Harley riders visit town

MILWAUKEE—County Executive Scott Walker’s 2nd annual Executive Ride generated great interest and excitement for Milwaukee attractions from media and residents throughout the state, northern Illinois and eastern Minnesota.

Walker led a group of Harley motorcycle riders on the six-day tour to promote Milwaukee County attractions and business opportunities. The ride began June 25 and included stops in Madison, Janesville, Rockford, Platteville, Prairie du Chien, La Crosse, New Richmond, St. Paul, Chippewa Falls, Rice Lake, Tomahawk, Rhinelander, Wausau, Fond du Lac, Appleton, Green Bay and Manitowoc, culminating on June 30 on the shores of Lake Michigan for the start of Summerfest.

One example of the success of Walker’s tour was a visit this week by a Wausau television station to the Mitchell Park Domes to tape a segment promoting the horticultural attraction to residents of northern Wisconsin.

“This is a great way to promote our community and encourage people to come enjoy our attractions,” Walker said. “I even ran into a family a few days ago from Rockford who were traveling to visit our county zoo—so clearly the word is getting out.”

Walker promoted Milwaukee on three Rockford television stations during the ride.

Tourism is the third largest industry in Wisconsin and accounts for roughly $11.8 billion of the state’s economy with more than half of those dollars being spent by Wisconsin residents who travel to different parts of the state. The tour involved stops in cities and towns to promote everything from the ground-breaking exhibition “The Arts and Crafts Movement in Europe and America” at the Milwaukee Art Museum, the dynamic A-Mazing Sea interactive exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum, the new Amtrak rail station at General Mitchell International Airport, to the new Lake Express Ferry service.

Other attractions that were highlighted include the Karen Peck Katz Conservation Education center and newly renovated Heritage Stackner Farm children’s area at the Milwaukee County Zoo, Pettit National Ice Center, State Fair, the county park system, and Miller Park Stadium—home of the Milwaukee Brewers.

The tour included more than 30 interviews with television, radio and print media to promote Milwaukee attractions. Media packets were provided to those interested and included brochures, promotional items and roughly 1,200 tickets for Milwaukee events. Many travel journalists typically use these items to visit and report on a destination. A map of the route and tour schedule are on the Milwaukee County Web site at www.milwaukee.gov/walker under “Executive’s Ride.”

From the July 20-26, 2005, issue

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