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150 & Onward and Frequently Asked Questions

Soon, we’ll gather again here on the shores of Lake Erie to usher in Lakeside’s 149th Chautauqua season. This summer, we’re being deliberate about creating opportunities for us to reflect and plan for our future, together as a community.

We’ve received questions and had many engaging conversations with Lakesiders over the past few weeks. We’ve generated a series of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ at the bottom of this page and will continue to update these throughout the summer.

We’re committed to listening, keeping you informed and inviting you to be a part of the conversation this summer. Your voice, ideas and insights matter.

 

150 & Onward

 

Hotel Lakeside LawnThe Beginning of Lakeside

Nearly 150 years ago, the joy of a Lakeside community was born. A group of innovators with a desire to come together and share in life’s experiences created a sense of belonging and purpose known today as Lakeside Chautauqua.

The founders of Lakeside dreamed of a place where people could gather in community to reconnect, learn, create, worship and renew in a sacred, peaceful setting along the shores of Lake Erie.

Every generation since, a group of dedicated leaders, staff, board members, volunteers, individuals, families, homeowners, faithful supporters and the community have deepened their connection to Lakeside’s timeless mission – to enrich the quality of life for all people, to foster traditional Christian values, and to nurture relationships through opportunities for renewal and growth – spiritually, intellectually, culturally and physically – while preserving Lakeside’s heritage.

 

Lakeside Chautauqua Today

Much has changed in our world, especially these past two years with the challenges of an ongoing global pandemic. As a result of the times, we have undertaken revisions to how Lakeside manages and operates our $11 million organization by implementing the next best practices to make better and more timely decisions, save money, and streamline the operations of our nonprofit organization.

As we approach our 150th Anniversary, it is imperative that we continue these next practices for our organization and start to think intentionally about the future of our beloved Lakeside, especially taking into account today’s everchanging times and economic circumstances.

From admission fees and growing the endowment to the next generation Chautauqua experience and guests’ expectations, we must purposely plan for the future. Maintaining the status quo is simply not an option to preserve the Lakeside experience for future generations.

 

Will you join the 150 & Onward conversation?

This summer, we’re being deliberate about creating opportunities for us to reflect and plan for our future, together as a community. After the challenges of the past two years, it is important that we use these experiences as moments of learning to help pave a new pathway forward.

Your voice, ideas and insights matter! When people come together and share ideas, we end up making better decisions, and the best days of Lakeside are ahead.

Please join our 150 & Onward conversation this summer and plan to participate in the following:

  • Neighborhood conversations
  • Porch talks
  • Online surveys
  • Social media polls
  • Digital dialogues through social media
  • Digital feedback through our Questions & Insights Card
  • Individual conversations

Continue to stay informed and watch for updates and announcements on this page, as well as through Lakeside Chautauqua’s official Facebook page, e-newsletter and the weekly Lakesider newspaper.

We all want to preserve the Lakeside experience for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. How will you, Lakesiders of today, pay it forward to generations to come? Young and old, we need your best thinking and creativity.

Stay tuned for additional details about Lakeside’s 150 & Beyond, and please plan to participate in the conversations this summer either in-person or through Lakeside’s digital community.

We have great hope and expectations for this year as we continue to strengthen our mission and envision a thriving future for Lakeside Chautauqua. Thank you for your support and commitment to the mission of Lakeside to enrich the quality of life for all people

Neighborhood Gatherings

To reserve your spot, click on the Reserve Your Spot link and sign up.  Please individual each person’s name on a line.   Spots are limited per location.  Once you sign up and RSVP, we’ll contact you with all the arrival and location details.

Thursday, June 30 at 9 a.m.  Campground Neighborhood Gathering | Reserve Your Spot

Friday, June 24 Jasmine Avenue  Neighborhood Gathering | Reserve Your Spot

Tuesday, June 28 at 9 a.m. Second Street Neighborhood Gathering | Reserve Your Spot

Tuesday, July 12 at 9 a.m. Oak Street Gathering | Reserve Your Spot

Friday, July 22 at 4 p.m. Central Avenue Gathering | Reserve Your Spot 

Thursday, August 4 at 9 a.m. Seventh Street Gathering | Reserve Your Spot

Tuesday, August 9 at 9 a.m. Jasmine Avenue Gathering | Reserve Your Spot

Frequently Asked Questions

What will the Chautauqua experience look like this year?

