Why is it incumbent upon the Lake Geneva Piers and Harbors Committee to swiftly re-evaluate the rental rates being charged for the rental of those piers, buoys, and slips used so heavily during the warmest months of the year?
The money being earned and saved by these businesses and individuals is ridiculous compared to the rental rates being charged, and that fact must be considered now, as the effects of the nation’s (and the city’s) response to the virus have been so near draconian in its financial effects on small town, villages and cities across the country.
Lake Geneva is no exception. The city must get more protective and more pro-active in the pursuit of cost-sharing with the entities that do so well financially, with the city’s help. Take one jet ski rental, for example. That jet ski costs the rental company about ten thousand dollars to purchase. That personal watercraft rents out for nearly eighty dollars an hour, on average. One company has 15 of them, and the 15 rented out near all the daylight hours of this summer. Let’s say that this period is ten hours long. Do the math. The wave runner pays for itself in about twelve days! These rental companies, including Gage Marine, are making millions off the city and the city is simply staggering on, providing the water, real estate, access, parking, and more, without regard to the current pittance it receives in rent. One of the things to be considered is the possibility that all these rental operations need to start submitting revenue reports on what they are earning. Following that, the city needs to evaluate what would be a fair revenue sharing price to charge for the spaces and services. Gage Marine needs to go off a standard lease for pier space and get aboard a per passenger revenue sharing system. The city needs the money.
Without the city being able to provide all it does, the only logical course that it might have to follow, as the money grows tighter and tighter on into the winter, is to close the piers to commercial operations. Nobody, but nobody, wants that. The piers and harbor committee is where this kind of planning and implementation should begin. Gage and the rental operations run clean and smooth services and equipment, but the city needs more money, in all fairness.