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