Tommy Bartlett Dells Show Closing Permanently
Chalk another one up to the COVID-19 Pandemic: the Tommy Bartlett Show - a Wisconsin Dells-favorite attraction for almost 70 years - is calling it quits for good. The water show had cancelled their 2020 season but hoped to reopen next summer; the loss of revenue has changed those plans forever.
Since 1952, the Tommy Bartlett Show provided summertime water entertainment, starting its first season as a touring attraction. The next summer - in 1953, it found a permanent home on Lake Delton and was an anchor on the strip of family-attractions in the Wisconsin Dells from that point forward. The program was water skiing, acrobatics, and musical entertainment rolled into a show that offered something for the whole family. It was also one of the towns top attractions.
News sources report that the company employed 115 seasonal employees, along with an additional seven year-round employees. Although the attraction has announced that it is closing for good, the news won't affect those employees for the time being.
Many looked forward to Tommy Bartlett's return in the summer of 2021. The season would have marked its 70th season celebration. But, as the organizers started to look towards plans for 2021, it became apparent that loss of revenue and the pandemic were becoming a factor. In a news release, Tom Diehl -president and co-owner of the Tommy Bartlett Show offered:
"It is with great sadness that we announce the Tommy Bartlett Show will not be able to make a comeback in 2021 as we had hoped. After 69 years, we are permanently shuttering the business."
It's estimated that more than 30-million people watched the Tommy Bartlett performance since the start.