A Lake Geneva business owner is looking to make people’s visit to Riviera Beach a little more convenient.
Kevin Singh, co-owner of Guac Star restaurant and Going Bananas, is asking the city permission to establish a beach equipment rental operation at the Riviera Beach building, where patrons enter the beach.
Singh presented plans for the beach equipment rental operation during the Nov. 8 city council piers, harbors and lakefront committee meeting.
He said some the equipment that would be available includes umbrellas, chairs, first aid kits and life vests.
“Lake Geneva needs some kind of rental program,” Singh said. “Like many cities that cater to tourists, you have rental programs for umbrellas, chairs and life vests. These are things people got to haul from Chicago, Milwaukee or wherever they are coming from.”
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Singh said offering a beach equipment operation would help ease traffic near the Riviera along Wrigley Drive because people would have to unload less equipment.
He said the operation also would provide additional revenue for Lake Geneva because he would be renting the space from the city, which owns Riviera Beach and the beach building.
“A lot of traffic and cars pull up next to the Riviera, unload their umbrellas, coolers and whatever they have, and it just causes chaos,” Singh said. “Plus, it gives revenue to the City of Lake Geneva. I think it will do well for the city.”
Singh said the rental facility would be located in a vacant area of the beach building.
“It hasn’t been used in years,” Singh said. “It’s a perfect space for it.”
Alderman Tim Dunn said a beach equipment rental facility was located at the beach for several years when it was operated by a private owner. He said other communities offer a similar service.
“Obviously, they do it in a lot of other places,” Dunn said. “It might be something to think about.”
Alderman Ken Howell said he is in favor of the idea but would like more information about how the facility would be operated before supporting the proposal.
“I like the idea of giving the service, but it’s not fleshed out enough,” Howell said. “You would have to make a presentation in front of us again or come before the council with all the details.”
Singh is set to present more detailed information about the proposed operation during the Dec. 13 piers, harbors and lakefront committee meeting.
The proposed beach equipment rental operation first has to be recommended by the piers committee, then approved by the finance, licensing & regulation committee and the full city council before it can be established.
“You have to get it passed here first, then you move on,” Alderwoman Joan Yunker told Singh.
After the meeting several aldermen who are not members of the piers committee told Singh that they feel his plan is a good idea.
Alderwoman Mary Jo Fesenmaier said there previously were businesses near the beach that offered beach equipment and another such business is needed again.
“They did the rafts. They did umbrellas,” Fesenmaier said. “The kite lady had all that stuff, now she’s gone.”
Alderwoman Cindy Yager said having a beach equipment rental facility would be convenient for people who visit the beach.
“I can see people renting that staff,” Yager said. “When we first came up here before we moved here, we had no idea what we could bring to the beach. So we brought our stuff and we walked up and it’s like, ‘Oh geez, we can’t take this in and we can’t take that in and where do we unload all this other stuff.’ It might be a good idea.”