Riviera vendors look forward to seeing their summer buyers again, and Memorial Day weekend with temperatures in the 80s did not disappoint tourists flocking to their favorite summer spot.
Last year, the historic Riviera, built in the 1930s, underwent a major renovation both upstairs and downstairs, delaying some of the Riviera’s shops from opening. Everything was open for business this year.
The ground floor of the historic Riviera has vendors selling T-shirts, candies, ice cream, jewelry and sandwiches, while the second floor has a ballroom where weddings and other social events are held.
Vendors this summer include Going Bananas, Lake Geneva Dockside Gifts, The Cheese Box, Riviera Beach Shop, Kandy Cove, KC’s Sweets and Nana’s Popcorn.
Del Carlson, co-owner of Kandy Cove and neighboring KC’s Sweets, has been busy building inventory for her stores ahead of Memorial Day. Carlson’s stores stock candy, ice cream, sodas, desserts, and other treats.
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“We’re just getting ready. I make sure everything is in stock,” Carlson said. “That’s a lot to get ready.”
Carlson has been managing retail space outside the Riviera for about 35 years. She said business is usually slow in the weeks leading up to the summer, but usually picks up in the summer and on weekends.
She said that she gets a lot of regular customers every year.
“There are a lot of good people and they keep coming back,” Carlson said. “Sometimes for communication. They still come to me after 35 years.”
Jodi Fang of Lake Geneva Dockside Gifts said she enjoys working on the Riviera during the summer and interacting with tourists.
“He’s pretty lively,” Fang said. – You can communicate with tourists and customers. Because I work here, I can’t really enjoy it that much, but it’s nice to see that people are happy.”
The Feng family has owned Lake Geneva Dockside Gifts for over 20 years. The store stocks jewelry, t-shirts, hats, bags and gift items.
“Basically, it’s a souvenir and trinket shop,” Fang said. “We sell everything from Lake Geneva souvenirs to accessories, just about anything.”
Fan said that she and her family usually start preparing the store for the upcoming tourist season in mid-spring.
“We take our inventory and basically set everything up,” she said.
Fang said that the store is usually crowded in summer.
“They are mostly busy on weekends and depend on the weather,” Fang said. “Because everyone finishes school and work, everyone has time to rest and just relax on Lake Geneva.”
Fan said that the store usually accepts customers from all over the area.
“We have many local clients. We have many clients from…