Dear Lakesiders,

Today, we pause to reflect and give thanks to you, our Lakeside Chautauqua community. We are especially grateful for the many generous Lakesiders who came together on #GivingTuesdayNow to support our special community during these uncertain times.

We are thankful to all who stepped up and stood together by giving a gift to protect the Chautauqua pillars. Lakeside received critical support for the Annual Fund, which underwrites virtually every aspect of what renders the Lakeside Chautauqua experience distinctive and unique.

Seeing Lakesiders come together during these challenging times is a true testament of your love and commitment to this special place.

If you missed the chance to give, there’s still time to support Lakeside with an online donation or to set up a monthly gift . The maintenance and continuity of Lakeside’s grounds, programming, facilities and operations depends on your generosity .
We also thank you for taking our recent survey. There were more than 3,200 respondents that provided feedback about their summer travel plans to Lakeside.

From Hoover programming to our new virtual experience, your feedback has validated the work our staff has been doing to plan a modified summer for you and your family.
Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed indicated that they still intend to visit Lakeside this summer. As we continue to work through our contingency plans, we are keeping your responses at the forefront of our decisions. 
Plans for Summer 2020
Last week, Governor Mike DeWine announced a new ‘Stay Safe Ohio’ order, which is expected to have numerous revisions throughout this month to include the opening of additional types of businesses and activities across the state. We will be working with the new guidelines as they evolve.

We continue to work to provide the best hybrid Chautauqua experience of onsite and virtual programming for the season. Below you will see details about several of our pillar programs we have planned at this time. Think of the 2020 season as "back to the basics" of the Chautauqua Movement.

We will be sharing with you our plans for a Virtual Community and our summer entertainment opportunities soon. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Hoover Community Worship Service
Plans to virtually stream the Hoover Community Worship Service are being made with our Preachers of the Week. These free services will be streamed live at 10:30 a.m. Sundays. This service will continue to have special music and liturgists.

Dockside Worship Service
To practice safe social distancing, this 8:30 a.m. Sunday service has been moved to the Steele Memorial Bandstand. The Sacrament of Holy Communion will be distributed by individual commercially packaged communion kits. While some seating is provided, we encourage you to bring your own chairs and blankets. In the case of inclement weather, this service will be cancelled. 

Lakeside UMC Worship Service
The Lakeside United Methodist Church (UMC) will post a video of its 9 a.m. Sunday services on their website so that all may join in worship from their homes.

Faith for Living Hour
While gathering restrictions are in place, these free sermons and discussions with Preachers of the Week will be streamed live at 9 a.m. Monday-Thursday.

Vespers by the Lake
This 7:30 p.m. service on Tuesdays and Thursdays will move to the Steele Memorial Bandstand to practice safe social distancing. While some seating is provided, we encourage you to bring your own chairs and blankets. In the case of inclement weather, this service will be cancelled.

Sunset Vespers by the Lake
This 8:30 p.m. Sunday service will move to the Steele Memorial Bandstand to practice safe social distancing. While some seating is provided, we encourage you to bring your own chairs and blankets. In the case of inclement weather, this service will be cancelled.

God Squad
Chip Richter and God Squad will continue presenting lessons and music for kids. All God Squad sessions will meet outside Bradley Temple, and programs will be modified to ensure safe social distancing along Cedar Avenue. Sessions will continue to meet Tuesday-Thursday from 9-9:45 a.m. (ages 4-6) and 10-10:45 a.m. (ages 7-9). The Bradley Temple building will be closed to the public. In the case of inclement weather, God Squad will be cancelled. 

John and Bonnie Willkie will host Middle Grade Madness (MGM) for middle school youth (ages 10-14) in Cherry Park on Mondays-Thursdays from 9:30-11 a.m. This allows kids to gather safely while practicing social distancing, while still being able to participate in fellowship, fun and activity-based learning. In the case of inclement weather, MGM will be cancelled. 

The Education Department is in the process of developing a hybrid experience of onsite and virtual learning. Those plans will be announced soon.

Cultural Arts
Hoover Auditorium & Evening Entertainment
As we continue to explore summer entertainment opportunities, we will be sharing with you our plans for Hoover Auditorium and outdoor events soon. Thank you for your patience as we finalize plans for the summer.

Rhein Center
The Rhein Center will be offering a reduced summer schedule of art classes. The Rhein Center building, also known as Epworth Lodge, will be closed to the public. However, outdoor classes of pre-registered 4-8 people will take place on the lawn. In the case of inclement weather, classes will be cancelled. Due to social distancing safety, sharing of supplies and lack of independence for children age 7 and under, there will be modified options. There will be select virtual classes for all ages, starting the week of June 22. Registration will be available soon and available online or by phone only. Online registration may include art packages and supplies. 

Under the ‘Stay Safe Ohio’ order, all recreation venues are closed at this time. This includes playgrounds; basketball, sand volleyball, shuffleboard, tennis and pickleball courts; miniature golf; gaga ball; and the Wellness Center. Even if you have your own sporting equi pment, these areas are closed.  As orders are lifted or relaxed, we will open facilities.

The Underground
While The Underground (Teen Center) will be closed, programming for teens (ages 13-18) remains an important part of our mission and will continue with group discussions, ministry and outside activities and events. In the case of inclement weather, teen programs will be cancelled. 

