Having recently completed the $295 million redevelopment of Lambeau Field -- transforming the legendary stadium into a year-round destination venue for visitors from around the world -- the Green Bay Packers were honored this week with the inaugural Business Partner in Tourism award presented by the Packer Country Regional Tourism Office.
"I can't think of a more deserving recipient of this award," said Kari Sliva, president of the Packer Country Regional Tourism Office. "The love affair between the fans and this team is remarkable, and now with the additions to the stadium, tourists will stay longer, enjoy the community, and feel even more connected to their beloved Packers."
Marked by the November openings of Paparazzi Pizzeria and Frozen in Time Ice Cream shop, complementing the recently-opened Curly's Pub, Lambeau Field now boasts three year-round restaurants, the new Packers Hall of Fame and the Packers Pro Shop, plus four locally based eateries that are open roughly 100 days per year for special events, including training camp and game days.
In addition to the almost $90 million that the Packers already generate into the Green Bay economy -- 20 percent of which is estimated to come from out-of-state visitors -- an estimated 500 full- and part-time jobs were created at Lambeau Field and its related businesses as a result of the renovation.
"This is a very special award to us because it shows our partnership and our success of partnering with our visitor and business bureau and other groups in Green Bay to try and promote tourism and bring more business and economic development to the region," said John Jones, Packers executive vice president and COO. "That's what we promised the community we would do if we were given the opportunity to have the new stadium."
Including over 725,000 fans drawn to Lambeau Field for the Packers' 10 home games, the stadium is expected to draw to the Green Bay area up to 2 million visitors annually.
"We hope the community is proud of what we're doing," Jones said. "We're just going to keep working hard to bring more people to Green Bay and show them our stadium and our community. We're very proud of both."
The Packers were one of two industry leaders acknowledged at Packer Country's Preferred Partners Advisory Council meeting.
The Individual Partner in Tourism award, given to an individual who, through leadership, vision and success has garnered the respect of the local tourism industry, was presented to Jerry Lintz, owner and manager of several lodging facilities in the Green Bay market for the past 30 years, most recently the Ramada Plaza Hotel.