COVINGTON, Ky. – The group that puts on some of Covington's most popular festivals says it is declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The MainStrasse Village Association blames bad weather at this year’s Oktoberfest in particular and also at Maifest and Goettafest for lower attendance resulting in huge revenue losses.
In a news release, the organization says Oktoberfest losses alone were greater than $100,000 and called that “a devastating blow to the organization.”
It’s unclear how the decision affects the future of those events.
The MainStrasse Village Association, a 501(c)(4) non-profit, says it will liquidate its assets to meet requirements of the Chapter 7 filing, according to the release.
The association says it had been solvent since its inception 30 years ago. “At this time, this is no longer true,” it said.
However, WCPO reported two years ago about financial issues. Money spent to advertise and put on the events was running low. Business owners knew bad weather could cause problems.
"Yeah, when it's cold and rainy, no one wants to walk around with a cold beer in their hand,” said Julie Boone, owner of Julie's Inspiration Consignment Shoppe.
Joseph Vogerl, who lives in MainStrasse, said he enjoyed going to the summertime events.
“I live within the festival grounds. It was good. Come down here, get food, look at the crafts and enjoy a beer or two,” Vogerl said.
“It’s definitely a bummer. They were always a good time being so close. When people don’t show up and the weather is terrible, there's nothing much you can do about it.”
MainStrasse Village businesses will continue to operate as usual, the release said.
“The MainStrasse Village has experienced tremendous growth over the years, with resident, business and tourism growth. To this extent, the MainStrasse Village Association has served an instrumental role in the helping develop the growth of the area,” according to the release.
“The MainStrasse 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.”
WCPO reached out to the Mainstrasse board but has not received a response.