ROTHSCHILD, Wis. (WSAU) – Despite a hard year for tourism, Marathon County managed to keep revenues higher than the state average last year.
Wausau area Convention and Visitor Bureau Director Darren Schaefer says that while tourism was down over 7 percent statewide, Marathon County only saw a 3 percent drop in revenues. Schaefer credits this to a number of factors, including the new Patriot Center in the Cedar Creek area. “[The Center] allows the existing market to grow, and bring new business to the market that we couldn't accommodate.” The good winter was likely another factor, as the county's winter revenues were higher than the summer, in contrast to the rest of the state.
One thing that Schaefer has been seeing is fewer people staying at hotels, as overall revenues in 2009 were down 12 percent. “More people are staying with families and friends, and even camping.”
Looking ahead to this year's numbers, Schaefer says we're not quite going to see a return to higher numbers several years ago, but that people will start making the trips they used to. He's expecting things to be mostly back to normal in 2011.