CWA Airport Car Rental

Central Wisconsin Airport Background…

The airport is pretty young when compared to most others across the nation, having originally opened in 1969. During its first year the airport saw more than thirty thousand passengers depart from one of its regularly scheduled commercial flights. Now, less than fifty years later, the airport services more than one hundred and fifty thousand passengers a year.

In 1998, the airport completed a massive renovation and expansion project that expanded its departure gates to five and boarding bridges to four. In 2011, the airport started an even larger expansion effort that is planned to take three years and cost twenty-five million dollars. The U.S. Department of Transportation recently awarded the airport a quarter of a million dollar grant so it could add a fourth air carrier to its repertoire and expand its services with the three carriers it already employs.

Currently owned by Marathon and Portage counties, the airport is operated by Central Wisconsin Joint Airport Board. It’s expected to see greater expansion and increase in annual passengers over the next few years than most airports in America.

Central Wisconsin Airport

Central Wisconsin Airport Car Rentals…

The airport is serviced by five nationally acclaimed rental car companies, including Avis, Budget, National, Hertz, and Enterprise. As of the moment this article was written, the car rental operations at Central Wisconsin Airport are the same as most airports. The counters are located near the baggage claim area in the terminal and your car will be ready for pickup in a rental lot just outside the terminal.

However, part of the new twenty-five million dollar expansion was the creation of a separate rental car facility. The car rental kiosks are now situated in the facility that sits near the vehicles.  Simply grab your bags and head out to the car.  Get your keys and you’re good to go.

Airport Directions to Nearby Towns…

While it doesn’t have “Regional” in the name-although chances are good it will soon-the airport is centrally located is if it were a regional airport. The closest main city is north (Wausau), but before you get there you’ll end up passing through a handful of small towns. There is also a bit of a bigger small town a little further south (Stevens Point) of the airport.  Also, southwesterly in the middle-of-nowhere is another town called Marshfield.

To get to any of these places you’ll have to start by driving away from the airport via CWA Dr and taking a left onto County Road 153. After about a tenth of a mile you’ll run into the I-39 on-ramp and be forced to choose between I-39 North and I-39 South. I-39 North will eventually end and turn into State Highway 51. Continue to follow its windy path until you reach the Stewart Ave exit and turn right from the off-ramp. After you cross the river via Slough Bridge and reach the corner of Washington St and 1st St you’ll know you’re in Downtown Wausau.

If you take I-39 South and follow it all the way down to the Division St exit you’ll find yourself along the outskirts of Stevens Point. Continue south along Division St and you’ll be in the literal center of the town when Division St intersects with Main St. Before Stevens Point you can get to Marshfield by turning off of I-39 South onto State Highway 10 until it ends into S Central Ave. Turn right and you’ll be in the middle of town when Central Ave intersects with Veterans Parkway.

Dog Gone Great Food

Central Wisconsin Airport Car Rental Return…

When taking your car back to the airport, you will most likely want to refuel before returning.  The best place to do so is just off exit 179.  So, if you’re coming from the South on I-39, take the 179 exit and then turn left to get to the Kwik Trip gas station or the Shell Station next to the McDonald’s.  Or, if you’re coming from the North, take the 179 exit and then turn right to those stations.  Get back on the road and travel East back to the airport that sits less than a mile from that McDonald's.

Other Car Rental Options at Central Wisconsin Airport…

Whenever you find yourself in a regional area, a GPS system is always a good idea. All five car rental companies offer GPS systems with constant satellite updates that take traffic and road conditions into account in real time. Being able to avoid accident congestion and weather issues are well worth the added ten to fifteen dollars a day the GPS system will cost you. Who knows? It may even be a lot less or free if you reserve it along with your vehicle well ahead of time.  
Source: Central Wisconsin Airport

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