By Shelby Rowe Moyer
Lake Geneva made national news over the Memorial Day weekend due to the size of crowds that swarmed downtown sidewalks, restaurants and shops. While it wasn’t a surprise that Lake Geneva would be such a popular destination, the large number of visitors shocked many locals and even business owners.
In anticipation of re-opening, Stephanie Klett, president and CEO of VISIT Lake Geneva, says businesses have been working to implement new precautions to help keep people safe from the coronavirus.
Though many businesses are now open, things aren’t exactly “business as usual,” and Klett explains what visitors can expect when they come to town and how people can enjoy the area safely.
How is the city/ bureau prepping for visitors?
Klett says every business has its own plan. Some retailers have UV wands for sanitizing items immediately after they have been tried on. Some hotels are using electrostatic sprayers, which use a hospital-grade disinfecting mist for high-touch areas. Many golf courses are taking reservations and payments online, so you don’t have to touch anything but your own phone or computer. And some Restaurants (restaurants) and businesses are sanitizing high-touch areas every 30-minutes, whether used or not. Plexiglass is being used as a barrier at various establishments. And, of course, hand sanitizer and face masks abound.
“If people don’t feel safe, we know they will not come back, and that’s the last thing we want. It behooves us to have proper measures in place,” according to Klett.
For those looking for outdoor activities to enjoy, Klett recommends that you bring your bike or rent one, and check out the White River State Trail. Avant, a bike and coffee shop, can set you up with an e-bike to make things a little easier, if you like. “Lake Geneva Ziplines & Adventures is a blast, and the Grand Geneva Resort has mountain bike trails and mopeds,” says Klett.
And, of course, you have to experience Lake Geneva by water. Rent a stand-up paddle board, wave runner, boat or pontoon. And definitely take a boat ride on the Lake Geneva Cruise Line. Klett specifically recommends the U.S. Mail Boat Tour!
And there is always the Lake Geneva Shore Path. (Geneva Lake Shore Path)
For those looking to escape the heat or maybe rain, check out magician Tristan Crist, whose theater has implemented a number of safety protocols, including limiting capacity, spacing groups at least 3 (three) seats apart, and leaving doors open to try and create a touchless experience, among other things.
When asked how she was enjoying Lake Geneva during these unique times, Klett responded:
“I find peace just sitting along the lake, enjoying the breeze and listening to the waves rolling in. Look up to the sky, because Lake Geneva really is for the birds too. We are a designated Bird City-Wisconsin, and it is a birders delight. (I’m a bird nerd, and this area is bird nirvana.)” Klett added: “The Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy is a place I have been going to for long walks. They have 4 miles of trails, it’s open 365-days a year (365 days a year) and admission is free. It’s total solace with boardwalks, bridges, streams and ponds.”