Wayzata is a premier suburb located 11 miles west of downtown Minneapolis. With a population of 4,500 people, Wayzata is a tight-knit community which is known for its vibrant downtown and picturesque setting on Lake Minnetonka. A popular destination for visitors, Wayzata’s downtown is home to a number of specialty shops, boutiques, professional services, and restaurants.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Energetic Committee Propelling Wayzata Forward

The Energy & Environment Committee is relatively new, but its tackling issues that have been around for a long time.

Energy & Environment Committee Zoom Meeting June 23, 2020

On Tuesday, the group met on Zoom like so many meetings are being held these days.

Councilmember Jeff Buchanan serves as the Council Liaison. Committee members include: 
Kathleen Jones, Emily Robare, Amy Stielow, KC Chermak, Polly Anderson, Chrissie Olson, Alessandra Bajetti (student member)

"The creation of the Energy and Environment Committee really came out as a key initiative of the City’s 2040 Visioning process," said Wayzata City Manager Jeff Dahl. "That engagement process included the involvement of several hundred community members."

Wayzata has partnered with Xcel Energy and the Center for Energy and Environment in the Partners in Energy Program.

The program provides communities free services to develop an energy plan in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Wayzata is among more than 20 communities that are taking part in the program. Nearby communities of Minnetonka and Shorewood are also a part of the program.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the committee talked about the importance of obtaining grants as a way to fund the mission:

The purpose of the Energy and Environment Committee is to conduct research and provide recommendations to the City Council concerning energy and environmental issues and initiatives confronting the City based on research and collaboration with City staff. Under direction from the City Council, the Committee shall work to protect and preserve the ecological resources of the community so that they are in balance with the economic, recreational, and historic resources of our land and Lake Minnetonka for generations to come.

"There really is no capital budget for the group, so they are initially focused on engaging the community and information gathering in order to both conserve energy and sustain our natural resources," said Dahl. "While this initiative will have positive net financial impacts to the community, it will lean heavily on grants to help with any major projects that need resources." 

A big part of the committee’s role is to act as a research arm of the City Council.

The committee is expected to make recommendations to the City Council that can inform environmental priorities into city departments and operations.

One idea is examining the fleet of vehicles the city currently has and exploring purchasing practices to best conserve energy and save money.

Improving water quality and conservation is also a priority for the group.

"It (The Energy & Environment Committee) will help build community and meet our overall vision, which is: Wayzata is a charming, socially connected, and walkable lakeside community," said Dahl. "A multi-generational community at the forefront of sustainability, with a healthy environment, enticing parks and public spaces. It is a proud steward of its premier natural asset; Lake Minnetonka."

Friday, June 26, 2020

Wayzata Historical Society Partners With Other Area Organizations, Exploring Possible Consolidation

In a recent letter to Wayzata Historical Society members, the organization announced it is partnering with other area historical organizations.

Wayzata Depot Museum, Courtesy Wayzata Historical Society
The other groups includes the Deephaven Historical Society, Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical Society, Minnetonka Historical Society, The Museum of Lake Minnetonka, and Westonka Historical Society.

These organizations are conducting a viability study of a possible consolidation and/or strategic alliance.

"Members and key volunteers of all the historical organizations had concerns about the sustainability and efficacy of our mission-supporting activities such as programs, archives, publications, etc.," said Wayzata Historical Society President Aaron Person.

The Wayzata Historical Society says that the six organizations have collaborated in the past and share similar missions, members, funders, volunteers and audiences.

 "We've collaborated successfully on three projects in recent years -- the book Images of America: Lake Minnetonka, a Lake Minnetonka History Tour, and cross-promotion of programs and events via newsletter insert," said Person.

The study was made in part through a $52,000 grant funded by money from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

"We are hiring a consultant to make sure that everyone's voice is heard and that the outcome has only positive benefits for each group and/or Lake Minnetonka history as a whole," said Person.

The project begins this summer and is expected to be completed by next summer.

The Wayzata Historical Society was founded in 1982.

For many years the Wayzata Historical Society was based entirely within the Wayzata Depot. 

In the mid-2000s, the Society’s archives were moved from the basement of the Depot to the new Wayzata Library on Rice Street. 

Sunday, June 21, 2020

$10M For Wayzata Lake Effect Doesn't Make Special Session Cut

As new asphalt paved the way along Lake Street as part of the Panoway (Lake Effect) Project Phase 1, a $10 million request for Phase 2 stalled at the state Capitol.

Courtesy Lake Effect Conservancy/City of Wayzata

A week-long special session ended Saturday morning with many items still on the table.

