Dells BID approves lease of Broadway lot for new outdoor music space

April 24, 2019 GMT

The Dells Business Improvement District Committee voted to approve leasing an empty lot on Broadway for upcoming summer entertainment, relieving some uncertainty over what would replace the now-closed plaza on N. Oak Street.

Called Duchess Plaza, the old pavilion was demolished late last year and reopened to traffic. The BID committee voted to tear down the old plaza in August 2018, and the future of another open air entertainment space was left uncertain.

On April 17, the committee officially voted to lease the Trumble family lot on Broadway’s 500 block to foster the new plaza. The city’s lease will last from May 1 through September 2, according to the documents published with the meeting agenda.

Jennifer Dobbs, Managing Director of Festivals and Events for the Wisconsin Dells Visitor and Convention Bureau, spoke highly of the plans for the planned entertainment this upcoming summer.

“The city is leasing that property right now so they can put all the summer downtown entertainment there,” Dobbs said after the meeting. “We have entertainment for Memorial Day through Labor Day, every night from 7 to 10.”

According to Dobbs, she expects there to be no substantive change in how the plaza will conduct live nightly entertainment, and that visitors and residents can still expect it to be free and accessible every night.

She did add that the boat on display in the previous plaza, which was christened Duchess, will no longer be present at the new plaza. Dobbs added that while the property is currently called the Trumble lot, named for the family that owned it, the city will have new branding ready before its Memorial Day opening.

“We’ll come up with a better name for it,” Dobbs added wryly.

According to Dobbs, 95% of the entertainment for the upcoming summer has already been booked, with the schedule available for viewing on the Bureau’s website.

Much of the discussion at the meeting covered the decoration and caretaking of the new plaza site, with chairperson Tara Anchor raising the issue of maintenance.

“That’s another thing to add to this to-do list; what are we going to do about maintaining the lot,” Anchor said at the meeting. “We’ve talked about talking to local businesses to make sure the garbage gets emptied and picked up, tables get wiped down.”

On a phone call after the meeting, Anchor seemed optimistic about the summer planned for the new plaza.

“She (Dobbs) has entertainment booked for Automotion weekend (May 18-19), so it should be ready then,” Anchor said.