During the winters of the 1980s there wasn’t a whole lot of activity at the end of Upper Loch Vista Drive. My childhood came and went before vacation home owners decided that winter was worthy of at least a smidge of their attention. I suppose I could have taken the stance that it was dark and boring at the end of that dead end road, but I never really did. It didn’t bother me that it was quiet and neighborless down there in the off months, and what if it did? The 1980s was also long before parents bought homes based on the opinions of their children. A conclusion that it was a better time would be supported by many, including me.
I was on a call yesterday discussing Lake Geneva with a developer of sorts, and I repeated a concept that I’ve repeated often over the past fifteen years. Lake Geneva is no longer solely a summer vacation destination. This is a stark departure from the history of this market. Lake Geneva did not become so well known because early vacation home seekers loved ice, even though I’d suggest that even the early vacation home set found their way here in the winter from time to time, assuming their home was of the sort that could keep some heat in and most of the cold out. Even so, the idea today is that Lake Geneva is a destination for all seasons, no matter that my magazine, Summer Homes For City People, does what it can to suggest this is still not the case.
Even if Lake Geneva is a noble destination in winter, it is obvious that winter use will pale in comparison to summer use for even the most dedicated Lake Geneva revelers. I live here full time and even I’m not here as much in the winter as I am in the summer. Because of this more judicial approach to wintertime visits, it’s important to identify the key weekends. As fate would have it, there is a key weekend on tap. Next weekend, February 2nd-6th, Lake Geneva’s Winterfest returns for its 27th iteration. You should be here for it.
One of my favorite things about this weekend is walking around the snow sculptures and deciding which one is the worst, which one is the stupidest, and which one is the best. There’s no point in pretending they’re all good, because they aren’t. Someone is going to carve something absolutely terrible, and it’s fun to discover which group was over their skis. There are events this weekend, but the events don’t interest me. The concept for Winterfest weekend is quite simple. If the weather is right, meaning it isn’t a forty degree melt fest and it isn’t a five degree freeze fest, you’re going to want to walk the downtown lakefront to take in the sights. Judge the snow sculptures. Grab a coffee. Walk into a store or two and buy something you don’t really need. This is what Winterfest is all about, and you can consider this your personal invitation. I’ll see you at the lake.