Discussion and recommendation regarding sidewalk furnishings in the Lake Geneva downtown business district.
Yes, this item was on the agenda at the last FLR meeting. The recent past has proved this to be a controversial topic. Pre-pandemic the Lake Geneva Building and Zoning Department sent out notices to all the retail shops, making each of them aware that under city ordinances no merchandise for sale could be displayed on the sidewalk area in front of the storefronts.
Bob’s Beach Shack on Broad Street was one of the main businesses targeted. Bob, owner, and operator of the Beach Shack did not take the memo well, as his storefront is a little different than most in the downtown area. Bob fought for his right to display in the alcove area that is his property and different than the other storefronts as the space is not city sidewalk space. Bob disputed the ordinance, willing to go to court and fight any fines received, but then the pandemic hit. The pandemic shut down businesses and only allowed curbside services. Then, when finally allowed to reopen business was slow and shop owners were hurting. The city decided that the emergency proclamation would include what it could to help the small businesses.
All businesses, not just Bob’s, were allowed to display merchandise and signage encouraging patrons and sales to get people back into the stores. This helped some and most of the shops participated in this new freedom. Well, the freedom is being limited once more, as the downtown has become busy with activity and the emergency proclamation is no longer in effect. The discussion about the ordinance regarding the outdoor display of merchandise was back on the table. The mayoral proclamation allowing the displays to help the local businesses during the pandemic has expired, but the city did extend it through the summer season. Letters have been hand-delivered to downtown businesses still putting their displays outdoors and all have been notified that; starting Monday, September 7, the old ordinance will be enforced once again.
The big question is whether an alcove, which is part of the business property, is to be considered outdoor or indoor? After a little discussion, it was decided that an alcove with a roof is considered indoor and can be used to display merchandise, but items hanging from an awning or placed on the sidewalks will be a direct violation and perpetrators will be fined.
Walk of Terror Haunted House 2021!
This will go on every Friday and Saturday night in October. The spooky October fun will be at the Lions Club grounds, located at 2077 Division Street in East Troy. Its first weekend open will be October 1st & 2nd, and this is during the Lions Club October festivities. The weekend will include traditional fall fun and live music from Bella Cain. Steve Conway and his wife are part owners of the Walk of Terror Haunted House and are not new to the scare game. Steve Conway and his wife were big contributors to the Dr. Scary’s Haunted House that has been in the Delevan area for a couple of years, and other locations before that. You can meet the Conway’s, and others involved pre-haunt, at the Walworth County Fair. Come check it out and get a sneak peek of the Walk of Terror and the scary thrills you can expect to see on site when you encounter the ‘real’ Walk of Terror. Also, the haunted house needs actors and volunteers to ensure that patrons receive the thrill and scares expected. If interested, go to the fair and apply in person. or check out Walk of Terror on Facebook.
Why have fast food places gone price crazy too, with few exceptions?
Lake Geneva has all kinds of fast/junk food places. McDonald’s, Burger King, Culvers, KFC, and even the semi-kitchen places at Kwik Trip and Target. Try buying a frozen Coke, for those of you who are aficionados of such things. Twelve ounces at McDonald’s is $1.69, while at Burger King the glass is bigger and the cost is $.99 and Target has it for a buck and a quarter, around the same size. Melt the ice in one of those and you have about one inch of Coke syrup at the bottom, weak Coke syrup. Yes, we do things like that at the headquarters of the GSR.
And what happened to decent prices of Big Macs and anything other than a tiny hamburger or cheeseburger at McDonald’s? Go in and have a Big Mac with fries and you are over ten bucks. And you are eating McDonald’s food! KFC, meanwhile, is now priced at about two dollars per chicken piece. Get a couple of legs and a couple of wings and you are over eight bucks. Come on! A whole roasted chicken, even at Sentry, which is not a cheap grocery store, is only eight bucks, and you are not eating whatever form of proto-chicken KFC manufactures.
The best deal around, for fast stuff, is at Kwik Trip where you can get a couple of pieces of great fried chicken for two bucks if you don’t mind it cold or three if you want it hot. Don’t ask us why the price is temperature-controlled.