Walker in hog heaven at visit to Doc’s

Governor's ride around state promotes tourism

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski During a stop at Doc’s Harley Davidson east of Bonduel, Gov. Scott Walker asks Kersten Heling, the daughter of owner Steve “Doc” Hopkins, about some of the latest additions to the facility. Walker and dozens of motorcyclists stopped at Doc’s as part of a two-day ride promoting tourism.

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Dozens of motorcyclists pour into Doc’s Harley-Davidson, one of the stops on Gov. Scott Walker’s travels around the state to promote tourism, Saturday. Walker and company also stopped in Clintonville.

Gov. Scott Walker primarily took the scenic route during a two-day tour of the state, choosing a motorcycle as his mode of transportation as he promoted tourism in Wisconsin.

Among the stops on the first day, Saturday, were Doc’s Harley-Davidson and Timeline Saloon east of Bonduel and the Clintonville Senior Center. Walker rode into Doc’s with dozens of other motorcycles to grab some dinner before traveling to Rothschild.

“The weather’s been perfect today,” Walker said. “It feels good to get around the state, and our goal is to get to a lot of the winding roads that people don’t normally go on and show our riders a lot of the things Wisconsin has to offer.”

Walker noted a lot of people visit Wisconsin from around the country and around the world, and many of them hop on Harley-Davidsons.

Doc’s is one of the governor’s preferred places to visit when he travels around the state, he said; his last visit was in 2014.

“This is new this year,” Walker said as he indicated the Ferris wheel. “You never know what Doc is going to have new. It’s one of the unique things that makes Wisconsin special. We always like to see what new attractions he’s going to have.”

Walker noted that Doc Hopkins, the business owner, has gone from prepping barbecue on his own whenever the governor came to visit to opening a highly successful restaurant.

Walker credited Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett with helping him keep track of all the tourist attractions in the state. Klett had been the host for Discover Wisconsin for 18 years prior to becoming secretary.

“One of the things she has been an advocate for are JEM (Joint Effort Marketing) grants,” Walker said. “They help new projects get up and going and get the promotional attention they need to be successful.

“I’m pleased that, in the last five years since I’ve been governor, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in tourism, and that’s because we’ve invested more dollars in promotion, whether it be in advertising to support the market as a whole or through JEM grants.”

Although the governor was pushing tourism, his stop in Bonduel included words of support for the people of Dallas, Texas, where a gunman shot and killed five police officers and wounded seven others earlier in the week. Walker told the Wisconsin State Patrol officers riding with him and several sheriffs during his stops to spread the word to their colleagues that he and the state have their back.

“It’s outrageous, and certainly my hope is that somehow this entire country can be unified against that kind of senseless violence,” Walker said. “I think it’s critically important we support those men and women who literally put their lives on the line to keep us safe.”