Riders Inn vs the Port…..reneging on a deal – not good for business [updated 1/30/19]


********Rider’s Inn********                            ********Lake County Port Authority********


At the latest Port Authority Board Meeting held on January 23, there was a full house with both Commissioners Hamercheck and Young in attendance. Commissioner Hamercheck asked Mr. Rantala about the status of the issue regarding the contract with Riders Inn and the Port Authority.  Mr. Rantala stated that he does not believe that there was a contract, and he believes that the issue is resolved.

[LFC Commentaire: Au contraire, Mr. Rantala, you may need to get yourself a new fan, because the current one may get a little messy.]

A little refresher on the situation can be read here.  Remember, after we initially published that article we received word that there MAY have been a violation of a Federal law since there seems to be a legal precedence set in the U.S. Supreme Court case #94-1654 decided on June 28, 1996 – Board of Commissioners of Wabaunsee County, Kansas versus Umbehr.

Now in this case, the Commissioners would not be sued because they did not break the contract with Riders Inn. However, since the Commissioners, and ultimately the taxpayer, is funding the lion’s share of the Port Authority and Lost Nation Airport operating budgets, the Commissioners (and by default the taxpayer) will be on the hook for defending a lawsuit should the owner of Riders Inn decide to bring legal action.

We understand the cost to pay out the contract is a measly $3,600. If the matter comes to litigation, and it just might from what we understand, Lake County attorneys would chew through $3,600 in no time! Does this seem logical to you?   What is Mr. Rantala trying to prove here? Is this how the County officials are supposed to treat a Lake County employer?   The County will spend money on attorneys, may have to pony up the $3,600, and loses untold dollars in prestige with the existing business community and with potential new businesses.

Can you imagine if prospective employers heard of this treatment by the Port Authority? Why would they bring their companies to Lake County if they thought that the marketing arm of the County reneges on a deal…….very, very, very bad optics…..

Is it too much to ask the Port Authority Board to do their their job and fixing this thing once and for all?  Are they men and women of honor?   To eliminate any confusion the Port Authority Board may have about our suggestion, let us spell it out for you.


Or, we  can offer the Port Authority and the Visitors’ Bureau a new slogan (sorry, but this splashes on the Visitors’ Bureau also, since they are “joined at the hip” with the Coastal Manager)

“Move to Lake County……Where reneging on a deal is not beneath us “.…well, we may have to work on shortening it since it is too big for a bumper sticker…..

[LFC Comment: $3,600 is chump change when considering the money the Port Authority Board is spending on the Better Flop project…we are up to $210,000, in case you missed it.

Another class act would be for the Port Authority Board to apologize in writing for their treatment of a Lake County business that is a well established icon in the community, but maybe we are expecting too much…….]

Update 1/30/19

We spoke at the Commissioners’ meeting on 1/29/19 regarding Riders Inn versus the Port Authority.  We laid out a timeline of events that informed the Commissioners that their understanding that the entire Riders Inn issue, as stated by Mr. Rantala in the Port public meeting, has been  resolved is incorrect.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

On 11/19/18, Rantala sent an email to the Riders Inn stating that a check for $300.00 has been sent as a “payment” for breaking the agreement (event cancellation). The check has not been cashed by Riders Inn on the advice of their legal counsel.  Their settlement offer was contingent on the Port holding their December meeting at the Riders Inn.  The December meeting was never held at the Riders Inn, so any settlement deal is null and void.

Riders Inn is now looking for $3,600.00 from the Port Authority covering the two cancelled appointments in 2018 and four in 2019.  Here is a copy of the invoice:
riders inn $3,600 invoice to port

The Commissioner said that they would look into the entire matter.   We will see if we have men of honor, and their word is their bond.

We will keep you informed as we get more information.

Categories: Lake, Uncategorized


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