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Covid-19 concerns prompt local New Year's Eve cancellations

Posted at 10:12 PM, Dec 28, 2021

MILWAUKEE — Covid-19 concerns are prompting people to cancel New Year's Eve celebrations.

"The whole idea of it is to see the year out, have fun and relax, but in these conditions, it just doesn't feel possible," said Tommy Vandervort.

Vandervort co-owns Enlightened Brewing Company with James Larson. They planned to host a New Year's Eve dance party Friday with the DJ group, The Get Down. They started planning back in the summer and fall. Then their plans changed.

"Is this still going to be safe? Are we going to be stressed out the whole night?" Larson said. "We're a small company, six employees, eight including us. If half of us or any one of us goes down, we're in trouble."

"Eventually we were going to require that you had to show your vaccination card to get in here, and in the beginning we weren't even thinking about that," Vandervort said. "And how quickly we go from there to having to cancel."

Instead they will open from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on New Year's Eve. They hope to be able to reschedule the original event later in the year when conditions improve.

"It's hard to believe that we're still wrestling with this, but we are," Vandervort said. "And we have to make the call, and we feel like it was the right call."

Dubbel Dutch Hotel general manager Meghan Keyes was looking forward to hosting a New Year's Eve party as well. She said they were planning to have 50 people, then they dropped it to 30, and then they made the decision to cancel.

"All day yesterday I was trying to go back and forth of should we host it, should we not. And kind of all over the holiday weekend," Keyes said. "We just decided yesterday it's too risky. We only have four staff total, including myself."

The hotel will remain open for guests. It's especially tough because Keyes said it would have been the hotel's first New Year's event.

"We've always been a little stricter with Covid safety just because we opened during the pandemic," Keyes said. "So that's all we've known."

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