Green Bay gets another crack at Logging Expo
By Josh Staloch
ASHWAUBENON – By 2010, one of the timber industry’s largest showcase events had outgrown Green Bay.
More than a decade and a new 120,000-square-foot Resch Expo later, the Green Bay area gets another crack this weekend at hosting the Great Lakes Logging and Heavy Equipment Expo and its more than 300 vendors.
“We lost this group about 12 years ago, due primarily to the size of our building as well as some quality issues with the building,” said Discover Green Bay President/CEO Brad Toll. “When that happened, Beth Ultaowski, our vice president of sales and services, and I said to each other, ‘Some day, we’re going to welcome this group back. Not sure how, but some day, we will do it.’”
That day arrived Thursday, Sept. 8 as monstrous machines, the latest in forest-management technology, started to show up at the Resch Expo to be moved inside the pillar-less structure for the three-day event.
The return of the event is expected to bring significant revenue to the area, as the 4,000 expected attendees over the course of the expo will be spending money in the Titletown District and beyond, while also being a test for the Resch Expo and it’s viability as an exhibition facility destination to rival those found in much larger cities across the Midwest.
“This is a great run for us to test the capabilities of this facility, for us to be able to attract expos that are taking place in Minneapolis, Detroit and Chicago,” said Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach.
“That’s really where we want to target, from an economic development standpoint. And let’s keep in mind that this was built with room tax dollars, partially supported with sales tax, and it was all the municipalities that were partners in this project that helped us build this beautiful facility.”
The expo, which boasts a footprint that will rival any one-day event the Resch Expo has hosted since its construction, will also be a test for PMI Entertainment Group, the outfit in charge of everything from food and drink to making sure vendors have everything they need to make the production happen.
“I’m very confident because we’ve got a great staff,” said Terry Charles, senior manager for PMI. “We’ve made some additions knowing that these types of events were going to be coming to the Resch Expo. We knew we needed some more people so we went out and hired some very good people who are very knowledgeable in this industry. We know it’s a lot of work and it’s a big deal. For a typical event we have here, for a concert or even a one-day show in this building, we have maybe one event coordinator. For this event, we have four. So, I’m very confident in our staff. This is what we’re meant to do in this building, these are the types of things we hoped to be doing.”
The three day expo continues from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.
Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door and are good for all days of the show.