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Ever wish you could be a fly on the wall when company managers are hashing out where to hold the next conference or sales meeting? You can bet that dollars dictate the beginning, middle and end of that discussion. The recession changed the business travel dialogue forever, which turned out to be a good thing for destinations like Wisconsin Dells, where business owners have long prided themselves on delivering value to vacationers, recession or no recession. These days the Dells is doing a bang-up business hosting meetings and conferences thanks to that fiscal approach.

So exactly what do you get for the money when hosting your Wisconsin meetings in the Dells? The sales staff at the local visitor & convention bureau did some informal online research last year to build their case for value, taking a look at posted costs of holding meetings at hotels with comparable offerings in the suburbs of other middle American cities like Chicago, Minneapolis and St. Louis. It didn’t take a CPA to decipher the results in the Dells’ favor.

Take for instance the cost of coffee. The main Wisconsin Dells hotels that hold conferences average just under $28 per gallon. Compare that to a handful of comparable suburban Chicago properties where a gallon of java averaged about $66, or several suburban St. Louis properties that weren’t far behind at $62. A look at a few suburban Minneapolis hotels showed they averaged about $46 per gallon.

Then there’s food. On average, a plated lunch in Wisconsin Dells will run you about $19. In the Windy City burbs, you better budget $33.  In suburban St. Louis, lunch costs about $28 and suburban Minneapolis, about $27.

Finally, the Wisconsin Dells staff took a look at daily parking costs. For the major convention resorts in the Dells, parking is free. In the competing areas, it wasn’t unusual for daily parking costs to range anywhere from $16 to $22.

“We knew we had a good story to tell when it came to stretching a dollar, but this bit of research available online to anyone planning meetings really brought it home,” said Tifani Jones, Director of Sales at the Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau. “While we still tout our central location, top-notch facilities, ample hotel rooms and our nice family feel, it's the dollar discussion that gets us a foot in the door and often seals the deal.”

If you’re considering hosting a meeting in the Dells, click here to start your planning today and view Wisconsin Dells' meeting facilities.  This section provides hardworking information on gatherings of all sorts.