Amid pandemic losses, Lake County Fairgrounds to offer boat, RV storage

  • For the first time, the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake will be used to store boats and RVs over the winter as a way for the nonprofit that runs the site to generate revenue during the pandemic.

    For the first time, the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake will be used to store boats and RVs over the winter as a way for the nonprofit that runs the site to generate revenue during the pandemic. Daily Herald File Photo, 2015

 
 
Updated 10/8/2020 8:52 PM

Unable to host the usual packed lineup of fall and winter events because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Lake County Fairgrounds will offer boat and RV storage from October to April.

Jon Brodzik Jr., general manager of the fair association, said the group normally is slammed this time of year with flea markets, antique shows, craft shows, auto parts swap meets, the annual Oktoberfest celebration and other events.

 

But with all of those canceled because of the pandemic, Brodzik said a staff member suggested offering some of the gravel lots at the facility for vehicle storage.

The association presented the plan to the Grayslake village board Tuesday night and received approval.

"This is an unusual request, but we are in unusual times," Village President Rhett Taylor said. "The fairgrounds is very dependent on a lot of events and activities throughout the summer in order to help keep them funded and keep them solvent. So the fairgrounds is trying to be creative and look for ways to keep their business afloat during the pandemic."

Village Trustee Shawn Vogel said it would not be the village's normal practice to allow boat and RV storage at the fairgrounds, but the community would be hurt if the fairgrounds were to close.

"This may not be everything they need to do, but this is something that we can do," Vogel said, noting the cooperative partnership the village and association have had for many years.

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The plan caps the number of vehicles stored at the fairgrounds at 100. Brodzik said the boats and RVs will be stored in an area where they won't be seen from the road.

Several people in the community had reached out about storing their vehicles at the fairgrounds before the village board made its decision Tuesday night, he said.

Those interested in storing their boats or RVs at the fairgrounds can find more information at lcfair.com.

Brodzik said perhaps the only usual fairgrounds event still on the calendar this year is Santa's Rock 'n' Lights, when lighted Christmas displays are placed throughout the fairgrounds and families can drive their cars through. The parked RVs and boats will not affect the event, he said.

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