Skip to main content

Famous Wisconsin Dells water ski show to shut down permanently

The impact from the pandemic has brought an end to the Tommy Bartlett Show.

The iconic Tommy Bartlett Show in the Wisconsin Dells has announced its permanent closure due to the losses incurred by the pandemic.

The popular "ski, sky and stage show" set on Lake Delton announced in May it was closing down for 2020 due to the outbreak of the pandemic.

But while Gov. Evers' Stay at Home restrictions were lifted just a week later after a challenge to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the state is still advising not to hold large gatherings. Meanwhile, the country's tourism industry has taken a huge hit, with many Americans continuing to observe social distancing advice, and limiting their travel.

Federal health officials warn that even with a vaccine, a return towards normality might not happen until late 2021, which presents a financial conundrum for businesses.

For the Tommy Bartlett Show, the financial hit was so great that it's ending its run after 69 years in the Dells.

“From May through September 6, we experienced a complete loss of revenue when we had to cancel our 2020 summer season on Lake Delton due to the pandemic," the company said Wednesday.

"Each fall, we begin to plan for the next season, and with so much uncertainty surrounding the future of the pandemic and travel, we cannot undergo additional financial risk and investment to begin planning for summer 2021. While we are grateful that we have had almost seven decades of entertaining visitors in Wisconsin Dells, we have no choice but to close the Show."

Next Up

Rep. Tou Xiong

State lawmaker Tou Xiong apologizes after driving under the influence

The state representative was pulled over on the night of Jan. 8.

St Lukes Duluth GSV Pro

Duluth hospital requiring visitors to show vax proof, neg. test

The health care system is also tightening visitor guidelines.

ridgeview urgent care facebook

Ridgeview halting urgent care at a Twin Cities site 'until further notice'

The organization cited "growing emergency medical needs" at the facility.

polley freeborn county jail roster jan 2022 resize

Charges: MN high school counselor sexually assaulted student

The 16-year-old victim had regularly gone to him for academic help and other support, authorities say.

Proctor football

Proctor investigation: Senior charged with sexually assaulting teammate

The criminal charges come after a monthslong review of the allegations.

Screen Shot 2020-04-28 at 9.07.41 PM

Ordway will require vaccinated audience members also be boosted

If someone has not gotten a booster shot, they will have to show a negative COVID test.

Gophers basketball, Williams Arena, Gopher fans

U of M to require vaccine or negative test proof for large events

The policy doesn't go into effect until late-January.

Lauri Anne Deatherage

Man indicted for first-degree murder in ex-wife's death

He's accused of killing her days after she remarried.

Jackknifed semi I-94 Sauk Centre Jesse Grabow

Crashes, spinouts piling up as snow blankets southern MN

Snow is expected to continue throughout the day.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, January 14

More than 11,000 cases for a second day in a row.

Related

Bar beer

Patrons pack Wisconsin bars after court strikes down Stay at Home order

Some bars opened almost immediately after the Wisconsin Supreme Court ended the state's Safer at Home order.

Screen Shot 2020-07-28 at 9.06.45 AM

Octo Fishbar in St. Paul closes permanently

The restaurant was part of Market House Collaborative in Lowertown.

Joe Senser's

2 more popular Twin Cities restaurants permanently close

The pandemic continues to apply a firm grip on the restaurant industry.

Dooley's Pub

Rochester pub shut down for 72 hours over 'repeated' COVID-19 violations

The bar will be allowed to reopen if it shows it's in compliance with the rules.

Bonfire

All 5 Minnesota Bonfire restaurants close permanently

The restaurant industry has been closed to dine-in customers since mid-March.

sun country

Sun Country Airlines opens up flights through April 2022

The airline said opening up flights more than a year in advance will give travelers more leeway using their vouchers to postpone flights.