As for the land in Pigeon Forge, the canopy is still rusting in place on Sugar Hollow Road. "It was a wonderful run for almost 70 years and we didn't deviate from [Tommy Bartlett's] mission and his guidance," he said. Seeing the Tommy Bartlett Show was as American as apple pie. But it was an emotional decision for Diehl, who started working with Tommy Bartlett 54 years ago. The iconic Tommy Bartlett Show in the Wisconsin Dells has announced its permanent closure due to the losses incurred by the pandemic. The Tommy Bartlett Show was a water-skiing exhibition and stage show held in a massive outdoor auditorium on Lake Delton. “From May through September 6, we experienced a complete loss of revenue when we had to cancel our 2020 summer season on Lake Delton due to the pandemic,” Diehl said in the announcement. "There, we didn't have uncertainty because I was working on getting the lake rebuilt and I knew it was going to get done so there was no uncertainty," Diehl said. The water ski, sky, and stage show had been running for 69 years. ”The boys liked the speedboats and clownery,” I reported after a 2002 visit, “and I savored the show as a pure form. "We're a small, family business and investing the amount of money that we would have to invest to get to next May without having certainty just makes absolutely no business sense.". Co-owner Tom Diehl said the financial losses from this year made it impossible for the show’s long run to continue. The show did not open this season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. "In this case, we weren't open. Tommy Bartlett Show Announces Closure Madison…State Representative Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) released the following statement after the announcement by Tom Diehl, President and Co-Owner of the Tommy Bartlett Show, that the show is closing permanently. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the show had to cancel its 2020 summer season. "Together, we grew this into what it was at the height, in the 80s and the 90s. We went every year as they had a locals weekend show and I was a chaperone for the school trips. Managers on Wednesday said they are closing and will not reopen. "The skiers, they don't care about getting paid, they just love what they do. WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. (WMTV) - After 69 years, the Tommy Bartlett Show is shutting down permanently. “This is not something we wanted to do,” said Tom Diehl, president and co-owner of the Tommy Bartlett Show, in a statement. The Tommy Bartlett Show had more than 18,700 shows throughout its history. CLOSED for 2020 SEASON – We are saddened to announce that due to COVID-19 and its impact on public gatherings, the Tommy Bartlett Ski, Sky, and Stage Show will not open for … The owners of the Tommy Bartlett Show say the ski show is not coming back next year. "It's a big impact. The show said the reason for its close is  “catastrophic loss of business.” The water-ski, sky and stage show, which brought in 90% of the business’ revenue, was canceled for 2020 because of restrictions on large gatherings during the pandemic. The water ski, sky, and stage show had been running for 69 years. "All day long our phones have been blowing up, because people are just shocked and just want to talk," Cathy said. Thousands of people usually turn-out each summer to see the water skiing show at the Dells, but this year’s shows were lost to the coronavirus pandemic. Complete the form below to let us know what you remember most about going to the show, and we’ll compile the results for a future article focused on how the show impacted us in central Wisconsin. Tommy Bartlett Show in Wisconsin Closes Permanently, From the Braintrust: Notre Dame Football Coach Brian Kelly Earns Failing Mark, COMING SOON: OnFocus College Football Bowl Contest, Medford Fans Sing A Cappella Rendition of National Anthem After Sound System Falters, Thankful Outdoors: Dogs Share a Piece of Their Heart. The company is blaming “catastrophic” losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic. WISCONSIN DELLS, WI (WHBL) – A piece of Wisconsin history, the Tommy Bartlett Show, is closing. More than 20 million people have enjoyed the performances over the course of nearly 19,000 shows. The Tommy Bartlett Show said it is closing because of the "catastrophic loss of business." Tom Diehl, president of Tommy Bartlett Inc., looks over the vacant amphitheater of the company's water ski show in Wisconsin Dells on Wednesday. A perennial Wisconsin Dells attraction is closing down, permanently. The economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have forced the iconic Tommy Bartlett Show in the Wisconsin Dells to close for good. "The biggest detriment to business is uncertainty. — Sam Wunderle (@Sam_Wunderle) September 16, 2020 Company President Tom Diehl announced Wednesday the show would not be returning after its 2020 show season was canceled due to COVID-19 related restrictions. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! President Tom Diehl says they were hoping to return to Lake Delton next year for a 70th season. WISCONSIN DELLS, WI (WSAU) – The iconic Tommy Bartlett Show, which has run for seven decades in Wisconsin Dells, is closing permanently. The Tommy Bartlett Show announced Wednesday it would close permanently, after canceling the 2020 season when the pandemic hit. We welcome your stories! Your tickets will be held for pick-up at our Tommy Bartlett EXPLORATORY ticket booth, which opens daily at 10:00 a.m. Summer 2020 closing hours vary – guaranteed to remain open through 4:00 p.m. The water skiing circus acts at the The Tommy Bartlett Show ran for nearly 70 years in Wisconsin Dells, although it is reportedly closing for good after financial hardship caused by the 2020 pandemic. