Boat cruises on Geneva Lake are a popular summer activity in Lake Geneva. The city was ranked second most-expensive Midwestern destinations in a survey recently published by Chicago Hotels. Photo by Rick Gebhard
LAKE GENEVA—When you head to a tourism-driven resort town, you'll probably be paying more for food and lodging than you would in your hometown.
Visitors to Lake Geneva might be paying more than in just about any other Midwestern resort town. A recent survey indicates Lake Geneva is the second-most expensive Midwestern summer destination.
It was only surpassed by Traverse City, Michigan, according to the survey published by Chicago Hotels, a Chicago-based hotel booking service.
But visitors seem to know it and keep coming back nonetheless.
Julie Jackson and her friend Kim Spencer of Ottawa, Illinois, visit Lake Geneva to relax, shop and just get away, Jackson said Tuesday.
In terms of cost: “It's what you'd expect,” Jackson said.
Jackson and Spencer were staying two days in Lake Geneva, and despite its expensive rating, they didn't feel like they were being hamstrung by costs, Jackson said. Jackson said they've been visiting for years and won't stop soon.
Chicago Hotels compiled information from places in the Midwest with more than 10 hotels with ratings of three stars or higher, according to the survey.
The survey looked at the cheapest possible option for a one-night stay in a three-star, double-bed hotel room, according to the survey.
Lake Geneva showed a price of $207. Traverse City, Michigan, was at $221, according to the survey.
Madison made the list at the No. 6 spot for a $182 overnight stay, just in front of Chicago at $176, according to the survey.
“When you're talking about visiting Lake Geneva—whether it's hotels, dining, activities—I believe that there's very reasonable fees for staying, playing and dining in our area,” said Julie Baron, a representative for Visit Lake Geneva.
Baron said the city has a number of options for anyone who is looking for a getaway.
“There's bed and breakfasts, there's luxury full-service resorts, there's boutique hotels,” Baron said. “I think for people who are looking for something middle-of-the-road from a price standpoint, that exists.”
Many of the hotels are “suite style” hotels that feature in-room kitchenettes. That can help to curb costs if you're trying to vacation on a budget, Baron said.
“There's options to fit the needs of every type of visitor, and I truly believe that,” Baron said. “Whether you're a family that's on a budget or a couple looking for a romantic getaway or a group of people coming to have some type of reunion”
For some, Lake Geneva is just a fun daytime getaway.
Melissa and Scott Brooks of Rockton, Illinois, decided to spend Tuesday in Lake Geneva, but they've stayed overnight before. Melissa said she doesn't feel it's overpriced.
It offers her family something they can't find in Illinois: a getaway for everyone, she said.
“It's like night and day,” she said. “You feel like you're in Florida.”
Their young son ran around behind them and exclaimed, “I wish we lived here!” as they made their way to the beach.
The costs are what you'd expect anywhere, Melissa said.