Parking Garage re-enters the picture in Lake Geneva. Very briefly, at the Business Improvement District meeting on Monday morning, the Lake Geneva Mayor expressed interest in setting aside portions of earnings and fees to begin building a fund to pay for a new parking structure to be built in downtown Lake Geneva. He is correct in expressing his interest in such an endeavor, however, the structure would have to be unlike the last one that was proposed and failed a few years back. It would have to be built with a small profit incentive, appropriate expenses and be large enough to truly expand the number of parking spaces currently available to the downtown area. The BID meeting was once again illuminating and very interesting to attend. John Halverson (alderperson) handled himself brilliantly, as did Bridget Leech, the executive director. The entire board is about the most illuminated, interested and far-seeing political group the lake has ever seen, and great things are likely to come from their work. Sometimes things work right, and this is one of those times when things are quietly moving right on down the tracks and taking us along all on what seems to be a great ride.
Business of the Week
Winterfest blow-away success in spite of frigid, and then tropical weather.
This was an unusual year for Winterfest, with the weather at the beginning of the festival being too cold, and then ending with the weather being too warm. Many of the festivities at the start of the festival were cancelled because of the dangerously cold temperatures and winds, which caused the downtown to look like a ghost town. The weather also caused a delay in the stompers forming the blocks, so that had to be done a day later because the city workers were needed to clean up after the snow storm on Monday. The city workers, though, did a great job getting the city cleaned up so they could then go and help the stompers. Everyone remained positive and cheerful, and many teams worked through the night to make up for the lost time, and still got most of the details onto their carvings. Even having lost a day, it was still tools down at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. Most teams were finished on time, with beautifully carved creations, while a few teams struggled with the climate changes and design. Events were back in full swing over the weekend, when temperatures warmed up and brought people out of their homes and eager for some excitement after being holed up earlier in the week. Downtown was swarming with people trying to catch a glimpse of the carvings before they would start to deteriorate after the awards ceremony. Despite all the obstacles, fun was had by all that attended, and it was another successful year for Winterfest.
National Snow Carving Championships sign five-year contract to stay in Lake Geneva. It’s been a rough couple of weeks. The Polar vortex that produced wind chill temperatures between -35 and -50 degrees Fahrenheit shut down Lake Geneva, and most of Southern Wisconsin, for a solid two days! Then, throw in the major snow accumulation over the past week or two, and that added even more delays, closings, and struggles. Snow clean-up was a cold hard job. But by the second round of plowing heaping snow, the city crews were much more prepared and had a good system in place, even with the start of Winterfest, extra traffic, and visitors. The job got done. Then the cold hit and the town froze. Whatever wasn’t absolutely essential to be open, wasn’t. Even the mail was stopped. This all happened at the beginning of the US Snow Sculpting Competition and Winterfest. Events had to be delayed or cancelled, but the fun didn’t end, and the show went on with everyone making the best of a challenging situation. The snow sculpting started a day late but finished as usual on Saturday at 11 a.m. Judging took place immediately, in case the weather might quickly change again. It did warm up, however, and as judging was going on, it was easy to see some of the snow sculptures struggle to stay erect, but all except one made it through. The Ice Castle did it’s best to endure the extreme weather changes and only had to close last Wednesday during the dangerously frigid wind chills, and then this last Saturday due to the warm weather and ice safety issues. Sunday and Monday more melting continued, and repairs and rebuilding are now needed before it reopens, but the owners of the castle swear they will rebuild and reopen once more.
Snow Sculpting Lake Geneva Winterfest 2019