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Nat'l Wellness Conference to move out of Stevens Point next year

STEVENS POINT, WI (WTAQ) - After 38 years in Stevens Point, the National Wellness Conference will move to a bigger place in 2014.

Organizers say a growing attendance and a lack of connecting flights to the Central Wisconsin Airport are why the annual convention will move to Minneapolis next year.

This year’s conference began on Monday and runs through Thursday at UW-Stevens Point. It’s put on by the National Wellness Institute, which is based in Point.

William Baun, who chairs the institute’s board, says the event needs to be more accessible.

Some attendees had flights canceled, and were forced to rent cars from the Twin Cities or Chicago in order to get to central Wisconsin. One of the speakers had a flight canceled from Chicago.

Baun says the Institute hopes to return the conference to Stevens Point in 2015 – and maybe alternate locations every other year between Point and Minneapolis.

Point Mayor Andrew Halverson said it’s disappointing to lose the conference next year, since UWSP had one of the nation’s first wellness programs.

Still, he agrees the move is part of our changing times – and he said the city would keep working with the Wellness Institute when and where it can.