The Ice Sculpture Tour in downtown Lake Geneva was a huge hit last year and it’s sure to be again this year.
Art Below Zero artists are the creators of the sculptures and Visit Lake Geneva is the group that introduced the idea to Lake Geneva years ago. Diana, with Visit Lake Geneva, previously worked with the Kenosha Chamber and Tourism team very successfully, and in coming to Lake Geneva, she’s brought with her great experience and ideas.
Diana moved the event to coincide with Winterfest in order to help draw more people to town with more focus on downtown. That’s worked extremely well. Art Below Zero offered a discount the first year, allowing downtown businesses to sponsor a sculpture for approximately $275.00. Full price for sculpting each design is close to $400.00 making it somewhat difficult this year for the revenue-depleted businesses (due to the ongoing virus situation). Visit submitted a grant request to help with the event, to ensure it could continue this year. The Tourism Committee was a bit reluctant with giving approval, as it was to help retail shops and not directly put ‘heads in beds.’
Tourism decided to offset the total price with a grant for $10,950.00, however. Committee members came to the conclusion that the event will give visitors more to do and motivate them to stay in town overnight. The grant will help the first thirty-five businesses that sponsor an ice sculpture so it will cost them about the same price as last year. The plan next year is to pass the torch over to the Lake Geneva Business Improvement District. Hopefully, the event will eventually ‘hold its own’ and be given its own time slot, creating another wonderful winter event, and letting Winterfest highlight the snow sculptures on its own.
Discussion and action regarding the City of Lake Geneva fee schedule as it relates to slips, buoys, and kayak rates is creating a lot of push back from locals and some council members. The topic is also opening a can of worms, as it has become questionable as to whether there are several spaces in all categories sitting empty and unrented, or maybe not. Lake Geneva has long had a significant waiting list of residents waiting for slips. What’s going on?
The GSR is investigating.
Riviera renovations due to start right after November 16th, 2020, and completion is set for May 15, 2021.
The mechanical and utility work is a top priority now and will be the starting point for activity. The first floor will have a lot of changes made to it, including the relocation of bathrooms, including doors to the exterior so the restrooms can be used any time. The first floor will also get new windows, new doors, and there will also be two less commercial spaces and concession spaces when the Riviera reopens.
The grand ballroom upstairs will get mechanical and utility upgrades along with new ballroom flooring. There is a lot of work to get done in a relatively short period of time so MSI Engineering is antsy to get started as that firm is the general contractor. The remodel project will be fun to witness and the reality of the result should be most interesting. The Riviera had a grand reopening day every spring back in its youth, drawing the community together in celebration of the spring and summer season. Mayor Charlene Klein has shared her thoughts on resurrecting that wonderful event and continuing it into the future.