Due to the effects of COVID-19, Lakeside Chautauqua's summer programming season will not be the same this year. It will look different. It will feel different. It will not be as big or as grand. It will not be business as usual. However, despite what we do know, it has not diminished our commitment to creating a season for you and your family.

Similarly, operation of our gates and the fees charged for admission will also not be business as usual and will need to be adjusted this summer. Therefore, the Lakeside gates will be in operation from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day (excluding Monday, Aug. 31 through Thursday, Sept. 3, which will be free admission and parking). View more details about 2020 Admission & Parking Fees.

View revised gate hours, will call and barcode information for this summer. Season Chautauqua Passes can be ordered and picked up at the Hoover Ticket Office, located at 115 Third St.

Why is Lakeside charging admission and parking for the entire summer?

Operation of the gates is considered paramount to controlling access to Lakeside events and venues and maintaining a safe and secure environment for all, especially the kids that roam free within Lakeside during the summer months.

After deliberations with the Lakeside Chautauqua Board, it was decided that the gate should operate for the entire summer to provide the safety we need for the community and to cover the operating costs of Lakeside. Therefore, the Lakeside gates will be in operation from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day weekend (excluding Monday, Aug. 31 through Thursday, Sept. 3, which will be free admission and parking).

The cost of operating Lakeside is significant and the revenue from the season helps pay those operating bills.

Roughly 72% of Lakeside’s funding comes in from April through August. Budgeted revenue for this year from all attendance-related activities, including season passes, daily gates fees, parking, hotels, groups and event fees totaled $5.8 million. Lakeside is expecting attendance-related revenue with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to be less than half of what was budgeted. Lakeside is taking this expected loss of revenue very seriously and is implementing immediate steps to reduce overall costs through cuts in staffing, operating and programming costs for 2020. It is going to be a difficult summer ahead.
Operating Lakeside involves many things that take staff and dollars every day.
Here are just a few examples:

  • Municipal Services/Maintenance is one of the largest costs of Lakeside. These costs include building maintenance and mechanical systems, upkeep of Security and Maintenance vehicles, utilities (electric, water, internet, etc.), insurance, real estate taxes, health and fire inspections/certifications and regulatory requirements of the Memorial Garden at Chautauqua Park. Other duties include Historic Preservation & Design Review Board (HP&DRB) procedures and oversight, management of construction projects and working with our vendors’ restaurants, shops and services, which operate from Lakeside-owned buildings.
  • Grounds work will be greatly reduced this year, but upkeep of the Memorial Garden and public parks and walkways will need to continue.
  • Reopening recreational venues will be dependent upon State of Ohio directives. As recreation venues reopen, they will come with specific maintenance protocols. Tennis, pickleball, shuffleboard, sailing, wellness center, miniature golf and playgrounds will require a new level of cleaning. Lakeside has ordered new cleaning equipment and supplies to meet anticipated regulations.

The bottom line is that the gate fees are not just for shows and programming, they are also needed to operate all functions at Lakeside.

Why is Lakeside charging admission and parking during “Conference weeks?”

In the past, the weeks of Conferences operated without gates fees because the West and East Ohio Conferences of the United Methodist Church paid significant fees to Lakeside. These facility fees paid by the conferences allowed them to use all of Lakeside’s meeting spaces, but it also included operation of all of the functions of Lakeside (security, shuffleboard, lifeguards, etc.) for the safety and enjoyment of the conference attendees and their families and guests. The conferences are not here this June and therefore are not paying any fees for the operation of Lakeside. The gate fees are necessary during those weeks to cover operating costs of Lakeside.