Start mak­ing plans for July

Packer Plus - - News - Richard Ry­man

Green Bay — Vis­i­tors com­ing to Green Bay the last week in July are ad­vised to make ho­tel reser­va­tions and other plans soon.

That week is al­ways busy, but this year has ad­di­tional ac­tiv­i­ties. It in­cludes the Green Bay Pack­ers an­nual share­hold­ers meet­ing, the open­ing of Pack­ers train­ing camp, the four-day Pack­ers Ex­pe­ri­ence cel­e­brat­ing the team’s 100 years of foot­ball, and the EAA AirVen­ture con­ven­tion in Oshkosh.

“It looks like there are prob­a­bly some (ho­tel) prop­er­ties fill­ing up and they are tak­ing their in­ven­tory off­line,” said Brad Toll, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Greater Green Bay Con­ven­tion and Vis­i­tors Bureau. “It’s not like we are sold out or any­thing, but it would cer­tainly in­di­cate it could be a pretty tight week. It usu­ally is.”

Toll es­ti­mates 90,000 peo­ple nor­mally come to the com­mu­nity that week, gen­er­at­ing a $9 mil­lion eco­nomic im­pact. Both could be higher this year be­cause of the Pack­ers Ex­pe­ri­ence, a four-day foot­ball car­ni­val that co­in­cides with the first four days of train­ing camp.

AirVen­ture draws hun­dreds of thou­sands of at­ten­dees who fill ho­tel rooms through­out North­east­ern Wis­con­sin and the Fox Val­ley.

“It gets up here, ab­so­lutely,” Toll said. “We al­ways see a nice over­flow from EAA into this area.”

The Green Bay metro area has 4,420 ho­tel rooms, with another 160 — at Ho­tel North­land — ex­pected to be added in fall.

The ef­fect of the first night­time Pack­ers share­hold­ers meet­ing is less cer­tain. The gath­er­ing nor­mally draws about 12,000 at­ten­dees, al­though it was only 7,000 last year, when the meet­ing was on a Mon­day. It is not known if the 7 p.m. start will mean fewer peo­ple com­ing to Green Bay on a day trip. If they are driv­ing from one or two hours away, they might forgo the meet­ing so they don’t have to drive home late at night, al­though, the Pack­ers nor­mally limit the meet­ing to about one hour, so it should be over about 8 p.m.

On the other hand, with train­ing camp and the Pack­ers Ex­pe­ri­ence be­gin­ning the next morn­ing, more fans might be in­duced to stay overnight.

Toll said the first cou­ple weeks of train­ing camp draw the most fans. Later in Au­gust, as school be­gins, crowds are smaller.

Pack­ers Ex­pe­ri­ence will set up in the park­ing lots sur­round­ing Lam­beau Field and in­clude a wide range of foot­ball-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties, live mu­sic, an ESPN NFL Live broad­cast, a pre­view of the 10-part doc­u­men­tary on the Pack­ers 100 years of foot­ball, and other fan and fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment.

OSHKOSH CON­VEN­TION AND VIS­I­TORS BUREAU

The EAA AirVen­ture con­ven­tion in Oshkosh takes place July 23-29, around the same time as sev­eral events in­volv­ing the Pack­ers in Green Bay.

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