Snow boosts local tourism

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW)-- For a minute it was starting to look like we may have another winter without a lot of snow. But that all changed over the course of the last two weeks, thanks to 35 inches of snow in February.

But its exactly what the tourist economy ordered. Central Wisconsin feeds off money generated by outdoor winter activities from out-of-towners, as well as the locals.

The state's new Secretary of Tourism, Sara Meaney, was in town this morning visiting with the folks at the Wausau/Central Wisconsin Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The past couple of days she's been visiting areas in the north to see how the different locations incorporate the weather into tourism.

"What's wonderful to see is the amount of passion, the amount of skill and the amount of talent that everyone brings to their role," Meaney said. "And I think that's really what is at the heart of what makes Wisconsin such a great place to visit and a great place to stay."

"It should help tourism with the snowmobiles," said Richard Barrett, Executive Director of the Wausau/Central Wisconsin Convention & Visitors Bureau, "with 850 miles of snowmobile trails in central Wisconsin, here in Marathon County. Granite Peak should be going gang-busters now."

Barrett adds that hotels are doing pretty good business right now, saying President's Day weekend, this weekend, is sold out.

Its funny to note...Barrett began our conversation with him by saying, "I want to thank the snow."

Sentiments shared by many.