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Outdoor recreation such as skiing, camping and fishing turned 2020 into a boom year for local tourism as visitors escaped population centers to vacation in the Northwoods.

Tourism in Ashland and Bayfield County was surprisingly good in 2020 and industry officials in both counties believe tourism will remain strong in 2021.

“That is especially true in those areas that focus on outdoor recreation,” said Bayfield County Tourism Department Director Mary Motiff. “That also meant some of the lodging did quite well, although that could be tricky, as places had to reduce capacity and increase the time between room rentals.”

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Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce Director Mary McPhetridge displays one of the trophy smallmouth bass that Chequamegon Bay is known for.

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Anglers Jim McPhetridge and daughter Kate Richmond pose during a fishing trip on Chequamegon Bay. Fishing help drive the 2020 tourism boom.

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Mary Motiff

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