Lake Geneva is a terrific place to visit, but what is it like to live in the city itself?
The designator “Lake Geneva” is not an official term with a legal geographic boundary, as it includes the City of Lake Geneva and some of the property in adjoining townships. The residents of Lake Geneva are economically diverse and include billionaires as well at those below poverty level. Wealthy or not, the vast majority of residents enjoy living in and around Lake Geneva have a concern for the area that goes beyond a mere place of residence.
A good example is the Maple Park’s historic district. The residents of Maple Park have made a huge effort, as individuals and as a group, to repair and maintain the historic residences and historic items in the district for themselves and for the future of the city. This type of pride and improvement of the area shows an appreciation of the city’s historic past, and it also portrays a good image of the people who live in the Maple Park area today. Another great example is the community action group “Care for Lake Geneva,” and its efforts to preserve Geneva Lake and its scenic beauty for future generations. There are also dedicated individuals, along with other groups, doing similar things such as the Beautification Committee, Pleasant Park Neighborhood group, Master Gardeners, etc. There is a general concern by most residents to maintain, improve and preserve the area. Residents may differ on what is believed to be good or best for the area, but there is a similar objective and vision of what the place should look like.
The future of the Hillmoor Golf Course property is an excellent example of this vision. Many residents, perhaps the majority, want to preserve Hillmoor for the city’s current and future use. Living in a seasonal resort town enables Lake Geneva residents to enjoy the area without having to travel far to get to it. Living in a seasonal tourist town enables residents to see tourists from a different perspective. At times, tourists flood the area and take over the town, block city traffic, take up all the parking spaces and interfere with our daily lives, but they are an important and beneficial part of the Lake Geneva area. Much of the downtown area, and the jobs that the downtown area supplies, would not exist without the tourists. Despite possessing an image of wealth, the City of Lake Geneva has an average household income of about $40,000 which is between the neighboring towns of Delavan at $42,000 and Elkhorn at $38,000. The image of wealth comes from attention paid to a small portion of the residents, past and current who own mansions on and around Geneva Lake’s shore line. Most Lake Geneva residents are not monetarily rich, but many are rich in culture, tradition, honor and willingness to improve and accept others.