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NEWS STORIES

Local concert venue may have to limit occupancySubmitted: 06/28/2013

Lauren Stephenson
5 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
lstephenson@wjfw.com

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RHINELANDER - The Elbo Room Lounge brings in a lot of people with big-name concerts.

But the building isn't up to code to handle that many people.

For the last two years the fire department allowed the Elbo Room a temporary occupancy limit of nearly 700 people.

Rhinelander Fire Chief Terry Williams says, "[the owner] wanted to first see if this kind of thing would work in the city. And it did. Mr. Mason, then, went and got state-approved building plans to go and do all these upgrades and renovations to the property. But it's gotten to a point where he hasn't done them yet."

John Mason owns the Elbo Room.

Chief Williams says Mason must make the changes or the occupancy limit will go back down to below 300.

Buckcherry is scheduled to perform at Elbo Room July 16th.

The fire department will allow 700 people at that show.

Williams says the concert was already scheduled and there's a lot of community interest.

"Mr. Mason has to have two firefighters and two police officers stand by at the concert to be there for safety concerns with that large of a crowd," says Williams.

Chief Williams says Mason does care about the public's safety.

He also says the Elbo Room Lounge is important to Rhinelander, and he doesn't want this issue to put it out of business.

We called Mason, but we haven't heard back from him yet.

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