Early snow increasing tourism in the Northwoods Submitted: 12/19/2013
Story By Kalia Baker

Early snow increasing tourism  in the Northwoods
EAGLE RIVER - This year's early snow has made it easier for resorts to stay busy.

So far, the Wild Eagle Lodge in Eagle River has seen a 40 percent increase in visitors compared to this time last year.

Late snowfall last year hurt business.

Tammy Schmidt is the Wild Eagle Lodge Assistant Resort Manager.

"Without the snowfall last year it was extremely difficult. The trails were in poor condition, luckily this year, the snow mobile trails are in great condition and the Snow Eagles do a fantastic job of grooming the trails and keeping them in fantastic shape," said Schmidt.

Wild Eagle Lodge still has rooms available, but the increase is good for business.

The snow offers visitors a lot more to do.

"That's why people come up to the Northwoods. And with this kind of weather, everything is going really well," said Schmidt. "Ice fishing has been fantastic, snowshoeing, cross-country skiers are out there, and again the snow mobile trails are in great condition. So, we are very happy to have snow this year."

The Wild Eagle Lodge also has an ice skating rink for its guests.

Managers say the cold temperatures have kept visitors excited about being outdoors.

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OCONOMOWOC - Authorities say more than 70 people were treated at local hospitals after an air quality issue forced the evacuation of Oconomowoc High School and the adjacent Oconomowoc Arts Center.

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Northwoods Community Elementary School hosted parents to show off their work. Some classes did the math to plot out a vegetable garden. Others did research on Wisconsin counties and planned a weeklong trip there.

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RHINELANDER - Golfers can't wait to get back on the course after our long, tiring winter.  We'll need to melt a lot more snow to make that happen, but on a Rhinelander-area lake this weekend, ice will be needed for golfing.

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No one was in the home, and no one was hurt.  Crews stayed on scene and kept the road closed until about 4:30 a.m.

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