EAGLE RIVER - Weather can make the difference between a good and bad winter tourism season.
Most spots in the Northwoods have seen more than doubled the snow total compared to this time last year.
That's great news for business.
That because snowmobilers could hit trails before Christmas.
For businesses like Bayside Motor Lodge in Eagle River, that means more people looking for rooms. Owner Holly Tomlanovich says that helps lay the foundation for a good season.
"You don't get as many riders because it's not like when the trails are announced open and you get hundreds of riders," Tomlanovich said. "But all of those riders are rooms that I would not have had if the trails weren't open."
Trails in Vilas County opened on Dec. 13, 2013. Tomlanovich says this year's snow is historically, traditional snowfall for December.
But she hasn't seen this much snow in December for more at least five to eight years.
When that happens businesses have to rely on the events in town.
And unlike snow, those aren't around every day of the week.
"You have to make enough to bridge each one of those events because those are automatic fills and they are not as predicated on weather," Tomlanovich said. "But this year it's going to be a little easier."
Now it's time for businesses to attract more seasonal travelers before racing fans come into town for the 51st World Championship Snowmobile Derby Week starting January 10th.
RHINELANDER - A scoop of frozen custard goes down pretty well on a humid day like the Northwoods saw Friday. Rhinelander's Associated Bank made grabbing a scoop an easy way to help others.
Culver's set up a mobile custard stand outside the new bank building on the corner of Lincoln Street and Oneida Avenue from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Fifty cents from every $2.50 cup sold went to Associated Bank's Children's Miracle Network fund.
The bank is hoping to raise $500 through its fundraisers for CMN this month.
MERRILL - A Northwoods school pulled off a big surprise on Friday to honor a few veterans. After months of planning, students and staff at Kate Goodrich Elementary got to see the payoff of all their hard work.
"It was like kind of overwhelming," said Wolfgang Lenk.
Lenk, Todd Annis, and Randy Perry had no idea they would be the guests of honor.
"To see all these kids and knowing how hard they worked selling all this, and now your name comes up that you're one of the three recipients, it was awesome," said Annis.
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