A rundown of some of Verona’s most popular spots to unwind along with an overview of other businesses will be streaming into homes around Wisconsin beginning next spring.
An episode of Discover Wisconsin premiering on Saturday, March 6, 2021, will feature the city, the show’s public relations and marketing coordinator Andreina Patilliet told the Press.
The long-running tourism TV show has been filming around the city in recent weeks at locations including the Farley Center for Peace, Justice and Sustainability, Epic Systems, Heartland Farm Sanctuary and Wisconsin Brewing Company in preparation for a 22-minute episode. That episode will reach up to 11.5 million homes across eight states, said Patilliet.
To become one of the shows ‘Choice Destinations’ campaigns required an investment from the city of $45,000. Details of the campaign were first shared with the Tourism Commision by Discover Wisconsin partner relations specialist Lisa Beck and Verona Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Le Jordan during a Sept. 2019 commission meeting.
As there is no discount for prepaying for the contract in full, Jordan recommended that the Tourism Commission fund the project from the Commission’s reserve funds over the next three years in equal installments of $15,000 from 2020-2022.
A motion to approve the contract between Discover Wisconsin Media Network and the City of Verona for the episode’s production was approved 4-0 during an April 2020 Tourism Commission meeting and the Chamber was asked to submit the invoice to the City.
The Tourism Commission operates with room tax dollars and had the ability to approve the spending on its own.
The overall show is broadcast statewide on Saturdays on Fox Sports North. It can also be streamed through Roku, AppleTV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire, YouTube and discoverwisconsin.com.
Filming will continue in the coming months as weather and COVID-19 restrictions permit, at well-known Verona destinations including Toot and Kate’s Wine Bar, The Hop Garden, Ice Age Trail and Fireman’s Park and Beach.
“There’s a lot more planning than we’re typically used to,” Patilliet said of the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Each location will be highlighted for a few minutes during the episode.
The show’s director, Mariah Haberman, outlined some of the content filmed so far.
At the Farley Center, 2299 Spring Rose Road, the hosts interviewed center director Shedd Farley, the son of its late founders Gene and Linda Farley.
Haberman said Discover Wisconsin co-host Marie Justice also interviewed a resident farmer, Vanessa Kwok Brandt, who is an immigrant and entrepreneur with her organic business Alive Valley. Alive Valley is sold at the farmers’ markets in the area and she saves seeds to protect future biodiversity.
She said that Heartland Farms Sanctuary, young volunteer Hailie Justice of Madison was filmed caring for a donkey.
The sanctuary, located at 11713 Mid Town Road, rescues pigs, goats, chickens, emus, llamas, turkeys, cows and other farm animals that have been abused, neglected or abandoned. It provides homes to around 95 animals.
A part of Heartland’s stated mission, according to its website, is to use its residents as teachers during animal-assisted therapeutic events and programs, particularly those aimed at vulnerable youth.
At Wisconsin Brewing Company, 1079 American Way, co-host and director Mariah Haberman enjoyed a beer with her mini goldendoodle Josie by her side.
“We partner with visitor bureaus and chambers across the state every year. The idea is to boost tourism,” Patilliet said of the campaign.