With little snow and record highs, Wisconsin winter tourism industry finds ways to adapt

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The American Birkebeiner brings tens of thousands to the Northwoods. This year, the ski race relied on artificial snow

At the trailhead for the American Birkebeiner Ski Race in northern Wisconsin, it almost looked like winter.

As the sun shone overhead on Feb. 24, blinding white snow blanketed the course, and the chill in the air was characteristic of the season.

Hundreds of skiers and spectators watched as some of the world’s best athletes prepared for the starting gun at the 50th anniversary of North America’s largest cross-country ski race.