Fox Cities Exhibition Center Approved

imgresIt took nearly 30 years, but the Fox Cities Exhibition Center will soon be a reality.

Over the past month, 10 Fox Cities communities have given an emphatic “YES” to building an exhibition center in downtown Appleton. The project, to be built behind the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, will be paid for through a room tax rate increase charged to visitors staying at area lodging properties.

Mayor Tim Hanna says without the cooperation of the other communities, the project would never have gotten off the ground.

“This was truly a collaborative effort by each of the 10 communities, that will produce regional economic benefits for years to come,” he said.

Wednesday morning Appleton signed closing documents for the $2 million purchase of a parking lot from Outagamie County for the site of the exhibition center. The city is also spending almost two million dollars in needed infrastructure improvements around the site, including a portion of a sky walk that will connect the exhibition center and the hotel.

The owners of the hotel will operate the exhibition center. It is expected to generate an average of $6.5 million in new visitor spending to the Fox Cities each year.

“We are excited about the opportunities the exhibition center will give our staff to sell the area to even more meeting and convention planners,” said Pam Seidl, Executive Director of the Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau. “This is a project that the Bureau’s customers have asked about for years and we are pleased that our local municipalities have come together in a regional approach to make it a reality.”

Seidl says, the exhibition center, coupled with the additional room tax being allocated to the Bureau’s Tourism Development Fund for sports facilities, makes it a very exciting time for tourism in the Fox Cities.

The next step in the project is to contract with an architect and construction manager. Members from each participating municipality will also select a representative for the room tax commission which will oversee collection and distribution of the room tax funds collected as part of the intergovernmental agreements for the project. Construction could begin by next summer.

Pinot’s Palette Cyber Monday Special


Cyber Monday Special 

Get a $10 credit for every $50 you purchase in gift cards!

This promotional offer is only valid on Monday November 30th, 2015.  Once you have completed your gift card purchase of $50+, you will receive an email with a discount code you can use towards any regular class at any Pinot’s Palette location!

On Monday start your holiday shopping off at:

Unique Gift Ideas at Angels Forever – Windows of Light

Looking for unique gift ideas?  Angels Forever-Windows of Light has them!   They are best known as the largest seller of silver jewelry in the Midwest and are proud feature one of the largest selections of metaphysical pieces in the country. 


Owner, Nate Weyenberg loves to help customers find those rare gifts that they may not find on their own.  While jewelry is their specialty, they also have  angels, crystals, books, music, tarot, candles, incense, aromatherapy, statues, Native American and Eastern artifacts.  Their entire staff is knowledgeable, friendly, and willing to help offering superior customer service.


One great thing about Angels Forever is that they are open 7 days a week.  This offers more flexibility for their customers.  

They will be offering their popular beat the clock Black Friday specials again this year, where the earlier you shop, the greater the discount on your purchase.  They are also participating in Small Business Saturday November 28th and will have several special offers available. 

They were voted 2015 Best in the Valley Psychic Readings which they do daily.  Angels Forever also provide free Druid discussions on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday each month as well as a Western Mystery Group on the 3rd Thursday.


Angels Forever-Windows of Light is located in the heart of Downtown Appleton at 310 W. College Avenue directly across from the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel.  They love being near two hotels that host conventions and meetings, the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, and a variety of stores and hospitality businesses.  Angels Forever has been at its current location for 14 years, but they have been in business for over 25 years.  Their hours are M-F 10-8; Sat 10-5; & Sun 12-5. Visit their website at or follow them on Facebook.

Written by April Tylla, ADI intern and Fox Valley Technical College Senior.

Shop Appleton First on Small Business Saturday!

Small Business Saturday, Saturday, Nov. 28
Shop Small & Win!
Great shopping awaits you along with a chance to win great prizes!
Take your Shop Appleton First Passport with you on Saturday to to 90 participating Appleton businesses and get your passport stamped at 5 different locations.  When you have 5 stamps hand your passport in and you could be a lucky winner.
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Over $1000 in prizes will be awarded plus the Grand Prize of two tickets from Appleton Airport nonstop to Tampa/St Pete, Florida on Allegiant!
Download your passport & more info here!
CLICK HERE for a listing of special offers

Fox Cities Joins “BUNDLE UP” Effort This Winter Season

The Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau is once again teaming up with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism for their annual ‘Big Bundle Up’ collection drive running statewide, Nov. 19, 2015 – Jan. 3, 2016.

29672_Big Bundle Up 2 No Tag DK REDWe invite both visitors and Fox Cities’ residents to drop off new or homemade hats, mittens and scarves for children and adults.

With the spirit of the holiday season upon us, donating winter items is the perfect way to give back to Fox Cities’ families in need. This year, there will once again be multiple collection sites to make it more convenient for you to donate items. All items will be donated locally to Harbor House and Homeless Connections.

Collection sites:

Appleton Downtown Inc, 116 N. Appleton St, Appleton

Future Neenah, 135 W Wisconsin Ave, Neenah

What: Collecting new or homemade hats, mittens and scarves for children and adults

When: Nov. 19, 2015 – Jan. 3, 2016; Hours vary with each collection location

Placemaking Draws Connection Between Arts and Community Development

How did you become involved in the Downtown Placemaking program?

I have always been drawn to artists and creative types, and while traveling have observed how in many cities the initial impetus for neighborhood revitalization and vibrant districts begins with artists (and Gay people) moving into an area.  

Parklet Carolers in Downtown Appleton


A few years back I also co-authored a study of artists and craftspersons in northwest Wisconsin that helped me draw the connection between arts, placemaking and community development in a big way. We found that even in more rural areas these people were contributing over 20M per year to the regional economy. They were also contributing to local and regional tourism development, participating in festivals and art shows, and helping create destinations where both residents and visitors to an area would congregate and mingle.

Enjoying the new parklet on College Avenue

Having moved to Appleton 5 years ago I was eager to get involved with people and groups that are rolling up their sleeves and doing projects that create a stronger sense of community through the arts.  I’m honored to have had the opportunity to become involved in ADI’s creative placemaking initiative over the past several months, and look forward to helping organize and activate the creative spaces this group is helping bring to life!

by Andrew Dane
Appleton Downtown Placemaker