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Tourist Spending Increased in 2012 for Oneida CountySubmitted: 05/03/2013
Story By Kailey Burton


ONEIDA COUNTY - This year it seems like tourists may NEVER come if this weather keeps up, but last year in Oneida County tourism was up.

Visitors spent 5.56% more than they did the year before. That's an extra $10 million for a total of $186 million.

Popular events consistently bring in visitors, but THIS much of an increase could mean the economy is getting better, and teamwork in advertising is paying off.

"The prices are rising, maybe less flights, people aren't flying as much. Because we're a 'drive-to' destination in Wisconsin, that boosts our overall toursim. And when you think of visiting Wisconsin, a lot of people think of the Northwoods so we hope to capture some of that," said Lara Reed, with the Oneida County Tourism Council.

Tourist dollars helped support more than 1,500 jobs in Oneida County in 2012. One of the biggest events is Hodag Country Festival. That draws in an average of $3 million PER DAY.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - The Oneida County Sheriff's Office is looking into reports of an armed home invasion in the Town of Pelican. The incident was reported Monday morning around 6:30.

The caller said a white male wearing black clothes entered a home along County Highway P. The man was described as tall and muscular.

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MARATHON COUNTY - Police need to find the suspects they believe robbed a home at gunpoint in Marathon County on Tuesday.

According to the Marathon County Sheriff's Office, police got a report of an armed robbery on Fairview Road in the township of Emmet around 7 a.m. Tuesday. As of early Tuesday afternoon, investigators were still on scene.

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THREE LAKES - Thunder Lake Wildlife Area draws in birders and hunters alike.

The 3,000-acre marsh in eastern Oneida County is a critical breeding ground and migratory stop for birds like sandhill cranes and chestnut-sided warblers.

It's also become an important place to the Nicolet Bird Club of Three Lakes--so important that the club decided to adopt it.

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RHINELANDER - A Northwoods Memorial Day service attracts hundreds of people, rain or shine.  But getting there isn't always easy for some.

This year, service organizers will offer free coach bus rides to the Union Grove Cemetery in Harshaw for its May 27 ceremony.  Rick Smith started the ceremony after going to his father's grave site on Memorial Day in 1997 and seeing no one else out there.

Ceremony treasurer Craig Lau says the service has grown from an informal gathering to a day with cannons, fly-overs, and music.

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MANITOWISH WATERS - Days like Tuesday make you want to get outside and maybe go for a bike ride.

It's only a matter of time until bicyclists start hitting the trails, and the bike trails in Manitowish Waters are prepared for it.

The Uihlein family established a $2 million trust fund that will pay for the bike trail's maintenance in the town.

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MADISON - Right now you need a permit to carry a concealed weapon in Wisconsin.

That could be changing.

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MADISON - American Indian leaders in Wisconsin will give their annual State of the Tribes address to the Legislature and constitutional officers on April 4.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said in a news release Tuesday that Stockbridge-Munsee tribe President Shannon Holsey will give the speech this year.

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