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WAUSAU (WAOW) -
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Badger State Games. But as of late, the competition has faced some challenges.
With the future of the games in jeopardy, the Wausau Convention and Visitors Bureau bought the rights to the games in late 2011.
That happened just before the competition was set to start, forcing the group to scale back.
"This time, we've had a full year and part of that was spent on bringing the summer games to the Wausau area," Darien Schaefer, Executive Director of the Badger State Games said.
This weekend, bowling and archery gets everything going. Athletes will hit the lanes at Coral Lanes in Rothschild Saturday. Owners say hosting the event helps boost business.
"It does bring in new customers to coral lanes. They'll come in and bowl, hopefully grab a sandwich or pizza while they're here," Penny Drake, co-owner of Coral Lanes aid.
"Last year, the economic impact of those events was over 500 thousand dollars and our goal is to continue to grow that every year," Schaefer said.
New this winter is the trap shooting competition.
"Our goal every year is to add an event, improve on the event. Since it's really the athlete experience and the competition that we want to make sure shines through every year," Schaefer told Newsline 9.
Organizers say they hope to add more events as the games continue.
"I'm sure it will take us a little while to fully recover from that transition and bring all of the events back," Schaefer said.
Last year, 1,400 athletes participated. With 700 hundred registered so far this year, organizers hope more people give the games a try.
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