Local concert venue may have to limit occupancySubmitted: 06/28/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson

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.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River hosted its 36th annual Cranberry Fest during October's first weekend.

Organizers say the weather this year brought in many more visitors.

"People come to this whether there's good weather of bad weather," said Executive Director of the Eagle River Chamber Kim Emerson. "And with this year being great weather, we had above-average crowds and it was just spectacular. We're so happy about that."

By 3 p.m. Saturday, the World's Largest Cranberry Cheesecake had already been devoured. Sales of slices go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. 

Organizers said they also almost sold out of cranberries, but they said they would still have more to sell on Sunday. 

There were also dozens of craft vendors, food and wine and cranberry marsh tours.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Harvest Hoedown started Saturday at noon at the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander.

The event had a hay maze, horse drawn carriage rides, food, and live music all afternoon.

"I think it's going great. We got a little sunshine right now. We got probably a couple hundred people here. People are buying food, spending money. It's what we're after," said Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hanson.

+ Read More

NEKOOSA - People in Nekoosa could go back in time this weekend.

Volunteers at Pointe Basse recreated a historical camp portraying lives of people from the 1700s and early 1800s.

Volunteers from all across the U.S. all had a piece of history to share.

+ Read More

VILAS COUNTY - In July, Karen Wessel gave her life to save a boy from drowning in Vilas County's Star Lake.  Now she is being recognized for her heroism.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced Wessel as one of 22 recipients of the Carnegie medal.  It's presented to people who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while trying to save the life of another.

+ Read More

WOOD COUNTY - Two people who stole a UTV led police on a wild chase early Friday morning. Friday night, those suspects were still on the run.

The Wood County Sheriff's Office tells us a sporting goods store owner walked in as the burglary was happening, just before 7 a.m. The suspects took off in a red Dodge pickup truck pulling a trailer with the stolen UTV. They crashed through several gates to get out.

+ Read More

BOULDER JUNCTION - Lakes bring a lot of visitors here to the Northwoods, but they also bring scientists.

The UW Trout Lake Station in Boulder Junction just wrapped up its summer research season.

The UW Trout Lake Station is a research station for limnology students at UW Madison. It's mostly graduate students and faculty from Madison's Center for limnology.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A Wisconsin brewing company executive wants businesses to hire more veterans.

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here