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Alpine Valley Music Theater up for sale

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Andrea Anderson
August 26, 2014

EAST TROY—Alpine Valley Music Theater is for sale.

Stan Johnson Co., an affiliate of Milwaukee's Zilber Property Group, has listed the property for $8.44 million, according to the listing on the Stan Johnson Co. website.

The 198-acre venue is leased and operated by music promoter Live Nation, who has about five years left on a lease that calls for $675,000 annual lease payments, according to the listing.

Zilber owns the venue, according to Walworth County property records.

The property comes with “no landlord responsibilities for the maintenance, repair and replacement of the property for the duration of the lease term,” according to the listing.

The outdoor theater seats 37,000 and is the second-largest amphitheatre in the United States, the listing notes. In its 37 years, acts such as the Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones and Coldplay have graced the stage.

In the last few years, only about six artists have come to the venue--a stark contrast from its upbeat history.

Walworth County officials in early this summer met with Live Nation representatives to discuss how Alpine Valley could compete with other music venues. They discussed adjusting zoning regulations to allow for camping like that permitted at some music festivals, Michael Cotter, director of the county land use and resource management department, said in July.

Mark Campana, co-president of Live Nation's North America concerts, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel earlier that expanding camping at the venue could result in as many as 10 acts a year at the venue.

In July, the Under the Influence Music Tour featuring hip-hop artists including Wiz Khalifa and Young Jeezy cancelled its Aug. 9 performance at Alpine Valley.

The collective of hip-hop artists performed Aug. 5 at Tinley Park in Chicago.

On Saturday, Jimmy Buffett and about 27,000 parrotheads occupied the venue. The week before, Kiss and Def Leppard performed.

Kiss and Buffett were the only two shows at Alpine Valley this summer.

According to Gazette archives, the number of summer shows began to dwindle in 2005. That summer, four performances were booked. Before that, the venue saw an average of 10 shows per summer.

The Walworth County Sheriff's Office patrols the shows. In the heyday, county deputies wrote about $200,000 worth of tickets, archives state.

In a previous interview, Michael Cotter, director of the county land use and resource management department, told The Gazette that Alpine Valley at one time "was the place" to be.

He remembers attending the Monsters of Rock Tour in 1988. In the three-day kickoff at Alpine, Van Halen, Metallica and other rock stars performed and MTV broadcasted live, he said.

"They kicked off huge concert tours at Alpine," Cotter said.



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