New Germantown website targeted at tourists is activity central

By LAURIE ARENDT - Special to Conley Media

June 29, 2019

The home page of the new Germantown Tourism website has links to festivals, history, culture and much more.
Submitted photo

GERMANTOWN — Want to know what’s going on in Germantown? Where to stay? How you can hold a meeting or other corporate style event in the village?

There’s now one place you can go to learn all of this and more, and it’s part of a new web-based initiative to attract more of the area’s million-dollar tourism dollars to the village.

“Our goal is to attract interest from anyone, anywhere, to the great home-spun cultural activities we have in our village,” said Tourism Commission member Patty Adair.

On May 2, the Village of Germantown Tourism Commission launched its first website, The new site highlights a variety of upcoming events, provides information about the village’s four local hotels and includes information about the village’s parks and attractions, and also has a page targeted at meeting planners.

“This site will enhance the efforts of the Village and Chamber websites, so events, activities, hotels and meeting space can be found easily in one location for visitors, tourists and meeting planners,” said Tourism Commission member Judy Rogers. “Whether it’s MaiFest, the 4th of July Parade, concerts at the Gehl Pavilion or anything in between, these will all be featured on the site along with a calendar of events now and into the future. Our goal is to drive people to drive to Germantown and be part of our community and activities. It will also be a great resource for locals who just want to know what is going on, when and where.”

The site features events, hotels, parks, attractions, and photos of Germantown.

It took less than a year for the idea to become reality for the commission.

“The project idea was launched in the fall of 2018, and shortly after the website address was secured,” said Tourism Commission member Carroll Merry.

Tourism revenue up by $33M in eight years

The Tourism Commission hired Elaine Motl, a tourism marketing professional who serves as the executive director for Visit Washington County, to head the project. Motl worked with the site’s web designer and will be working with Germantown events to obtain Commission funding for promotions allowed by state law.

Under Motl’s direction, Washington County’s tourism revenue has increased from $93.2 million in 2011 to $126 million in 2018 – an increase of $33 million in eight years. Tourism is the No. 3 industry in the state of Wisconsin and the Village of Germantown Tourism Commission hopes to increase its share.

The commission has also hired a photographer to get photo coverage of village events, including the Maifest, the Fourth of July parade, Taste of Germantown, Oktoberfest, the November Holiday Parade and Breakfast with the Santa, which is held in early December. Photos will also be taken at the concerts in the park and other community activities in 2019 for use on the website and in other promotional activities.

“This can help us build a photo library for future use,” said Merry. “We want to show the fun and the faces of the people of Germantown and our visitors. That’s the hospitality we hope to convey on the site.” “We feel the big winners for the site will be the activities that are featured,” said Lynn Grgich, a commissioner representing the Chamber of Commerce. “This gives us the opportunity to promote all of the public events happening in Germantown as well as the myriad activities with the Park and Recreation Department. Many of these groups have limited advertising and promotion budgets and this will help the Commission publicize their activities far and wide to anyone who may be thinking of visiting Germantown. And it can also be a great resource for residents to keep track of the events going on right here.”

The Village of Germantown Tourism Commission is funded by the local room charged at the four hotels in the village. No local resident or other business taxes are used.

“We’re very pleased to see this new site and are excited for what it can do to drive visitors to Germantown,” said Ryan Rahl, a commission member representing Germantown’s hotels. “Each of the properties is provided a link directly to their individual websites so visitors can make reservations directly with the hotel if they wish.”