Lakeside Chautauqua is a year-round destination open to all for rest, renewal, growth and reconnection. Our Chautauqua season, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, invites you to nurture mind, body and spirit through purposeful programs through our four pillars of Chautauqua – religion, education, arts and recreation.

Religion: At the heart of the Lakeside experience is religion, and we offer opportunities to help guide your faith journey. As part of our Preacher of the Week series, we welcome inspiring preachers, pastors, and faith leaders to live in residence for the summer and bring spiritual enrichment to the community. We’re excited to introduce our 2022 Preachers of the Week, including the Rev. Peter Marty, editor of The Christian Century, who will lead our first Chautauqua Community Worship Service of the summer over Memorial Day weekend.

NEW this season, Lakeside will host a Roman Catholic Mass at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays at the Train Station, led by longtime Lakesider the Rev. James Peiffer. Dinner Along the Trail, a special fellowship for young adults ages 18-24 and led by Bret Johnson, will take place Tuesday evenings and provide a delicious meal and conversation about journeys of faith.

Finally, for our youngest Lakesiders and families, God Squad and Children’s Church with Chip Richter, as well as Middle Grade Madness with John and Bonnie Wilkie, return for faith-filled mornings of song, dance and activities. You’re also invited to a Picnic in Perry Park on Wednesdays to take part in a community meal together with games along the waterfront.

Education: The hallmark of the education experience at Lakeside is our Chautauqua Lecture Series. Throughout the summer, experts present on a variety of topics at 10:30 a.m. in Orchestra Hall. Highlights this summer include Authors & Writing, World War II, Hope & Determination, Great Lakes Lore, Wellness for Our Times, Environmental Sustainability, and Planning Life after High School.

We’ve also coordinated programs with featured speakers, including Ohio Poet Laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour; Suzanne Lloyd, granddaughter of Silent Film star Harold Lloyd; Sarah Susanka, author of The Not So Big House and The Not So Big Life; and Tom Batiuk, the creator behind your favorite comic strips, Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft.

Family and youth can also add a learning component to their summer vacation. With art, science, music, history and literature, the diverse programs allow you to interact and learn about the world together, all while having fun. NEW this summer, a Storybook Trail will wind through Cherry Park. In memory of Joan Price of The Fine Print bookstore, the trail will bring books to life and invite children to learn while exploring the outdoors.

Arts: Lakeside offers cultural arts, live concerts and performances throughout the summer in beautiful historic venues across the grounds. This summer, we’re thrilled to reopen the doors of our community gem, Hoover Auditorium, and welcome Masters of Soul, the OSU Alumni Band, Girl Named Tom, The Spinners, Sons of Serendip, Naturally 7, Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, Tony Danza: Standards & Stories, comedian Preacher Lawson, We Are Messengers and Mercury: The Music of Queen & Freddie Mercury. We will also continue to feature performances on select afternoons and evenings in Bettinger Park at the Steele Memorial Bandstand and Pavilion.

Under the direction of Conductor & Musical Director Daniel Meyer, the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra (LSO) returns to the stage of Hoover Auditorium, presenting seven concerts as a modified chamber orchestra. The LSO will open the concert series with a Family Concert based on the children’s book Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. A Pops Concert, titled “Spoonful of Sugar,” will feature vocalist Ashley Brown and Verb Ballets returns for a captivating performance. The LSO welcomes four soloists this summer, including violinist Stella Chen, pianist Luke Ratcliffe, cellist Thomas Mesa and will close the 2022 season with pianist Soyeon Kate Lee.

Lakeside offers arts and entertainment for the entire family during the summer. Join us for family-friendly performances with The Drowsy Lads, Chip Richter & The Munks, juggler Mark Nizer, The Chozen Few, The Jason Bishop Show, Lakeside Talent Show, FLY Dance Company, The Chardon Polka Band, ventriloquist Lynn Trefzger, Columbus Zoo ‘Animal Ambassadors,’ Billy McGuigan & The Downliners, and more.

Located on the corner of Walnut Avenue and Sixth Street, you’ll find the Rhein Center, which provides a wide variety of classes in fine arts, crafts, dance and special interest classes for students of every age throughout the summer, as well as select classes offered in the fall, winter and spring. Check the website in May to browse upcoming classes.

