LAKESHORE REGIONAL NEWS: Door County, Kewaunee County, Manitowoc County, and Sheboygan County

Door County officials, business owners working on plans for reopening


STURGEON BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – As a Bed & Breakfast, the Scofield House did not have to close under the Safer at Home order, but to help protect the community, that’s exactly what they did.

“This is coming up on our third season,” Karl Bethke, owner of the B&B said.

Karl’s wife and fellow owner, Janet, added, “it was going to be our best season, we thought, since we’ve been here.”

The Scofield House closed in mid-March.

“We’ll continue to stay closed until the order is released and we’re actually safe to have people back into the house,” Karl told Local 5 Monday.

Businesses like the Scofield House are on board, but staging a reopening of the county isn’t going to be a simple task.

“We’re a destination hot spot in the state and with that comes some added pressure to make sure we do this both to welcome people back but also keep our community safe,” Dan Kane, Emergency Management Director of Door County said.

There isn’t a specific formula to determine when and how the county can reopen.

“The last time this happened was in 1918 and they really didn’t take good notes back then,” Kane said, “so a lot of this stuff we’re making up as we go, we’re having to get certain guidance and things and quick and easy answers just aren’t the normal.”

Door County is following state guidelines for reopening.

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Kane said in this kind of situation, communication is key.

“Making sure that we get businesses the information they need to be able to plan and prepare for eventual reopening of their stores,” he told Local 5.

At the Scofield House, keeping up to date means participating in Zoom conference calls with other area businesses.

“We’re part of the hospitality group so sitting down with those people, talking about what reopening should look like,” Karl said. “And then also having the ability to sit down and talk with other people that are in the restaurant business has been really great.”

Those conversations have helped business owners get a better picture of what their new normal will look like.

“Things will look a little different when you come, but we are planning on opening,” Janet said. “We’re hoping it’s sooner than later, it’s that that we want everybody in door county and everybody who visits us to be as safe as they possibly can.”



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