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Early, Steady snowfall and cold weather helping Northwoods businessesSubmitted: 12/27/2013
Story By Adam Fox

Early, Steady snowfall and cold weather helping Northwoods businesses
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.





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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/16/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll update you on a fire at Dolhun Field in Lake Tomahawk last night that required eight different fire departments and destroyed a storage hangar.

We talk to a council member of a Merrill church about their pastor who was seriously injured in a semi-truck/pickup truck accident on Highway 8 near Rhinelander Friday afternoon, and we'll update you on the pastor's condition.

And the Town of Presque Isle is now grooming their cross country ski trails that they hope will bring more people into town.

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

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - A fire in Lake Tomahawk's Dolhun Field Monday night left a storage hangar destroyed. About eight different fire departments worked for hours to put out the flames.

Lake Tomahawk Fire Chief Doug Rehm says the department was called to the fire just before 8 p.m.

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MADISON - Governor Scott Walker wants to close Wisconsin's youth prisons in Lincoln County earlier than first planned.

Walker is urging the Legislature to adopt his plan to close the Lincoln Hills-Copper Lake juvenile facility at Irma this spring, rather than 18 months from now.

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - Not everyone enjoys the sub-zero temperatures we've seen across the Northwoods recently.

But for ice fishermen, that means better ice conditions.

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MOLE LAKE - You don't find too many people hanging around the Lake George boat launch in mid-January, but Rollie Woltjen wants to see plenty of his workers there all summer long.

"It's so important for us to have those people at the landing," Woltjen said.

The Rhinelander-area lake association president has had a home on Lake George since the late 1980s, but only lately has the fight to stop aquatic invasive species been top of mind.  Woltjen and Scott Campbell work hard to find people to check boats for AIS and keep Lake George clear of eurasian watermilfoil.

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VILAS COUNTY - The Vilas County Safe Ride program completed its first month at the beginning of January. The program started on December 4. 

Vilas County Safe Ride coordinator Dan Ullsperger said the first month went well. 

"Having 15 in the first month I think is very, very successful. We're looking forward to having more in January and February. I think it will just keep growing and growing," said Ullsperger. 

He hopes to have 30 to 40 rides per month in the future. 
 
The Safe Ride program is meant to eliminate drunk drivers from the roads. A bar has to join the Vilas County tavern league. Then it can buy vouchers for the rides to hand out to customers who need a way to get home. 

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MILWAUKEE - Wisconsin farmers produced smaller corn and soybean crops last year than in 2016, while potato production was up slightly.

The Agriculture Department reports that the state's soybean production was down 6 percent and grain corn production was down 11 percent. Alfalfa hay production was down 19 percent.

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