Recreation: Lakeside provides the perfect setting for recreation and wellness along the lake. Enjoy family fun at the miniature golf course or shuffleboard courts, play a game of basketball or volleyball in Bettinger Park, workout at the Wellness Center, take a sailboat or paddleboard out on the water, play at one of our several parks and playgrounds, enjoy a pickleball or tennis match, and make a splash at the pool, lake or Splash Park. NEW this year, test your balance with logrolling for on-the-water fun.

Special events and activities this summer include children’s swim lessons, pickleball and tennis lessons, Kids Setting Sail, Women on Water sailing classes, Tennis Clinic with JoAnne Russell & Steve Vaughan, Williams Family Doubles Tennis Tournament, Ohio State Amateur Doubles Shuffleboard Tournament, Ohio State Open Doubles Shuffleboard Tournament,  All Lakeside Pickleball Tournament, August Cup Sailing Race, All Lakeside Tennis Tournament, Mouse Island Sailing Race, Raccoon Run & One-Mile Fun Run, and Lakeside Sailing Regatta.

There’s so much to discover at Lakeside this summer. Your soul will be enriched, your spirit reawakened and you’ll learn more about yourself and the world. Continue to check our calendar for the most up-to-date activities and events.

Why did Lakeside announce admission and parking fees later?

Much has changed in our world, especially these past two years with the challenges of an ongoing global pandemic. As a result of the times, we have undertaken revisions to how Lakeside manages and operates our $11 million organization by implementing the next best practices to make better and more timely decisions, save money, and streamline the operations of our nonprofit organization.

We started this practice under the leadership of Lakeside Chautauqua’s new President & CEO Kip Greenhill in August 2021, and we’re already seeing cost savings benefits from our internal reviews. This process of continuous improvement is now part of how we will run the operations moving forward.

We have also applied zero-based budgeting and changed our fiscal management of planning expenses before revenues. For this reason, our timeline changed this year from previous years. In the future, we will expedite our communications about upcoming fees and assessments to help you and your family plan your visit to Lakeside Chautauqua.

Why did admissions and parking fees increase?

As you know, our community is a unique and complex organization, and the financial resources required to operate and create the Lakeside experience every year continue to increase. Lakeside has not been immune to the effects of the ongoing global pandemic. We are living in a rapidly rising inflationary period, and our costs to operate and maintain Lakeside keep going up. You’ve seen costs continue to rise in your own household and community, and the same is true for Lakeside. Most notably:

  • The cost of materials and supplies to care for the grounds, parks, buildings and roads has escalated dramatically. We have approximately 80 structures and buildings, some of which are historic, all of which are important, and they are requiring more and more unique, extensive, and sometimes expensive remodels. We also have 9 miles of streets to maintain.
  • Payroll and benefits for our staff have significantly increased compared to previous years due to wage inflation. To attract and keep seasonal employees in a highly competitive summer tourist destination, and to fill all the positions needed to operate Lakeside year-round, we must be prepared to pay wages that are competitive with other area tourist attractions. For example, some seasonal employees who were once paid $9/hour will now need to be paid between $15-20/hour.

In addition to the rising operating costs over the years, our reinvestment expenditures haven’t kept up with the increasing maintenance and repair needs of our grounds, buildings, and infrastructure. As a result, we are concerned that if we don’t increase reinvestment starting this year, it will impact the Chautauqua experience of tomorrow. We are temporary stewards of this special place, and it is our obligation to protect and maintain the grounds for future generations.

With Lakeside’s mission always at the forefront, the Lakeside Chautauqua Board of Directors and staff have spent considerable time and effort budget planning over the past few months as to how to preserve the legacy of Lakeside and create a thriving future. This planning process was not easy, and we realize these tough decisions affect us all. We are a community, and all must share the financial burden of protecting Lakeside’s heritage and future.

After discounted admission and parking fees the last two years, Lakeside Chautauqua is returning to regular pricing, similar to pre-pandemic fees, to care for our grounds and historic buildings and to create a memorable Chautauqua experience for you and your family.

Remember, Lakeside’s Daily and Weekly Chautauqua Passes are valid until 7 p.m. the following day of purchase. Therefore, you’re able to take advantage of almost two days’ worth of programming and activities. Where else in the area can you experience an engaging lecture, listen to a preacher, play shuffleboard, swim at the pool, participate in a wellness class, take a tennis lesson, see an art show and listen to a live concert all in one day? The possibilities are endless to create a memorable Chautauqua experience this summer.

