CHAMBER REVIEW JANUARY 2020signs of things to come in 2020By Darren Hornby, Executive DirectorBaraboo Area Chamber of CommerceI wrote last month that 2019 wasa year of significant change for theChamber. We introduced a newcommunity brand and brought innew staff. The year to come willalso bring some changes, oneswe’re excited about!The first change you’ll noticewill be the revamping of our website at As part of theDiscover Real Baraboo brandingcampaign, designed to stimulatetourism, the Chamber websiteis being redesigned to make itmore friendly to mobile usersand visitors. When people search“Baraboo” on their smartphones,we want them to find immediateanswers to the questions they’reasking: “What is there to do?Where should we eat? Where canwe stay? Where might we shop?The website will retain its current functionalities for Chambermembers, but some will be tuckedunder tabs to ensure the homepage serves the visitors we’re looking to attract. Skillet Creek Mediais working to retool the website,with completion planned for thefirst quarter of 2020.Another aspect of the brandingcampaign you’ll notice aroundthe community this year will benew roadside signage depictingthe Baraboo “B” logo. I’m workingwith our partners - the villageof West Baraboo,city of Baraboo,and DowntownBaraboo Inc. - toreplace existingsigns with newsignage that willincorporate the brand and betterdirect visitors to our community’smany amenities. Whether they’reon our roads or the informationsuperhighway, we want to makeit easy for visitors to find whatthey’re looking for!We’re organizing a new event forthis spring, an outing to a Milwaukee Brewers game. We want togive our members an opportunityto enjoy big-league baseball together before the bustling summertourism season begins. Stay tunedfor details!We’ll cap the tourism seasonwith a major new event, Oktoberfest, on Saturday, September26 at the Al. Ringling Mansion.I’m confident an authentic ethnicfestival featuring live music anda beer garden will draw visitorsfrom across south central Wisconsin!You can learn more about theseand other plans for the comingyear at our Annual Dinner on January 16 at Baraboo Arts BanquetHall. Register today, and vote inthe Chamber awards contest!WHAT’S INSIDE?ANNUAL DINNER UPDATEPage 2BUSINESS AFTER 5Page 4ALSO IN THIS ISSUEAmbassador party Holiday open house Upcoming events 357

Register now for Annual DinnerToday marks last day tovote on ‘19 awardsThe Chamber will hold its Annual Dinner and present its 2019awards on Thursday, January 16 atBaraboo Arts Center.This “Champagne Toast”-themedevent will begin with a cocktailhour at 6 p.m. featuring live musicby Shawndell Marks, followed bydelicious appetizers. A 7:30 p.m.program will feature Darren Hornby’s address on his vision for theChamber in 2020 and our annualaward presentations.Then we’ll raise a glass to asuccessful 2019 and toast to all thatis to come in 2020 before enjoyinganother round of live music presented by the Hoot Owls!Online registration is open. Reserve your spot today and join inthe fun!As long as you’re online, don’tforget to vote on this year’s awards.Voting ends today!After receiving dozens of responses, the Nominating Committee narrowed down the list ofnominees to four finalists in each offour categories:Business of the Year: BarabooMotors Group, Coffee Bean Connection, Just Imagine Toys, RE/MAX GrandTourism: Baraboo Tours, BigTop Parade, Devil’s Lake StatePark, Fox Hill RV Park & CampgroundCommunity Service: BarabooYoung Professionals, Mike andBonnie Palm, St. Clare Auxiliary,Tom WilliamsRising Star: Balanced RockWinery, Baraboo Social Club,Tennille O’Leary, Tumbled RockBreweryVote HERE!To see a list of past winners, clickhere.

ambassadors christmas partyRingling House Bed & Breakfast hosted the AmbassadorsClub’s annual Christmasparty December 16. CathySperl organized a deliciousmeal and white elephant giftexchange, with help from Julie Hearley and Stu Koehler.There was furious competition for the most appealinggifts, with steals galore!With sweetloot like thischanginghands, howcan you NOThave fun?

Business after 5Ho-Chunk GamingHo-Chunk Gaming-WisconsinDells hosted a Business After5 event December 9. Thefestivities included a boffobuffet, door prizes and donations to several area foodpantries. The event drewmore than 150 people.The 2020 BusinessAfter 5 calendar willkick off January 20thwith an event hosted byBalanced Rock Winery.Come check out whatthe new winery has instore for the future!

Holiday Open HouseHey, isthat BingCrosby?No, it’sBen ina cheapfedora anda woman’ssweater. Justanotherday at theChamber!Our December 18 HolidayOpen House featured refreshments, merriment and breathtaking views of the VisitorCenter, which was burstingwith Christmas decorationsfrom Darren’s collection.Many thanks to Neato’s BakeShoppe for providing cookies- some featuring the Baraboo“B!” - and to Ski Hi Fruit Farmfor delivering apple cider andto Coffee Bean Connection forproviding java.Thanks also to 99.7 MAX FMfor broadcasting from the Visitor Center that morning, andto Christian Herrild for sporting his most festive blazer!

night market & date nightUnseasonablywarm weathermade Dec.20 ideal forthe BarabooYoung Professionals’Night Market.Crowds filledthe downtownsquare to visitSanta, meetBuddy the Elf,sample Ski Hicider, pose forphotos andbuy ChamberBucks!

UPCOMINGEVENTSSit Down with SandyThursday, January 9th, Noon-1 p.m.Visitor CenterLearn more about the online Member Information Center (MIC),set up your login and learn more about maximizing your onlinemembership benefits. Please bring a laptop.Register hereAnnual Chamber Dinner and Meeting6 p.m. Thursday, January 16Baraboo Arts CenterCelebrate a banner 2019, enjoy delicious food and learn aboutwhat the Chamber leadership has in store for 2020 during this“Champagne Toast” event!Register hereBusiness After 5Balanced Rock WineryMonday, January 20th from 5-7 p.m.Take part in the first Business After 5 event of the year at Baraboo’snewest winery! Socialize with fellow Chamber members and findout what Balanced Rock has in store for this year!Register hereNew Member OrientationThursday, February 6th, Noon-1 p.m.Visitor CenterWe will be covering: Mission, Membership, Services, Events,Tourism, Communication, and How to Get Involved. Open to new andnot-so-new members!Register hereBOARD LUNCHThank you to Trisha’sCottage Kitchen andCatering for providinglunch for the DecemberBoard of Directors meeting!Be sure to welcomeour new member!Baraboo Children’s Museum