Little Gems

The Wooden Boat Effect.
Is Bill Gage going to attempt to put in a high class restaurant where all the small ‘carnival’ style businesses currently reside on the first floor of the Riviera complex? Or is he up to something a bit more complex, and/or more showroom oriented. Gage Marine markets Gage-Hacker Boats.  Streblow Custom Boats is currently the last “Wooden Boat” manufacturer on the lake, located in Walworth. Well, not anymore. It would appear that Shepard Boats may be coming to Lake Geneva, and that means competition? Shepard is another name in this class of relatively rare old wooden boats, restored and used to ply the waters around Geneva Lake. These boats are anything but cheap old wooden boats, however. Many are brand new, only having been designed to look old. They cost six figures to buy, and maintaining and storing them for the winter can add another ten to twenty thousand a year.

Wooden boating of the Gage-Hacker, Streblo and now Shepard, is an expensive and very exclusive club to be a member of. And yes, the boats gather together and have club meetings and shows. You may see a very few floating just off of the beach at BigFoot, however, as this class of boater does not hang with either the fishing crowd, the fiberglass group or even the sail boaters. They are up there in a world of their own. What is going to happen to the Riviera as the City of Lake Geneva pushes forward to rebuild it, is unknown at the current time. It is known, though, that the city will likely be serving the current renting residents notice that they will be leaving. Whether they come back, Gage gets his way, or some other business entities move in is unknown, but clues about what is likely to happen will be sought at every opportunity. Larry Larkin, along with Bill Gage, has been a part of the “walk around” effort to see what might be done with the Riviera. He’s apparently been talking about a boat museum instead of a sales show room.

Riviera Pier vendors

The “Carnival” atmosphere in the clustered lower level of the Riviera complex. Are they all leaving?


What’s going on over at the youth camp?
Signs have gone up indicating that there is a rezoning of that area scheduled to be heard soon, and also that some part of the area may be considered for different use is coming up with the comprehensive plan for the area that Town of Linn is currently working on.   As it turns out, the youth camp is filing, along with a private owner of a home located on camp grounds, to allow the home to be removed from being considered part of the camp property, and to be designated private property all on its own. That takes a rezoning permit, and also a modification to allow it to conform with Town of Linn’s comprehensive plan.   The question “why” was raised, but there were no answers for X-Files investigators on that one. The GSR wonders if this private home at the edge of the camp near South Lake Shore Drive might be the tip of a development iceberg…or a piece of it. That would come as a surprise to no one if that were found to be true, what with all the interest in developers trying to get their toe into the lake shore development business at the nearby Geneva Inn.


BigFoot State Park lifts its ban on alcohol. Right now, you can go to the park, or lay on the beach, and cart in your own beer or whatever. You no longer have to have a boat and sit right offshore enjoying your booze, while the people twenty feet away from you on shore don’t have the same privilege.   It is now legal drinking for everyone.   The DNR did not state the reasons for the vacating of their old decision not to allow drinking. Not that drinking was a rampant arrest problem at the park, anyway, simply because of the huge problem local law enforcement has doing anything about it. The change is significant, for illegal drinking and the manpower and time in trying to stop it is huge. Now, the reverse enforcement problem is created. With full permission to drink, there will be more of it. That means that enforcement will come into play again, although usually only when more significant criminality, other than illegal drinking, comes in to play as a result of the alcohol intake increase.

Featured Place of the Week

Lakeland Bakery Elkhorn

Lakeland Bakery just celebrated its sixty years in business. There was quite a celebration last weekend, with live music, clowns, lunch and of course cake for dessert. Anna Griffin is the newest owner of the bakery and is determined to keep to the same standards and recipes that the previous owners did, and that so many customers keep coming back for.


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