became the first tourism destination in both states to go on-line, offering a continuously updated calendar of events, index of attractions, and map. During the Cruise, Thompson and Benson will participate in the unveiling of the "Ask Us" directory as an on-line searchable database that will allow potential visitors to customize their vacations or day-trips to the Scenic St. Croix Valley. Again, it marks another landmark, as the Alliance is the first destination in either state to put a complete, searchable inventory of tourism assets on the World Wide Web.
  • Completion of an extensive strategic marketing plan through the Cooperative Development Initiative at UW-River Falls. It included intensive research to identify profiles of vistors to the Scenic St. Croix Valley, and a workshop so that businesses could market more effectively to their target audiences using this psychographic information.
  • A special presentation to both Thompson and Benson. Beldenville, Wis., artist Ingrid Bjerstedt Roger is completing an original, one-of-a-kind ceramic display pots that will feature a rendering of Minnesota's and Wisconsin's Executive Mansions.
  • Following the Cruise, Thompson will visit UW-River Falls and participate in Kansas City Chiefs Summer Training Camp Family Fun Night activities. The visit is part of Thompson's four-community swing to NFL "Cheese League" training camp sites.

    During the tourism promotional tour, Thompson will be accompanied by a tourism contingent that will ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles between the Green Bay Packers camp in DePere, Wis., then to River Falls, followed by visits to the New Orleans Saints camp at UW-La Crosse, and conclude with a visit to the Chicago Bears camp at UW-Platteville.

    According to Chiefs Camp Coordinator Mary Halada, Thompson will participate in camp ceremonial activities, and to watch the team practice under the light. Family Fun Night begins at 5 p.m., at the Ramer Field Sports Complex. The governor will participate in welcoming ceremonies at 6 p.m., with Chiefs President Carl Peterson, Coach Marty Schottenheimer, and Chancellor Gary A. Thibodeau.

    That will be followed by an on-field authograph session for fans with players and coaches. The team will practice from 7-9 p.m., and the evening will conclude with a fireworks display.

    "We're really pleased that Gov. Thompson can join us for Family Fun Night," Halada said. "He played a prominent role in bringing the Chiefs to River Falls, and he continues to be supportive of the Chiefs, River Falls and the University training camp. He's a real cheerleader for Wisconsin tourism and the NFL Cheese League. It will be fun to have him here."

    The Alliance includes 19 communities in the Minnesota counties of Dakota, Washington and Chisago, and the Wisconsin counties of Pierce, Polk and St. Croix. The St. Croix River is the only riverway in North America that is protected for its entire length.

    For more information, contact E-Marshall at 715/425-2533. For reservations information, contact Dr. Richard Hafdahl in Osceola at 715/294-2334. To learn more about the Ask Us directory or World Wide Web database, contact Mark Kinders, SCVRTA marketing committee chair, at 715/425-3771.

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