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Northwoods Coworking Offers Downtown Rhinelander Workspace for Entrepreneurs and Digital Nomads

Katie Thoresen/WXPR

Joseph Fehlen has some big plans for the downtown Rhinelander storefront he’s renting on Davenport Street.  He originally rented it as a place for his travel business, Small Town Wanderer, but quickly realized it was too much space.

Now, Fehlen is transforming it into Northwoods Coworking.

“Just having space for people to work. Entrepreneurs, start-ups, digital nomads, they can get out and at a really low level get in to staring a business or just getting their work done,” said Fehlen.

Credit Katie Thoresen/WXPR
One of two office spaces within Northwoods Co-Working.

When it’s finished it will have two offices, four or five dedicated desk spaces, and several high-top desks for people that just need to a space to work for a day or week while they’re in town.

With more remote workers finding they can work and live in the Northwoods and the recent push in that direction because the pandemic, Fehlen says he’s already getting a lot of interest.

“There’s a lot of laptops walking around our streets here in Rhinelander in the summers especially with people that are coming up here to their cabins and they don’t have internet,” said Fehlen. “Their spouses are kicking them out because they want to have fun and they don’t want to see dad work, but he needs to work for a day or two. I’m very cognizant that is a business model.”

Though he admits after working from home himself for the last year, Fehlen definitely had a personal motivation in opening the space to others.

Credit Katie Thoresen/WXPR

“It’s purely selfish for me because I’ve got my little office over there. I want to work with other people. Not work with but work around,” he said. 

Fehlen said putting the business in downtown Rhinelander was a no-brainer.

“Downtown is awesome if you’re going to be a co-working space then go to one of the restaurants or pick up a cupcake, we got coffee shops, and oh my gosh if you need your haircut while you’re down here just go do it. It’s all here,” said Fehlen.

People who work there will have access to a printer, office supplies, internet, and other basic office needs. But Fehlen also hopes it will be a space for people to bounce ideas off each other and offer encouragement.

“The encouragement of there’s somebody else with you. We’re not going to get into each other’s business. We’re not going to sit around and have coffee all day. We got to get work done. But there’s that sense encouraging each other and right next to each other,” he said.

There will be different membership options based on people’s needs. You can learn more on the Northwoods Coworking website

At the end of the day, Fehlen wants to create a space that will open doors for people.

“I want to make sure there are zero obstacles as far as just having an address, having heat, electric, internet, just a bathroom, and a desk that they can call home and they can invite their clients to and get mail sent here and all of those things you can’t get if you’re just meeting in your living room,” said Fehlen.

Northwoods Coworking will open in May. 

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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