APPLETON - "Prepare to be inspired" -- That's the them for the next season at Appleton's Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. 19 shows were announced Tuesday featuring "The Phantom of the Opera." "Memphis", "Flashdance the Musical" and "Wicked" are also in the line up. PAC officials say it's the music that brings joy to those who watch.
And as Broadway fans have anxiously awaited the PAC's season announcement, so to have area business owners.
The Bella Vita restaurant in Appleton's Copper Leaf Hotel is about a block away from the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center.
Geography general manager Kevin LeClaire is grateful for.
"The PAC is probably our number one source of our customers here," said LeClaire.
LeClaire told FOX 11 about 50% of his customers are there because of a show.
At the Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau, Mary Hirvela told us that's the same for many downtown shops and restaurants.
"We draw from Upper Michigan and many parts of Wisconsin. So all of that, that foot traffic is very important to a lot of the businesses," explained Hirvela.
According to Hirvela, many visitors who are interested in visiting any of the Fox Cities will ask about the PAC.
"Inquiries that we get about the PAC, the shows that are coming, it's always such a hot topic," said Hirvela.
The Vice President of the PAC told us that's the goal: people come to a show, then see what else the area has to offer.
"Where you get to just sit back and relax and share a special evening with someone you care about," said Maria Van Laanen.
As a new season of shows has just been announced, businesses will also work out cross-promotions to share patrons.
"We work together to promote each other, we have a couple promotions we run per show as well," explained LeClaire.
And with popular broadway shows on the latest schedule, LeClair has a good feeling about next season.
"In order to get this type of facility as we as this type of talent that comes with it, you'd typically have to go to Milwaukee or Chicago. It's great to have that as an asset to us and to draw people to Appleton's downtown," said LeClaire.
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