BY DAVE BLANK
Lately, there’s been a lot of talk in the Real Racine office about the fact that the way that we promote Racine County can have a lasting impression on visitors. That residents, and people contemplating moving here, are looking for the same things as visitors to the area. So, what kind of things are these?
When you look around the country, you’ll soon realize that we enjoy a reasonable cost of living here with moderately priced housing. You can even live on the beautiful Lake Michigan shore less expensively here than any other place in southeastern Wisconsin. Lake Michigan is a crown jewel. Our North Beach is the best beach in the state and one of the best freshwater beaches anywhere. It also has a slew of awards to back up that claim.
Everyone is looking for a wide variety of things to do and Racine County has an impressive array. For proof you have to look no further than the Real Racine Calendar of Events (realracine.com/events) where there are close to 800 listings.
You’ll note that many of them are arts-oriented. We have a lively arts culture here – everything from first class stage productions, to live music, to the museum with the largest collection of American craft art in the country. Architecturally, we are home to three of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most renowned buildings with the SC Johnson Administration Building, Research Tower and Wingspread located here.
It’s easy to enjoy big city amenities in Chicago and Milwaukee if you so choose. On the other hand, you can be in “the country” within minutes of any place in Racine County.
Education is important to us. There’s a wide range of public and private alternatives for elementary and secondary education here. We’re also surrounded by some great institutions of higher education with UW-Parkside, Carthage College, Gateway Technical College, UW-Milwaukee, and MSOE, to name but a few.
Promoting quality of life, is the same as promoting tourism. Everyone is looking for a quality place to live, work and play. It’s all summed up by a credo that all of us here at Real Racine have on our office walls and can be attributed to my friend Maura Gast, the CEO of Visit Irving, TX.
“Build a place people want to visit, and you’ll build a place where people want to live.
“Build a place where people want to live, and you build a place where people want to work.
“Build a place where people want to work, and you’ll build a place where business has to be.
“Build a place where business has to be, and you’ll build a place where people have to visit.
“It all starts with a visit, and that visit starts with us.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Dave Blank is the president/CEO of Real Racine (Racine County Convention and Visitors Bureau).