Big Top Chautauqua brings visitors to the Chequamegon Bay area . In fact , area lodging owners rate Big Top as the # 1 attraction for their guests .
OVER 579,000 PEOPLE AND $ 108 MILLION !
During the past two and a half decades over 579,000 people have attended Big Top performances , many of them tourists and visitors to the area . The indirect benefit of these visitors to the lodging industry , restaurants , retail stores , gas stations and other businesses has been estimated by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism as $ 4 million annually .
• Nearly $ 1 million per year in direct expenses goes back into our community for salaries , taxes , transportation , advertising , telecommunications and all of the products and services necessary to operate this non-profit performing arts organization .
• We promote the region . Annually Big Top spends upwards of $ 100,000 on marketing and public relations drawing people to the area . Tent Show Radio is heard on 50 public radio stations throughout 10 states with an estimated weekly national listenership of 21,000 people .
• We assist other area non-profits , providing tickets and gift certificates for fundraisers .
• We provide support to the Ashwabay Outdoor Education Foundation and the Mt . Ashwabay Ski and Rec Area by bringing patrons to their bar and concessions during our shows – aiding them in sustaining their non-profit organization .
• We offer free programs to our area school students - in 2012 over 700 students attended our school day matinee of The Mountains Call My Name where they learned about John Muir and his efforts to preserve our natural resources . The students came from local & regional elementary , middle and high schools from as far away as Solon Springs .
Big Top contributes much to make this area a wonderful place to live and a vibrant tourist destination .
BY THE NUMBERS 1986-2012
of them were our local residents
of them were Wisconsin residents who drove more than one hour to get here
were from Minnesota ( 67,652 from the Twin Cities area , 32,979 from Duluth )
18,451 were from Michigan
17,023 were from Illinois
7,042 were from Iowa
30,840 were from other states and Canada .
So many travelers – so many hamburgers , coffee mugs , t-shirts , hotel rooms and tanks full of gas !