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. Wisconsin Dells (OnFocus) – Citing historic losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Tommy Bartlett Show is closing its doors for good. Bartlett brought his touring show to Lake Delton in 1953 and stuck around. Wisconsin Dells (OnFocus) – Citing historic losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Tommy Bartlett Show is closing its doors for good. One of the oldest and most well-known tourist attractions in Wisconsin Dells announced it won't reopen again after the pandemic forced it to close for the 2020 season. The company's year-round staff have stayed on through the pandemic to keep that running. From the Braintrust: Notre Dame Football Coach Brian Kelly Earns Failing Mark |, Police and Fire Commission names Dr. Shon Barnes as Madison police chief, 60 more deaths from COVID-19 in Wisconsin; 145 more hospitalized, Doses of COVID-19 vaccine fall short of number promised. Started by Tommy Bartlett in 1952 as a touring water ski exposition, the iconic show has been a Lake Delton staple since 1953, including the summer of 2008 when heavy rains caused a … WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. (CBS 58) --- After nearly seven decades, the iconic Tommy Bartlett Show in Wisconsin Dells is permanently closing. Please adjust your search criteria and try again. Contact us at [email protected]! “But in business, you have to make decisions separate from emotions.”. That's good news for the community, which is 99 percent tourism-based, according to Diehl, who also leads the Association of Wisconsin Tourist Attractions. COMING SOON: OnFocus College Football Bowl Contest, David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. The Janesville couple has been performing with the show for decades. “Each fall, we begin to plan for the next season, and with so much uncertainty surrounding the future of the pandemic and travel, we cannot undergo additional financial risk and investment to begin planning for summer 2021. The show employs seven year-round staffers, many of whom the release said had been with the show for decades. News Tips: 608-273-2727 "Tommy's legacy and the show's legacy will always remain that he presented high quality entertainment for the masses and they thoroughly enjoyed it because they kept coming back year after year.". We have come so far. Things turned around this summer and attractions ended up bringing in about 75 percent of normal business. Hundreds of skiers and millions of people have come out for performances over the years. The two say Tommy and Tom, and their fellow skiers, were like family. “But in business, you have to make decisions separate from emotions.” Jerry started working with Bartlett in the 80s. In order to align with the naming on their website, all social media accounts and Google Business listing (among others) they are requesting the name of the wikipedia page to be updated for brand consistency.. Always seemed like a program that might show up as part of a scene in an old Bill Murray movie though based on the billboards. After more than half a century, Diehl says he is ready to say goodbye, as he plans to continue working to support the tourism economy in the Dells. “But in business, you have to make decisions separate from emotions.” The Tommy Bartlett Show in the Wisconsin Dells is closing permanently because of business losses from the pandemic. And we don't have any certainty as to whether or not things will be the same next summer," said owner Tom Diehl. and last updated 10:52 AM, Sep 20, 2020 WISCONSIN DELLS — One of the Dells most iconic attractions, the Tommy Bartlett Show, is closing for good. There was a lot of tears," he said. Madison, WI 53719 After nearly seven decades, the Tommy Bartlett Show will … He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' So there was a lot of kids out there, they were aspiring to become a pro skier at that level, so this is a huge opportunity gone.". Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The Tommy Bartlett Show in the Wisconsin Dells area is closing permanently. Tommy Bartlett's Thrill Show → Tommy Bartlett Show – The Tommy Bartlett Show has simplified their name for easier search discovery by visitors. I was given a wonderful opportunity by Tommy Bartlett," Diehl told 27 News. The Tommy Bartlett Show has been through a lot over the decades, but until now not even the draining of Lake Delton after massive floods in 2008 could stop the performances. “While we are grateful that we have had almost seven decades of entertaining visitors in Wisconsin Dells, we have no choice but to close the Show.”, “The Tommy Bartlett Show has been a staple of our community for nearly 70 years and they will be dearly missed by both residents and loyal visitors,” the Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau, Inc. said in a statement. However, pretty tough to reopen when there's no certainty that next year will be any better than this year.". If you are requesting pick up outside of these hours, please call 608-254-2525 to make arrangements. Diehl says the hardest part about closing down was telling the staff and skiers in April that the show would not go on. “This is not something we wanted to do,” said Tom Diehl, president and co-owner of the Tommy Bartlett Show, in a statement. While the performances are ending, the Tommy Bartlett Exploratory museum will stay open. The company is blaming “catastrophic” losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The Tommy Bartlett show announced Wednesday it would close for good after losing the 2020 season to the COVID-19 pandemic. The water-ski, sky and stage show, which brought in 90% of the business' revenue, was canceled … Tommy Bartlett Show permanently closing after nearly 70 years WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. (WMTV) - A major Wisconsin Dells attraction is shutting its doors after almost 70 years. My husband took me to see it in 1969 on one of our early dates. 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