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The Grafton Chamber of Commerce announced last week it is looking to fill the new position of special events and tourism promotion director.

According to Chamber Executive Director Pam King, the new position was prompted by last year's changes in state legislation regarding the room tax, which now provides the chamber with extra funding for tourism development. The new director will work as a part of the Chamber of Commerce, Grafton Tourism, and Celebrate Grafton.

"Of the money that the village of Grafton receives through room tax, 70 percent must go towards tourism promotion and development," explained King. "We feel that this new position gives us the opportunity to use that funding to establish Grafton as a tourist destination."

King believes the new tourism promotion director will help Grafton attract more visitors like other popular destinations in the county like Port Washington and neighboring Cedarburg. Already renowned for its year-round festivals and picturesque historic district, the city of Cedarburg recently opened a new visitor center and history museum on Columbia Road, while the city of Port Washington remains a popular lakeside destination.

"The village of Grafton is still finding its identity in terms of attracting visitors," said King. "One of the major responsibilities of the new director will be to oversee special events in the village. The new hire will obtain permits, attract sponsors, and promote the events using social media, marketing, and advertising strategies."

One of the plans brainstormed by King and the Chamber office is to create a golf outing package in conjunction with the two hotels in Grafton.

"Guests of these hotels, whether they are in the area for business or leisure, could have access to bundle deals that include their hotel reservations and a day on one of several great courses in Ozaukee County," said King.

Demand for rooms in the Hampton and Days Inns in Grafton have been high. This demand led to the recently proposed plans for the TownPlace Suites along Interstate 43. King and the Chamber of Commerce welcomes another hotel that will not only bring more visitors to the village, but will also add to the revenue brought in by the room tax.

"With more funding, we could start to look at future plans like our visitor center or a conference center," said King. "Those kinds of plans are farther down the road, but it's all part of building towards making Grafton a great place to visit."

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