COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) - The group that puts on Goettafest, Oktoberfest and other family-friendly festivals at MainStrasse Village announced over the weekend it has decided to declare Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
The non-profit organization has been running festivals, promoting tourism and helping manage events for more than 30 years, but says now bad weather has reduced crowds and revenue.
“While this action deeply affects the Association and will result in its eventual dissolution as a corporation, Village businesses will continue to operate successfully as they always have, and the Village will continue to be a welcoming home to its many residents,” the non-profit group said in a news release on their website.
"A typical large festival, such as Oktoberfest, takes tens of thousands of dollars of startup costs to pay for the upstart of any of our major festivals. These costs include security, beer, banks for booths and prepaid expenses, such as insurance. The impact of the rain during this year’s Oktoberfest resulted in losses that exceeded a hundred thousand dollars.
"While Maifest and Goettafest both had impact to revenue as a result of weather, Oktoberfest’s weather resulted in a devastating blow to the organization."
They have been a solvent organization since their inception. However, the unprecedented weather experienced at all of the 2018 festivals, especially Oktoberfest, was a “game changer.”
Kevin Rutkowski is the bar manager at Goodfella’s pizza on Main Street. He said the extra foot traffic brought in by these festivals was a plus. Now, those crowds who packed the streets and stepped inside his restaurant might not be around.
“Hopefully, someone will take the opportunity because there is such room for growth, especially with Covington on the upswing. I’m really excited to see what Covington brings," he said.
City officials plan to meet with the MainStrasse Village Association board members on Wednesday.
“The bottom line is that city officials will be meeting with members of the board on Wednesday to talk about a range of issues going forward, including the fate of the festivals. Obviously, MainStrasse Village is a critical part of Covington. Its businesses are an important part of our economy, and its reputation and features attract a lot of visitors,” Communications Manager Dan Hassert said.
It’s not clear yet how this will impact future events.
"The association’s Board of Directors and Membership have determined our best course of action is to declare Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. They will be liquidating current assets to meet any requirements of the Chapter 7 filing.
The MSVA Board and Membership are proud of the millions of people that attended their festivals, events and visited the MainStrasse area.
We thank our residents, businesses, community and City of Covington for the support throughout the years."