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Columbus, whatcha gonna do when Wisconsin employers come for you?

Mark Elliott



Wisconsin has plenty of beer, cheese, even headgear that resembles cheese, but the Badger State is sorely lacking in two areas—badgers and workers. Ignoring the varmint shortage, the state is actively recruiting talent to move north, soon targeting the 614.

The WSJ reported on all the new jobs coming to Wisconsin—over 45,000 by 2024. But the number of jobs far outweighs the number of workers which has forced the state’s Economic Development Group to go fishing in southern waters to catch future employees. Last year, Wisconsin spent $1 million to lure Chicago millennials to move, and they plan to spend another $7 million to expand that campaign to cities like Columbus.

One Chicago ad shows exhausted commuters exchanging their hour long train trip for a short Milwaukee car ride and more time for ballgames, cocktails, and kayaking. That won’t work here, and might not work there either.

So what would it take to tempt you into adopting snowshoes as your normal footwear?

Cost of living? Madison, where many of the new jobs are, will cost you 30 percent more to live than Columbus.

Sports? Brewers and Reds are both bottom dwellers however, the Packers do have more Super Bowl wins than Ohio’s NFL’ers combined. But the Badgers haven’t won a football championship since 1942 and have accepted defeat against the Scarlet and Gray a whopping 58 times. And no pro soccer at all.

Looking for love? Lots of single guys. But you’ll probably become a “deer widow” which means one month a year, you’re on your own (which might actually be an advantage).

To be honest, Milwaukee and Columbus have a lot in common (things to do, demographics, similar craft beer scenes) sans the weather dichotomy (average WI snowfall: 55 inches), Ohio being 7-0 over Wisconsin on producing presidents, and Green Bay being the “Toilet Paper Capitol of the World!”

Will the similarities work to Milwaukee’s advantage when trying to lure Cbusers? Or will the cost of living, semi-whimpy sports, and deer-obsessed men keep Columbus-dwellers in Columbus?

Guess we’ll find out this summer when ads are expected to come through our airwaves.

Columbus Native (Lincoln Village) I've spent my entire career in radio with stations across the South and Midwest. But I'm tired of moving around the country (my last employer wanted me in Albuquerque!) So I returned to CBus to be closer to friends and family and am freelancing now, including writing for (and about) 614. Reds, Bengals, Crew fan, and fan of whoever is playing the Cardinals and the Steelers.

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Cedar Point, Kings Island are suing to get you back




It just doesn’t seem fair, does it? Columbus Zoo & Aquarium are allowed to re-open but Cedar Point and Kings Island have been snubbed in Gov. Mike DeWine’s most recent announcement that Ohio’s entertainment venues were allowed to re-open.

After being left out of the party, Cedar Point, Kalahari Resort and Kings Island sued the director of the Ohio Department of Health Thursday, arguing that Dr. Amy Acton doesn’t have the authority to keep the state’s amusement parks and waterparks shut down and in doing so is violating the park’s rights.

The lawsuit was brought by attorney Maurice Thompson, executive director of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law. The county health departments for both parks were also named in the lawsuit.

No word yet from the Ohio Department of Health as to when, or if, either amusement park will be allowed to open in June.

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Arts & Culture

See what’s re-opening: Entertainment venues get June 10 go-ahead




Who would’ve thought that people would be getting excited about a roller skating rink reopening in 2020?

As far as keeping ourselves entertained, Gov. Mike DeWine blessed the state with wonderful news on Thursday. DeWine announced that certain entertainment facilities would be able to reopen under certain health and safety restrictions starting June 10.

Skate Zone 71 has already reopened as of today, but there’s still a handful of entertainment venues who have had to hold off on letting people back in until next Wednesday.

Those venues include:

  • Aquariums
  • Art galleries
  • Country clubs
  • Ice skating rinks
  • Indoor family entertainment centers
  • Indoor sports facilities
  • Laser tag facilities
  • Movie theaters (indoor)
  • Museums
  • Playgrounds (outdoor)
  • Public recreation centers
  • Roller skating rinks
  • Social clubs
  • Trampoline parks
  • Zoos

Below are a few we know are re-opening next week. Check back for more next week!

  • Otherworld  — The immersive art installation that took Columbus by storm in 2019 is set to return on June 11, according to the venue’s webpage. Otherworld will be operating at a capacity of one visitor per 160 square feet, or around 20 percent of the regular admittance.
  • The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium welcomes back members beginning on June 12, 13, and 14, and all guests starting on June 15. The Zoo will be open daily from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., and all Zoo visits (including for Members) will require a dated, timed ticket to help ensure that social distancing and other precautions are followed appropriately.
  • Skate 71 is gearing up for re-opening, according to its Facebook page. It’s currently selling tickets for Adult Night Skating on June 11. Buy them here.
  • The Chiller is also prepping for re-opening and has been selling passes for various sessions since June 1. You can learn more about grabbing some time at the rink here.
  • Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will reopen its operations to visitors on Saturday, June 13. The reopening includes all of the Conservatory's interior biomes and outdoor gardens, filled with colorful summer horticulture displays and topiaries. Visitors will also be able to enjoy the annual Bonsai exhibition and the Conservatory’s entire collection of Dale Chihuly glass artwork.
    For more information and updates on the Conservatory, please visit or follow the Conservatory on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
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Weekend Getaway: Ohio State Park lodges reopen




Cooped up inside of our homes for the past few months, everyone could use a change of scenery. Luckily for those that love the great outdoors of Ohio, the perfect getaway is now possible once again.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced on May 28 that all nine Ohio State Park lodges would be reopened by June 5.

The places where you can escape to are listed below in order of closest proximity to Columbus to furthest:

  • Deer Creek
  • Burr Oak
  • Mohican Lodge
  • Salt Fork Lodge
  • Shawnee 
  • Hueston Woods
  • Maumee Bay
  • Punderson Manor

Director of State Park Lodges Tom Arvan had this to say in the May 28 press release:

“Our staff has been working diligently to ensure that guests return to a safe and sanitized environment following the CDC safety guidelines. Our goal is for our guests to feel comfortable as they enjoy the fun activities and relax in the natural beauty of the lodges and all the state parks have to offer this summer.”

Visit to secure your much-needed wilderness adventure today.

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