General Lakeside
While on the Lakeside grounds, the expectation is that all guests practice safe social distancing. Masks are encouraged. Lakesiders should expect a modified shuttle service. Scanning barcoded passes will be suspended. We will update the community as more safety guidelines are introduced as part of the 'Stay Safe Ohio' order. Please see the Resources section below for additional measures to keep you and your family safe.
Thank you for the ideas, comments and feedback you have shared with us over the past few weeks. Review our Q&A below, which answers your questions about gate operations, admission and parking.

Why is Lakeside charging admission and parking for the entire summer?
Operation of the gates is considered paramount to controlling access to Lakeside events and venues and maintaining a safe and secure environment for all, especially the kids that roam free within Lakeside during the summer months.

After deliberations with the Lakeside Chautauqua Board, it was decided that the gate should operate for the entire summer to provide the safet y we need for t he community and to cover the operating costs of Lakeside. Therefore, the Lakeside gates will be in operation from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day weekend (excluding Monday, Aug. 31 through Thursday, Sept. 3, which will be free admission and parking).

The cost of operating Lakeside is significant and the revenue from the season helps pay those operating bills.

Roughly 72% of Lakeside’s funding comes in from April through August. Budgeted revenue for this year from all attendance-related activities, including season passes, daily gates fees, parking, hotels, groups and event fees totaled $5.8 million. Lakeside is expecting attendance-related revenue with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to be less than half of what was budgeted. Lakeside is taking this expected loss of revenue very seriously and is implementing immediate steps to reduce overall costs through cuts in staffing, operating and programming costs for 2020. It is going to be a difficult summer ahead.
Operating Lakeside involves many things that take staff and dollars every day.
Here are just a few examples:

  • Municipal Services/Maintenance is one of the largest costs of Lakeside. These costs include building maintenance and mechanical systems, upkeep of Security and Maintenance vehicles, utilities (electric, water, internet, etc.), insurance, real estate taxes, health and fire inspections/certifications and regulatory requirements of the Memorial Garden at Chautauqua Park. Other duties include Historic Preservation & Design Review Board (HP&DRB) procedures and oversight, management of construction projects and working with our vendors’ restaurants, shops and services, which operate from Lakeside-owned buildings.
  • Grounds work will be greatly reduced this year, but upkeep of the Memorial Garden and public parks and walkways will need to continue. 
  • Reopening recreational venues will be dependent upon State of Ohio directives. As recreation venues reopen, they will come with specific maintenance protocols. Tennis, pickleball, shuffleboard, sailing, wellness center, miniature golf and playgrounds will require a new level of cleaning. Lakeside has ordered new cleaning equipment and supplies to meet anticipated regulations. 

The bottom line is that the gate fees are not just for shows and programming, they are also needed to operate all functions at Lakeside. 
What does my homeowner assessment fee pay for?
Homeowner quarterly assessments cover trash, roads, tree damage from storms and some public facilities, like walkways and such. They do not cover everything else, like security, building maintenance, gate personnel and so much more.
Why is Lakeside charging admission and parking during “Conference weeks?”
In the past, the weeks of Conferences operated without gates fees because the West and East Ohio Conferences of the United Methodist Church paid significant fees to Lakeside. These facility fees paid by the conferences allowed them to use all of Lakeside’s meeting spaces, but it also included operation of all of the functions of Lakeside (security, shuffleboard, lifeguards, etc.) for the safety and enjoyment of the conference attendees and their families and guests. The conferences are not here this June and therefore are not paying any fees for the operation of Lakeside. The gate fees are necessary during those weeks to cover operating costs of Lakeside.

Daily gate fees were changed. What about Season Passes and parking fees?
Daily fees charged for admission are not business as usual this year and have been adjusted for this summer. These fees were communicated on May 1 . Lakeside staff and the Finance Committee are considering reductions in other fees, such as the price of Season Passes and the price of parking. We will communicate additional information as decisions are made.
Thank you for your care, concern and understanding as we navigate through these uncharted waters and try to plan the best possible Chautauqua season for you and your family. 

As we learn more, we will continue to communicate Lakeside’s plans with you. Click here to continue sharing your ideas so that we may include them in our future thoughts and discussions.  
Daniel Dudley
Lakeside Chautauqua, Acting President & CFO/COO
Coronavirus FAQs
Read Lakeside's updated list of Coronavirus FAQs . Please note: you may need to 'refresh' the page to see updated content.
How can I help Lakeside?
At this time, the best way to help is to  protect yourself and other s  by staying informed about the governor’s 'Stay at Home' mandate and practicing safe social distancing/gathering restriction protocols. As we navigate through these challenging times, you can:

  1. Make early donations to the Lakeside Annual Fund. We thank you for all the ways you support Lakeside, and we hope that we can continue to count on your support in the months ahead.
  2. We’ll be relying on volunteers to help this season, starting with cleanup activities in May. Contact for details.
  3. Stay connected with Lakeside friends by writing letters or hosting Zoom/Facebook Messenger social gatherings.
  4. Volunteer to help deliver Ward Catering's to-go meals and grocery baskets. Contact for details.
  5. Click here to continue sharing your ideas so that we may include them in our future thoughts and discussions
  6. For the most up-to-date news and decisions at Lakeside, visit our e-newsletter or follow Lakeside Chautauqua's official Facebook page.
Lakeside Chautauqua
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