By Cynthia Germain
The rejuvenation of the Sister Bay community has translated into increased tourism as well as new business and housing development. David Lienau, President of the Village of Sister Bay, knows that the last 3-5 years has been challenging with the major reconstruction of the entire downtown. The revitalization began eight years ago with the purchase of key waterfront property providing a large sweeping waterfront access and the removal of old piers and buildings. In the last couple years, the city has relaid sewer and water lines and done away with overhead electrical lines. In addition, the Department of Transportation has done major work on Highway 42 leading into and through the downtown area. Lienau says that Sister Bay now boasts a lakefront park, a beautiful beach as well as new businesses and sites.
This summer saw first influx of people and reaction. The village anticipated some issues through the transition such as parking with the expansion of the beach and downtown businesses. They also look to further collaborations and new projects with their neighbor town of Liberty Grove, which they currently share a library, a fire system and a sewer and water plant. The tremendous increase in tourism this year has shown in the room tax revenue numbers which are up by 14% in records released thus far. Sales tax reports that are coming out expect to further reflect the high level of visitation. Going forward, the village of Sister Bay looks to develop a quarry which they have purchased and also see a new 12 unit condo/hotel open next spring. It all looks promising for people wanting to move residence or relocate businesses to the area.