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Posted on: May 1, 2019

Petrifying Springs Biergarten revenue share yields cash for county, improvements to park

The gross revenue share that Kenosha County receives as part of its partnership with the private operators of the Petrifying Springs Biergarten is paying dividends for the county and for users of Petrifying Springs Park.

A new ball diamond, storage facility and restroom that is now under construction on the south end of the park is being built with the assistance of shared gross revenue that Kenosha County Parks realized from the Biergarten’s 2018 sales, plus future expected revenues.

This facility, which will be integrated into a new grandstand for the softball field near the Biergarten, will serve all park users, year-round.

“When we negotiated our agreement with the Petrifying Springs Biergarten, our goals were to bring a new, popular amenity to our flagship park, and to generate revenue for future park improvements,” said Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser. “Two years in, we have met both of those objectives – and the future looks bright.”

Kenosha County in 2017 began a five-year lease with Petrifying Springs Biergarten LLC, a venture owned by local businessmen Mike Grab and Tony DeBartolo. Under the agreement, Grab and DeBartolo made more than $130,000 in improvements to convert the southernmost pavilion in the park into the Biergarten, which opened for business in May 2017.

The annual revenue share to the county reflects a percentage of the Biergarten’s gross revenues.

Along with the revenue share, the Biergarten has also made a $30,000 donation to go toward the Petrifying Springs improvement project.

“The Biergarten in itself is a fundraiser that gives directly back to the county park system and allows the county to allocate funds for new projects at various county parks, some of which will be popping up this summer,” Grab said. “We thank everyone who has supported the Biergarten and, in turn, has supported the community.”

Also included with the restroom and grandstand project will be improvements to the softball field to address frequent problems with drainage, plus much-need park storage space.

The Friends of the Kenosha County Dog Parks organization also contributed $25,000 to the facility, which is located across the road from the Carlisle Family Dog Park.

Kenosha County Parks Director Matthew Collins noted that the overall project will benefit park users in general, not just those who patronize the Biergarten. The new restrooms will be heated, allowing for year-round use.

“We’re excited to be able to offer this amenity to Petrifying Springs Park users,” Collins said. “Whether you come to enjoy the Biergarten on a hot summer day, to sled or snowshoe during the winter, or to use the dog park any time of the year, these facilities will be there for you.”

The Biergarten will begin its third season next month, with soft openings scheduled for May 10-11 and 17-19, and grand-opening festivities on Memorial Day Weekend.

More information about the Biergarten is available at www.petsbiergarten.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/petsbiergarten. Learn more about the entire Kenosha County Parks system at http://parks.kenoshacounty.org or www.facebook.com/KenoshaCountyParks.

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