PLEASANT PRAIRIE, Wis. — When you drive I-94 between Milwaukee and Chicago, you quickly notice that on a holiday weekend, the northbound lanes seem a lot busier than the southbound ones.
Considering just how many people come into Wisconsin for the Memorial Day weekend, it may not come as a surprise. It means travelers from all over the United States and the world travel the highway.
Jake Hoey serves as the Wisconsin Welcome Center Manager for the Pleasant Prairie location. Hoey offers travel advice and friendly greetings to travelers from around the world.
It is something he sees especially often during the busy summer travel season.
“In just the past week we have talked to people from 12 different countries and five continents,” Hoey said. “People don’t believe that.”
Hoey said he recently has welcomed visitors from as far away as the Philippines and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Angie White and her mother Veronica Linaras were among the hundreds of people who passed through the Welcome Center Friday. White lives in the Chicago suburbs, but Linaras lives in El Salvador.
Friday marked her first visit to Wisconsin.
“That was my plan when I decided to retire, I just want to visit all the states,” said Linaras.
Hoey said the Welcome Center makes sure they are at full staff throughout the holiday weekend to accommodate the additional number of visitors.
Wisconsin Welcome centers are staffed by local tourism agencies and chambers of commerce from around the state. The Pleasant Prairie location is run through Visit Kenosha.
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