Wood County leaders looking to increase tourism numbers after la - WFXS, MyFoxWausau - News and Weather for Wausau, WI

Wood County leaders looking to increase tourism numbers after last year's decrease

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WOOD COUNTY (WAOW) -

Wood County officials are working to boost the amount of money tourists spend in the area.

The efforts include a new social media strategy.

Wood County tourism officials say spending decreased by $700,000 last year.

"We're still coming out of the recession, it's been a long slow climb not only for us but for central Wisconsin in general," said Steve Barg, Marshfield City Administrator.

Barg adds that the closing of the Clearwaters Hotel hurt Marshfield's tourism economy last year.

"It was a huge loss to the city when it closed," Barg said.

City leaders say that's about to change, because the new Hotel Marshfield is near completion and is scheduled to open in early September.

"We'll have more rooms to sell for events and more economic activity," said Matt McLean, Director for the Marshfield Convention and Visitors Bureau.

McLean is one of the city leaders spearheading the efforts to increase tourism in Central Wisconsin.

"We're definitely doing some more social media trying to engage people to try and come to the Central Wisconsin area," added McLean.

He says one idea for boosting tourism was a huge success.

That idea was the North American Fur Takers Rendezvous that came to Marshfield in June.

"We had over 5,000 people come to the event over three days," said McLean.

City leaders say they're are confident the tourism numbers will bounce back within the next year.

"I think the hope and expectation is that it will be a little bit better than last year which may be a little bit better than the year before," said Barg.

City leaders say two upcoming events important for Wood County's tourism economy are the Central Wisconsin State Fair in late August and the Maple Fall Fest in mid-September.

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