October 31, 2014

Tourism industry up north welcomes the cold

Ice-covered sea caves in Bayfield, Wisconsin. (PHOTO: Mike Crowley)

Ice-covered sea caves in Bayfield, Wisconsin. (PHOTO: Mike Crowley)

Spectacular ice-covered sea caves continue to draw scores of nature lovers — and their pocketbooks — to northern Wisconsin. It’s the first time in five years the phenomenon has been accessible.

“They’re magical. They’re majestic.”

Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett says the impressive ice caves along the Lake Superior shoreline in Bayfield County are truly a sight to see, and it’s not the same experience every time. “Depending on if the sun is out, how the sun is hitting the caves, the time of day, the pictures that are coming out of there are awe inspiring.”

Bayfield and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is known for attracting tourists, but Klett says the ice-covered sea caves are generating a level of attention not seen before — thanks to the power of social media. “It is not just people from the Midwest. It is around the country and around the world because it is really an unusual thing.”

More than 66,000 people have already descended upon the area, and Klett says, they just keep coming — adding to the economic impact on Northwoods tourism. Klett says the number of visitors this winter just might exceed those who visit during the summer.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report :79