EAGLE RIVER - Hundreds of world class snowmobilers revved their engines on the first day of the World Series Snowmobile Derby. The derby complex they raced at is a landmark of Eagle River.
New ownership has worked on making it a year-round destination since August. Since the 1960s, world class races have been at the World Championship Derby Track.
Now, new owner Russ Davis is revamping the complex and said it will become year-round destination.
"We've got weddings booked already, we got musky fishing tournaments, and we got the world championship UTV-ATV coming up," said Davis.
He's part of only the third ownership group in the track's history and helped with building the new expo building. The two levels of indoor seating accommodates over 1000 people.
His involvement goes beyond the track. Decades ago, Davis helped secure recognition for the inventor of the snowmobile, Carl Elason of Sayner. Elason's granddaughter Jona is grateful to Davis to this day.
"Anything I can do to help him succeed in [owning the complex], I'm more than willing," said Elason. "They're dedicated to the sport and to the city as a whole."
Davis is investing so much in the complex because of its value to not just Eagle River, but the entire Northwoods.
"From Rhinelander to Hurley to wherever. People even stay in Wausau on the way up," said Davis.
The world championship UTV-ATV derby is from July 5th to July 7th.