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Vilas County tourism thrives in 2012Submitted: 06/18/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson


BOULDER JUNCTION - Usually when you watch the news, you hear about how bad the economy is.

Jobs are down, home sales are sluggish, and people aren't spending money.

But one Northwoods county stands out.

Tourism spending went up a full 10% in Vilas County in 2012.

Both small business owners and Vilas County's Tourism and Publicity Department say they're thriving because they're working together.

John and Sue Altschwager manage the White Birch Village Resort.

When the economy collapsed in 2008, most of their returning guests shortened their vacations.

The Altschwagers had to find new ways to bring in visitors.

"The first step obviously was become active in our local chambers of commerce. And participate in the activities and participate in town, which hadn't happened a lot in the past," John Altschwager said.

They also revamped their website, and joined Facebook.

Going to sporting shows and promoting their winter ice fishing packages also proved to be a success.

"We tend to find that once we get people here, get people to the area, and they see what's offered, we got them," Altschwager said.

They also get new customers by word of mouth.

One of their most loyal customers,Robert Kurzweil, says he's introduced over 30 people to the resort.

"My wife and I come in the spring and in the fall, and then the whole family in July. And there's roughly 38 of us, all family, friends, neighbors. It's wonderful. We have a lot of fun."

Altschwager says it's up to all business owners to bring the tourism industry back.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 12/09/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

The lakes are expected to freeze soon, and many people are anxious to get out on the ice. However there are things you should keep in mind when heading out on the frozen lakes. Tonight we talk to a DNR warden about tips for staying safe on the ice.

A Rhinelander elementary school will be purchasing $2,000 worth of chrome books. We'll tell you how the students earned the funding.

We'll show you how a Woodruff company decorated the Governor's Mansion in Madison.

And tonight on Friday Night Blitz we'll bring you scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following basketball games:

Boys:

Antigo vs. Lakeland

Crandon vs. Tomahawk

D.C. Everest vs. Merrill


Girls:

Laona/Wabeno vs. Crandon

That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.


We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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WOODRUFF - Gov. Scott Walker won't spend much time away from pieces of the Northwoods while in Madison this Christmas season.

The State Capitol Christmas tree came from Eagle River. Meanwhile, JJ's Acres of Woodruff decorated the outside of the Governor's Mansion with pine roping and wreaths.

The garden center also helped with holiday decorations at the mansion in 2013.

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RHINELANDER - Every Christmas, thousands of children write letters to Santa. Sometimes, some of those kids need a little bit of help writing letters.

The Rhinelander High School FBLA/DECA organization went to local elementary schools Friday to help hundreds of kids write their letters.

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MADISON - The recount of Wisconsin's presidential election vote is nearly finished.

State election officials announced Friday that 89 percent of total ballots cast for president have been counted and 60 of the state's 72 counties had finished their work. So far, Democrat Hillary Clinton has gained 49 votes on Republican Donald Trump, who defeated Clinton by more than 22,000 votes in

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OUTAGAMIE COUNTY - Two people died when a dump truck drove through a stop sign west of Green Bay Thursday afterrnoon.

The truck hit a car at the intersection of two county roads in Outagamie County.

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LANSING, MI - Michigan lawmakers may re-enact a wolf-hunting law declared unconstitutional by the state appeals court.

The Republican-led Senate voted 27-10 along party lines Thursday to define wolves as a game species and to authorize the state to designate game. The bill goes to the House.

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RHINELANDER - Twenty-two-year-old Tessa Szmania wanted to work full-time as graphic designer. She also wanted to live in Rhinelander.

It turns out she couldn't have both.

Szmania got an associate's degree in graphic design from Nicolet College in Rhinelander in 2013. Then, things got tough.

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