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Harley-Davidson’s 110th makes sizable impact on economy in SE Wis.

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- While the Harley-Davidson 110th anniversary celebration during Labor Day Weekend has been a lot of fun, it is also doing a lot of good for the local economy.

The streets in and around Milwaukee have been filled with motorcycles since Thursday, August 29th, and that has been very good for business. Some business owners say they have made several months of revenue in a single weekend.

Whether they paid with cash or credit this weekend's riders racked up quite a tab.

Quaker Steak and Lube in New Berlin wasn't around five years ago for the 105th anniversary celebration, and nearly 10,000 customers came in since last Wednesday for a bite to eat and a drink.

"It's really helped out our business a lot. We had no idea what to expect. We had roughly 4,000 to 5,000 people here Wednesday night alone. Throughout the day we got tons of bikes. We couldn`t even have planned for that. We`re such a small restaurant," Dane Pierstorff with Quaker Steak and Lube said.

Unlike five years ago when we were just entering the recession, these riders came with money.

"I`m coming home with a new motorcycle, so I ended up spending an extra $15k that I didn`t plan on," Eve Dianich of Maryland said.

"I know we spent more than we normally would on the weekend," Bob Melotik of New Berlin said.

At least 100,000 people were expected to roll through town this weekend.

Jeff Engel, a reporter at the Milwaukee Business Journal said it is a conservative estimate.

"I think the feeling was that maybe this one was bigger than the 105th," Engel said.

Although the party didn't officially kick off until Thursday, it is safe to say wallets started emptying long before then, with hotels booking up to a year in advance.

"It`s tough to put a number on it at this point, but I think when you`re talking that many people it`s gonna be a pretty sizable impact on the local businesses and the local economy," Engel said.

Before all the parties started, VISIT Milwaukee estimated the celebration would bring in more than $20 million in revenue.

Official numbers have yet to be released.

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