Lake Geneva prepares reopening of Riviera Beach on Memorial Day weekend

NOW: Lake Geneva prepares reopening of Riviera Beach on Memorial Day weekend

LAKE GENEVA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The City of Lake Geneva is prepping to reopen Riviera Beach on Saturday, May 23.

“We are going to make this as safe as possible for you,” Linda Frame, City of Lake Geneva Harbormaster said.

Tuesday night, May 19, in a special meeting, City Council voted to reopen the beach in a 4-3 vote.

Councilman John Halverson voted against opening.

“I thought it was premature,” Halverson said. “I think with all of the states opening in the next couple weeks, we’ll get a better feel of what the effects of COVID will be at that point, and in my mind we could have made a better judgement.”

The decision to reopen led the beach’s two supervisors to resign after 40 years. A letter submitted by George Steffen was read to council during the meeting.

“I don't feel it is morally right to put the beach workers, the lifeguards, and the beach managers and beach patrons at risk,” the letter said in part.

Lake Geneva has seen big crowds since the state’s reopening.

“It’s nice to get away from Chicago right now,” Grant Rougas, Illinois resident, said.

Lake Geneva’s mayor says the acre-long beach will open at 25 percent capacity to allow for social distancing.

“I wouldn’t go to the beach because I couldn’t wear a mask on the beach,” Lori English, Lake Geneva visitor, said.

While some visitors are staying away from the beach, others think it should open with restrictions.

“They should really try to enforce social distancing,” Mya Williams, Illinois resident, said. “You know, have somebody out here at least just making sure, you know, people aren’t together as much.”

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