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Storytelling: Alexandria Binanti, Exectutive Director of Downtown Lake Geneva Business Improvement District

“Lake Geneva has been part of my family history for multiple generations. My Chicagoan grandparents had a mini honeymoon here and would come back annually for both winter and summer getaways. My mom fondly talks about the days when the drinking age in Wisconsin was 18 and she would visit with some girlfriends from Chicago to go boating. They brought us here as kids and we had epic family vacations. I moved here for a couple years in 2011. It was a great opportunity to get to know the community on a local level.

When I lived in town, I was in a walking club that would meet at 5:30 in the morning. It started organically. We'd run into each other on the lake path and then it became my accountability. There was a guy named David, if he didn't see me for a few days, he’d ask me where I’d been. It grew that way and eventually we'd meet up at Starbucks downtown. We would use the bathroom, grab a drink, and go back on our route. It was a lot of fun. We'd walk around town and go by the lakefront. It’s the little things in this community that make it such a unique place to live.

I have two daughters. Mia is fifteen and Sofia is nine. They've grown up in my working world. I worked for a state representative when I was in college. I was his campaign coordinator and Mia was a toddler. She used to come to all the planning meetings and she would sit on his lap. My kids have been able to enjoy life here in Wisconsin. I have given them the best opportunities, education, family dynamic, and well-rounded life here. I'm a single mom so I take pride in being able to give the best for my kids and being able to expose them to so much of the world. Both of my girls have met the mayor of Lake Geneva and they have said to their classmates, ‘My mom's a little famous’. I've worked with famous politicians nationally and for different causes. There's pride in being able to call us a good family.

I've worked in business improvement districts for about six years. I love connecting with small business owners and being able to offer them resources that otherwise aren't so readily available. Every business owner has their niche and their expertise. That doesn't mean that they can do everything and be everywhere. Being able to support and help make businesses better has been my favorite part of the job and I feel like it's a big accomplishment.

Lake Geneva is a destination for all people. There's a thought that our town is a very exclusive place to vacation. But, day-trippers are such a big part of our downtown. Anyone from groups of teenagers who want to have some outdoor recreation to bachelorette parties or weddings and families, Lake Geneva is a place for every generation. There is a place for every income bracket and everyone has an opportunity to enjoy the town. The lake is a natural resource that draws people, but it's downtown itself with the diverse families and all the different types of businesses that really are the heartbeat of the city.” - Alexandria Binanti, Executive Director, Downtown Lake Geneva Business Improvement District

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