WAUSAU (WAOW) -- Some good economic news out of Wausau Wednesday. Some major events, and cash flow, are coming to the area.
The Wisconsin State Hog Rally will once again roll into town in the summer of 2012. It'll take place at Harley-Davidson of Wausau, but the impact will spread through the entire community.
Mike Hanig has been hitting the open road on his Harley for close to 5 decades. For him, bikes mean freedom.
"When you're traveling, you can admire the things above you as much as the things around you," Hanig said. "You can smell what you're driving through."
Hanig travels to bike rallies around the state, but come August of 2012. He won't have to ride far. That's when the Wisconsin State HOG Rally will rev it's engine in Wausau.
The last time the leather-clad road warriors invaded Wausau was in 2000. Hog riders came for 3 days of group rides and parades. Now more than a decade later, thousands of bikers and their wallets are coming back.
Leaders with the Central Wisconsin Convention and Visitors Bureau expect the event to drive in nearly $1.3 million to the local economy.
"We already have the phones ringing in our area hotels," said Regan Pourchot. "I've talked to Stoney Creek Inn and they've got rooms blocked off and I think they're pretty much sold-out at this point."
And area bikers say they're fueled up for the action
"I come up here for the summer every year so I'll be back," said David Maire. "It'll be fun to be here for that."
"If you figure a thousand people, most of the fun is meeting the other 999," Hanig said. "It just gives you a chance to talk to a lot of people that share the same interests as you do."
The rally is set to take place in mid-August of 2012. Organizers expect between 3,000 and 4,000 hog-lovers to roll into town.