The Lake Geneva Beach opened Saturday, May 23rd.
With the Coronavirus and the recent lifting of the state shut down, many citizens and visitors had valid concerns with the beach opening. Many people in the area, and local city officials, were leery. The decision to open was made after several discussions (some heated) between city officials. Potential lost revenue and budget shortfalls were a large factor behind the rush to open. Memorial Day weekend is a great money-making opportunity for the city and businesses, which made the decision one of survival for many. The beach staff took precautions, by wearing masks and gloves, encouraging physical distancing, cleaning, and sanitizing the bathrooms repeatedly throughout the day. The showers were not in use for sanitation reasons. There were tape-marked distance requirements for all entering the beach, and only one entrance and one exit were designated, both openings well-guarded. The plan was to have a maximum of 350 people on the beach at any one time, but how well that would go was a concern.
Opening day was unexpectedly calm, the weather played a part in that. The temperatures only reached into the seventies, with partly cloudy skies, and the threat of rain loomed over the beach area. The Lake Geneva Harbor Master and beach staff were prepared, with social distancing tape placed at the entrance and plenty of PPE. The beachgoers numbered fifty or less at a time and were respectful and considerate, spacing out on stretches of well-marked sand. Sunday and Monday drew in many more visitors to Lake Geneva. The beach staff did a great job sticking to three hundred and fifty on the beach at a time (the GSR investigators manually counted twice each day). This was an impressive performance to see, as most of the remainder of Lake Geneva looked out of control, as the people crowded every available space on sidewalks, parks, and in restaurants, and bars. The comments and feelings regarding the crowds were felt by nearly one and all with both excitement and anger.
Why do these expensive, city financed, electronic items not work?
When anyone drives through Lake Geneva there is a confrontation coming. A silent scream kind of turn the radio up and glare at people in the cars occupying other lanes kind of thing. The very expensive “automatic” traffic signals let cars sit at intersections (think Main and Broad, Main and Center and the Main and Cook intersections). The wait while heading north or south at Main and Broad and Main and Center is two minutes of a boring, frustrating and silly ‘adult time out’ experience. Why can’t these signals, programmed to notice all cars in all lanes of each of the applicable intersections not be set to change if there’s nobody coming from the other directions? Well, they can be, but they are not monitored or adjusted by city workers. Come on David Nord, Lake Geneva’s premier city administrator, get off of chasing down more power to re-open facilities, playing with the Riviera complex authority, and other make-work stuff. Fix the signals and give the citizens and visitors alike a break.
Riviera Beach, Tuesday, May 26, 2020