What You See is Not What You Get

Check out this concept drawing that was created two weeks before voters approve the Center in 1977. It shows the size and placement. Just like the concept drawing for the Center’s expansion, what gets built will be very different.


The Center’s Creation is Deja Vu

The creation of the La Crosse Center had people proclaiming:

  • it was was a “grandiose idea” too new to merit investment
  • it should have been taxable land such as a shopping mall, office building or residential
  • it would never be financially viable
  • there were too many “if’s”


Tell me why I should care?

Q: If you’re not downtown or don’t pay La Crosse taxes, why do you care about the La Crosse Center?
A: Because we guarantee you, you feel it through the economic ripple effect.


A $10 million Investment Sparked $500+ Million

Property taxes for all of downtown were $890,000 when the Center was built in 1977. With the Center came the Radisson, followed by Heileman’s headquarters next door. $200 million in new hotels and downtown improvements occurred in 2014 alone. Between the three LHI buildings $60 million investment, property taxes collected were $1.5 million in 2017.

The La Crosse Center was a sound City investment that has grown the City’s tax-base exponentially.

The Chamber Encourages The Council to Override the Mayor’s Veto.

Pass the La Crosse Center Plan

as Presented

Email Your Support
for the Current Plan
Using Our Four Points Just Below

The La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce believes the current La Crosse Center expansion proposal should pass as presented because we believe:

  • The multi-year process to arrive at this plan was inclusive and exhaustive

  • This is a creative diversification of an under-used portion of Riverside Park

  • Delaying this process will cost more financially and jeopardizes the health of downtown La Crosse

  • No answer is not an answer

[Business Leaders: copy and paste the text above into an email to council members using the “click here” button. Replace “The La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce believes” with “I believe” and signing your name, company and/or address].

Learn More

About the La Crosse Center Project
This project is too important to our region for the La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce to not speak up. With 150 years of history, our Chamber and our business leaders called on the City to build the La Crosse Center in 1980. Several businesses moved from their long-time properties allowing space for it to be built. It has been an economic driver to our downtown. Enhancing our quality of life is a balance.


We are speaking up
to widen the conversation.  

Our business community
needs this project ASAP

The La Crosse Center is tired. Our businesses need this project, now.

  • The Center is a $248 million economic driver with another $12 million expected per year once completed.
  • Competition is increasing. Six other communities are investing in their centers.
  • Our ability to attract conventions peaked five+ years ago and is declining. Our Center’s space is too small. We’ve hit a crossroad where not investing will cost taxpayers through declining revenue while investing to keep the Center vibrant will cost money to make money.
  • Five hotels built in downtown La Crosse in the past three years at a cost of more than $100 million. They counted on the Center expansion happening.

Voice Your Concerns

Tell the Council & the Mayor you want the plan to move forward.

This is not a loss of park space,
it’s diversifying it.

If the proposal were to create a covered shelter on this side of the park, there would be little commentary. A place for covered picnic tables, concerts, shelter for the proposed cruise ships docking nearby, celebrations, and covered exercise areas.

Once we add the La Crosse Center as the shelter mechanism, it becomes controversial.

This area can strategically be different.

Inspirational Concepts from Other Cities.

The consultants provided the following images to help show how other communities have created and use similar spaces (ex. overhangs, covered seating bands playing with a scenic river behind, etc.).

Click on any image to enlarge.

This is an under-performing 3% portion of the park.

John Nolan when he planned the park recognized that this park would always have a business component to it. It was an active port. Railroad tracks ran through it in the early 1980s.

This current 1/2 acre at the south end of a 20-acre park is already visually challenged.

  • The loading docks facing the park are in plain sight. This remodel would add a decorative wall that would enhance this area.
  • Parking lots are already built on the north and south ends of the park.

The space use is 3% of the park and is not a solid mass, it’s an overhang except for the staircase that connect the park with the La Crosse Center.

Delaying by Six Months = $1 Million

Time is money. More expense means less project. Every year that passes, this project costs us $2 million more in construction costs. For a project where money is one of the top concerns and is a fixed-cost, additional costs are absorbed, meaning we will receive less project for the money.

Voice Your Concerns

Tell the Council & the Mayor you want the plan to move forward.

We believe in the process.

Given the constraints and needs, this is the best plan.

  • This conclusion was not reached lightly.
  • The needs were identified.
  • The constraints were clear.
  • Other plans were evaluated.
  • The costs were analyzed.
  • The public was asked for input.
  • The proper planners and committees were consulted.
  • The Council approved the plan.
  • It is an exhaustive process.

Learn More about the Project Requirements

The La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce believes the plan presented is the best one.We encourage you to provide your opinion.

Email the La Crosse City Council & the Mayor's Office in one click
Click Here

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