Wausau to highlight extreme sports potential to attract young professionals

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- The Wausau Chamber of Commerce announced new initiatives Thursday aimed at trying to attract workers to the area.

At the top of the list is to market what Wausau already has.

They said people that live here already know about Granite Peak, Whitewater Park, the hiking and biking trails and the curling complex. But visitors and those considering moving to the area may not.

"We just had such an existing base. Maybe not the highest mountain, or the best piece of whitewater, but we have it all here. And there's very few cities that can duplicate what we have,” said Bill Bertram.

He is part of Iron Bull Xtreme. The non-profit is looking to bring more extreme sports competitions to the Wausau area starting this year.

“We're looking at doing nine races in the Wausau area over a 12-month period,” Bertram explained.

As part of recommendations announced Thursday morning to try to attract talented workers, the Wausau Chamber of Commerce is looking at re-branding the area as an extreme sports capital.

“In Wausau, in central Wisconsin, this idea of extreme sports….We have incredible venues to leverage and as we put this organization together and host races it will be a magnet for millennials back into the Wausau area,” Bertram explained.

Each race will include one part recreation and one part extreme sport for elite athletes. The chamber hopes the move could attract young people to visit-- and even stay.

“Hopefully, what the Birkie has done for the northwest, the Iron Bull will do for Wausau”.

Iron Bull expects to release more information about their upcoming races and programs in the coming weeks.