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Harley-Davidson, dealerships, city of Milw. declare 110th a success

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- On Labor Day Monday, the Harley-Davidson 110th anniversary party was still going strong at Milwaukee Harley-Davidson -- on the final day of the six-day party. The party wrapped up at the Summerfest grounds on Saturday night, and after a Harley block party on Water Street Sunday, many drivers headed home. With the 110th in the books, it's now time for organizers to take a look back.

Harley-Davidson says it believes more than 100,000 bikers came to town for the 110th, but not everyone bought tickets to events, so a headcount was impossible.

"It's very hard for us to estimate. We had thousands of very happy guests that came into town. We know that all the hotel rooms within a fairly large radius were all booked out," John Wheeler with Harley-Davidson said.

One benefit to having folks from all around the world in Milwaukee for the 110th is future tourism for Milwaukee.

"I personally was responsible for 50 reporters from 50 different countries. They came from as far away as Japan, South Africa, Poland, and I saw groups from Saudi Arabia, Dubai, a large contingent, several hundred people from Brazil. We had 700 or 800 riders who came from Canada as well," Wheeler said.

Milwaukee Harley-Davidson says sales were phenomenal.

"We sold 50 now. 50 bikes just during the course of the event. As a matter of fact, two guys from Minneapolis were here and they came with some friends in a car. They were like, we want to ride home on a bike. They came in with their credit cards. They bought two bikes -- matching -- both Street Glides and they rode out of here together," Chaz Hastings with Milwaukee Harley-Davidson said.

This kind of business is something Harley-Davidson dealers see every five years. That's why there's already those with an eye for the future.

"We can start the 115th. How that's going to look, I don't know. How do you top this? We know there is a desire out there and it will probably be bigger and more international than this one was," Wheeler said.

A spokeswoman with the group Downtown Milwaukee says businesses in the downtown area are also calling the 110th a big success.

Milwaukee police say there were no major incidents.

The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office says the same about the event at Veterans Park.

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