Why is there a Children's Pass now?

Children are significantly impacted by Lakeside’s unique Chautauqua experience. Year in and year out, young minds, bodies, spirits and hearts are introduced to enriching religious experiences, educational opportunities, cultural arts performances and recreational activities found at Lakeside. 

Programs such as God Squad, Middle Grade Madness, art shows, science experiments, photography shows, literature events, children’s church, and Lakeside’s own Symphony Orchestra concerts enrich a child’s life when they visit Lakeside. Children can take part in wellness by taking part in swim, pickleball and tennis lessons spending the day exploring the Pool, Splash Pad, parks and playgrounds. 

Our children, the future of Lakeside, have endless opportunities to learn about themselves and the world around them as the visit Lakeside for a day, a week or the entire summer.

Children, like all our guests, take part in the enriching Chautauqua experience and use each and every facility on the grounds. As we think about programs for children, we not only have to think about the teachers and performers, but also the facilities, grounds and staff needed to implement each program.

Unfortunately, the cost to create the Lakeside experience keeps rising due to increase in supplies, travel, entertainment, utilities, speaker fees, staffing and maintenance and repairs for our historic structures and buildings.

The Lakeside Board made the decision to charge a small fee for children similar to your local zoos, aquariums, museums and other educational and enriching organizations. Preserving the children’s experiences is no easy endeavor as the board and staff budget expenses each year. This decision to charge for children was not taken lightly and we know that it affects us all.

We want to ensure that all ages have an enriching Lakeside Chautauqua experience today and in the future. Plus, children are able to take advantage of almost two days’ worth of programming and activities with the purchase of a Daily Chautauqua Pass. 

Why is there a Preservation Fee?

This year, a Preservation Fee will be applied to all Daily and Weekly Adult Chautauqua Passes – $1 per pass per day if purchased online prior to your arrival or $2 per pass per day if purchased upon entering the gates.

Lakeside’s facilities and grounds play a significant role in the Chautauqua experience every year. Across the campus, there are more than 80 historic structures and facilities, 9 miles of roads and sidewalks, and extensive parks and grounds to maintain. These areas are requiring more and more unique, extensive, and sometimes expensive remodels. We face significant infrastructure challenges ahead, including the maintenance and repair of our historic structures and facilities, erosion along the western shoreline, and deterioration of streets and dock, to name a few.

In addition to the rising operating costs over the years, our reinvestment expenditures haven’t kept up with the increasing maintenance and repair needs of our grounds, buildings, and infrastructure. As a result, we are concerned that if we don’t increase reinvestment starting this year, it will impact the Chautauqua experience of tomorrow. We are temporary stewards of this special place, and it is our obligation to protect and maintain the grounds for future generations.

Lakeside Chautauqua is a nonprofit organization, and we must make sure that we are adequately maintaining our infrastructure for the next generation and being good stewards of our resources. This Preservation Fee will be earmarked to support major maintenance and repair projects like the shoreline, streets and building repairs. We plan to provide a report to the community about funds raised including prioritized projects that will be funded.

What else has changed at Lakeside this year?

Over these past few months, we have kept you and your family at the center of our intentional planning, especially with regards to the Chautauqua experience and ease in navigating Lakeside.

Calendar of Events Brochure: A modified version of the Calendar of Events brochure you’ve seen in previous years will be available upon your arrival Memorial Day weekend. Preachers of the Week, Chautauqua Lecture Series themes, cultural arts performances and recreational events are prominently displayed by week to help you plan your summer vacation to Lakeside.

Family Packages: New this year, Lakeside Chautauqua is introducing a $725 Family Package to make your summer vacation planning easier and more affordable!

Valued at more than $1,000, the Family Package includes: a 4-night stay (Sunday – Wednesday) at Hotel Lakeside or the Fountain Inn; 2 Adult Chautauqua Passes; 2 Children/Youth Chautauqua Passes; 4-Day South Gate Parking Lot Pass; unlimited miniature golf, $50 Slack House gift card and Hotel Lakeside Dining Room Breakfast Buffet (Monday – Thursday, 7-10 a.m.).

This limited-time offer is available to purchase from April 3-24. Call (419) 798-4461, ext. 230. If phone lines are busy, leave a message and we’ll return your call, so you don’t miss out on this deal. Availability dates for the Family Package are June 5-8, June 12-15, Aug. 14-17 and Aug. 21-24, 2022.

