To be or not to be, that is the power of a business sign.
So why does the City of Lake Geneva deliberately harm businesses with the most business aversive sign ordinance of any resort town? Until there is contrary proof, it will be assumed that the hidden purpose in the restrictive sign ordinance is a hidden sinister motive, and not appearance as we are told, but so that the Grand Geneva, Visit Lake Geneva, and other advertisers can influence and direct tourists toward particular businesses for mutual
But the City of Lake Geneva has specifically and effectively banned this type of a business sign in the downtown. The few that exist are grandfathered in.
A sign that is visible to one traveling by a business is the most cost effective advertising a business can do. Especially with tourists and others unfamiliar with the area, where 25% of those who go into the store, go there on impulse after seeing a sign. In the downtown area the city has virtually banned any sign that attracts attention, which includes neon signs, rope signs, motion signs, bright color signs, signs perpendicular to the build, flashing signs, lighted signs, pole signs, signs with moving parts, to name just a few. They do permit a single flat sign against the building that cannot be seen until one is in front of the building.
The crowning achievement of the city’s ignorance (or arrogance) on restricting signs is the destructive effect that their sign ordinance is having on the Geneva Theater that the city gave an $800,000 grant too, but won’t let it have a sign to advertise the movies being shown. No place, except the City of Lake Geneva, would prohibit a theater from a having sign, or marquee, visible up and down the street that displayed the movies that are being shown. Whether it was a neurotic desire to control signage in the past, or a sign phobia that caused previous city councils to virtually ban signs in the downtown area, is unknown. Regardless, it is time to correct our sign ordinance, or we can continue to watch the number of downtown businesses fail, and kiss the city’s $800,000 grant to the Geneva Theater a silent good bye.
The City is proposing to spend $5000
$5,000 to have Mr. Henry of Kehoe and Henry Engineering and Architecture investigate creating a ‘historic status’ for the Riviera Pier Complex, totally ignoring the city’s Historical Committee already set up to deal with historic matters. This committee could do this job for almost nothing. Of course, that would require the council’s alderperson assigned to that committee to meet with that committee, acquaint the members with what’s going on, and then generally act as go between to make things happen. Alderperson Chappell, when she’s not attending regular meetings while doing her crochet, is never at the Lake Geneva Meetings of the Whole, so unless she reads the Geneva Shore Report (not bloody likely!), she can’t serve as that go-between. The five grand goes to Mr. Henry, of Kehoe and Henry Engineering and Architecture. Sometimes, in fact very often, these ancillary contractors, lurking and swimming about the body of the City of Lake Geneva like lamprey eels, win the lottery time after time simply because of vapid stupidity.
Edward T. Yaeger, RIP
The public service following the passing of Ed Yaeger will be held on Saturday August 19th, 2017 from 2pm to 4:30pm at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lake Geneva. Ed Yaeger was one of the most noteworthy and wonderfully civic minded citizens ever to reside in Lake Geneva.