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Pandemic hurting Eau Claire tourism industry

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Tourism Impacts 2

Eau Claire (WQOW) - The pandemic has caused many events in Eau Claire to either be postponed or outright canceled, and officials say it has a ripple effect.

Benny Anderson, interim executive director of Visit Eau Claire, said the cancellations are having a huge negative impact on industries across the city.

He said several hotels are down to single digit occupancy and are struggling to hold onto staff.

In 2016, we reported that the Eau Claire Jazz Fest had an economic impact of more than a quarter of a million dollars.

That event, along with the Wisconsin Sports Show, Extreme Thunder USA, and several others, are all canceled this year.

"Losing any dollar coming into this community is detrimental," said Anderson. "There's a lot of it being lost right now, but there's also a lot of really strong efforts to make new plans, to figure out how to do things a little bit differently."

News 18 asked Visit Eau Claire for an estimate on how many tourism dollars could be lost because of the pandemic, but officials say they are unable to provide those numbers because many event organizers are still hopeful they can be rescheduled.

Katrina Lim

Katrina Lim joined the News 18 team in August 2019 as a multimedia journalist. She was born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey but has lived in all time zones of the contiguous U.S.A.

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