Mobile Passes & Gate Admission: Because of your feedback to our Guest Satisfaction Survey last year, we’re making significant improvements to your experience at the gates. These improvements include the convenience of scanning Chautauqua Passes saved to your mobile device, the option to print passes from home, and the ability to forward passes to your guests.

We encourage you to purchase your Chautauqua Passes and Auto Passes online prior to your arrival to Lakeside to receive these new benefits. By purchasing online, the gate attendant will be able to scan your mobile pass or printed pass at any gate. If purchased online, you’ll be able to forward them to your guests.

This summer, there will be a dedicated incoming-only lane at the Fifth Street Gate for homeowners with passes and Season Chautauqua Passholders. A gate attendant will be available to scan your passes upon entering.

With this new technology and processes at the gates, we hope to make your experience and accessibility at the gates much easier and better.

Effective Use All Spaces: This summer you’ll notice that we’ve spread the Chautauqua experience across the entire campus, maximizing the use of our historic buildings, outdoor spaces and waterfront. We learned during the pandemic that a change of scenery for our programs elevated the experience, and we will continue to invite you to explore the potential of all our spaces in Lakeside.

Evening Entertainment: To better accommodate families, most entertainment in Hoover Auditorium will begin at 7:30 p.m. Some concerts and performances will be held in Hoover Auditorium while other concerts are held in Bettinger Park. Check the calendar for details.

Grindley Aquatic Wellness Campus Pool: As of April, Lakeside has fully staffed the Grindley Aquatic & Wellness Campus pool. Plus, you will no longer need to make reservations for open swim. Admission to the pool is on a first-come, first-served basis as in previous years. Children’s swim lessons, water aerobics and lap swim are returning.

Ward Catering to Enhance Hotel Lakeside Dining Room: This summer, Lakeside Chautauqua is excited to announce that Ward Catering will be taking over the Hotel Lakeside Dining Room and making several improvements and upgrades to your dining experience.

For starters, the Dining Room will be open seven days a week, all season long, beginning May 27. The Dining Room will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. The only exception will be Sunday when they serve Brunch from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and reopen for dinner at 4 p.m.”

At check-in, Hotel Lakeside and Fountain Inn guests will receive vouchers for a complimentary breakfast during the summer season. The buffet will also be open to all Lakesiders; $18 for adults and $10 for children ages 10 and under.

The Wards also installed the latest technology to make your dining experience more convenient. They purchased computers and monitors for quick and easy online ordering. QR codes will be available for fast phone ordering. This year, Lakesiders will have the option to sit on the Hotel Lakeside porch and take in the views while ordering a meal directly from your phone, tablet or computer, and everything will come out to you.

Room service is also available to Hotel Lakeside guests; however, delivery of meals for the rest of Lakeside won’t be ready until mid-summer. Afternoon Tea returns to the historic hotel on Wednesdays and Fridays from 2-4 p.m. throughout the season. It will also be available Mother’s Day weekend.

Will You Join the 150 & Onward Conversation?

This summer, we’re being deliberate about creating opportunities for us to reflect and plan for our future, together as a community. After the challenges of the past two years, it is important that we use these experiences as moments of learning to help pave a new pathway forward.

Your voice, ideas and insights matter! When people come together and share ideas, we end up making better decisions, and the best days of Lakeside are ahead.

Please join our 150 & Onward conversation this summer and plan to participate in the following:

  • Neighborhood conversations
  • Porch talks
  • Online surveys
  • Social media polls
  • Digital dialogues through social media
  • Digital feedback through our Questions & Insights Card
  • Individual conversations

Continue to stay informed and watch for updates and announcements on this page, as well as through Lakeside Chautauqua’s official Facebook page, e-newsletter and the weekly Lakesider newspaper.

We all want to preserve the Lakeside experience for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. How will you, Lakesiders of today, pay it forward to generations to come? Young and old, we need your best thinking and creativity.

Stay tuned for additional details about Lakeside’s 150 & Beyond, and please plan to participate in the conversations this summer either in-person or through Lakeside’s digital community.

We have great hope and expectations for this year as we continue to strengthen our mission and envision a thriving future for Lakeside Chautauqua. Thank you for your support and commitment to the mission of Lakeside to enrich the quality of life for all people.