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Louisville Township supervisor Bob Pieper said Saturdays are busy this time of year for his furniture refinishing business on Old Brick Yard Road.

But, on Saturday, it took one customer four hours to navigate the Renaissance Festival traffic on their way to the business, where they’d planned to drop off furniture before going out of town.

"I virtually had to close my business for the day," Pieper told the Scott County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday. "I can't have customers waiting in line that long."

"I realize the Renaissance Festival is there to make money — they've been doing that for many years, but I don't feel that they have the right to tie up other businesses,” he said.

Traffic counts are underway and drones are scheduled to fly over the festival grounds as Scott County officials work to get a handle on the situation.

The tangle on the roadways is made more complicated during the weekends when the Renaissance Festival overlaps with another major attraction — Sever’s Fall Festival.

Pieper told the board he’s heard from other local businesses facing similar challenges.

"All the businesses down Dem Con Drive — they had to shut down, nobody could get to them,” he said.

A spokesperson with Mid-America Festivals, the company that operates the Renaissance Festival, said they’d be unable to comment for this story until after Oct. 5 – a few days after the festival ends.

Commissioner Barb Weckman Brekke said she hopes the county can help alleviate some of the concerns before Ren Fest ends on Oct. 2.

"There's been an awful lot of consternation and some things that we need to look into just for the next couple of weeks,” she said.

Commissioner Mike Beard said he understands Pieper’s concerns.

"I drove down to the grandkids in Belle Plaine on Saturday about 11 c'lock in the morning and it was pretty intense all the way along there and I'm thinking 'there's got to be a better way to do this,’” he said.

The county expects to have an official vehicle count available one week after the festival closes, which will help guide next steps and planning for next year.

"It's good that the Renaissance is doing great business, but we got to make sure that everyone else is being taken care of too,” Commissioner Tom Wolf said. 

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