One of these includes a bonding bill.

But even if legislators passed a bonding bill, both the House version, HF107, and the Senate version, SF4, did not include the $10 million the city of Wayzata had asked for.

This is the second time Wayzata's request did not make the cut.

In May, as the regular session wrapped up, Panoway Project Phase 2 was not on the final version of bonding bills before the legislature.

This hasn't deterred the city.

“We fully anticipate being a part of the bonding bill and need the funding in order to move forward Phase 2," said Wayzata City Manager Jeff Dahl. "It’s a long process of obtaining public funds, though, that may continue beyond this year.”

With a lot of unfinished business in St. Paul, the Legislature could be called back for another session in July.

That means Wayzata's $10 million ask may have another chance.

In an effort to secure state funds, the city hired Lockridge, Grindal, Nauen PLLP in August of 2019 to advocate for Wayzata.

The firm was initially hired on a 12-month, $40,000 contract.

“We have no interest in ending our partnership with LGN on capturing public funds to assist in meeting the initiatives of the City,” said Dahl.

Back in October, Wayzata city officials hosted the Minnesota Senate Capital Investment Committee to educate them on the importance of a boardwalk and ecological restoration along the shoreline of Lake Minnetonka as a part of Phase 2.

In January, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz recommended a $10 million for a grant to the City of Wayzata.

But funding Panoway Phase 2 is not limited to a $10 million request of the state.

In 2016, the city council approved an agreement with the Lake Effect Conservancy.

“The Wayzata Conservancy role in support of the City of Wayzata's efforts to bring forward Panoway are as follows: Advocacy, Fundraising, and Project Coordination,” said Conservancy Board Chair Andrew Mullin.

Mullin says that the Conservancy has pledges of nearly $2 million dollars. 

But that number could be negatively impacted because of the current economic downturn.

“The Covid pandemic and resulting recession/depression have made an already challenging fundraising task even more difficult and will likely place some of our private pledges to date at risk,” said Mullin.

Pledged money aside, Mullin says the Conservancy's cash balance as of May 31, was $201,224.90.

“The project will continue to evolve and the City with support from the Conservancy will pursue both regional and state public dollars in addition to private support for Panoway on Wayzata Bay to complement any funding we may receive from bonding,” said Mullin.    

Mullin says the Conservancy plans to have some community engagement events on or around Phase 1 construction completion this fall.


Panoway (Lake Effect) Project Phase 1 is already underway – reconstructing Lake Street from Barry Avenue to Broadway Avenue, creating a multi-use park, and extending the Dakota Rail Regional Trail.

Panoway (Lake Effect) Project Phase 2 includes the restoration of the Section Foreman House, building a boardwalk along the lakefront, and restoring the Lake Minnetonka shoreline.


Panoway (Lake Effect) Background

In February of 2011, the city council appointed a Lakefront Task Force to research and provide a recommendation for the future of the City’s lakefront.

The city council adopted the Report of the Wayzata Lakefront Taskforce in January of 2012.

In March of 2014, the city council adopted the Wayzata Lakefront Final Framework Report.

Wayzata selected Civitas as the design team for the Lake Effect Signature Park schematic design in September of 2015.

On December 15, 2016, the city council approved an agreement with the Lake Effect Conservancy as a part of Resolution 29-2016 which defined the scope of the Lake Effect Project and its next steps.

That agreement states that the Conservancy will actively raise Private and Philanthropic Funding.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Authors Bette Hammel, Reed Wahlberg pair up to publish Murder Mystery centered around Lake Minnetonka in late 1800's

Wayzata resident and noted Architectural Author Bette Hammel has partnered with first time author Reed Wahlberg to publish a fiction novel featuring a murder in the late 1800's in the Lake Minnetonka area. 

The pair held an intimate gathering at the Great Lawn recently to announce the new book. was personally invited to cover the event:

Titled Big Island Remembered: Rollercoasters, Romance & Rage on Lake Minnetonka, the book is available for order now on Amazon.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Wayzata High School 2020 Virtual Graduation Ceremony Set For July 1

Wayzata High School will host a virtual graduation ceremony Wednesday, July 1 at 7:00 p.m.

The school district said that a follow-up email with details for accessing the virtual ceremony will be sent to all families on Monday, June 29.  

Graduation Celebration and Diploma Pick-Up

On Tuesday, June 30, and Wednesday, July 1, all seniors can come to the high school campus to receive their diploma. 

The Wayzata High School Stadium and field will be used to conduct a diploma distribution and celebration for each graduate. 

Professional photographers from Lifetouch Studios will be present, taking pictures of students receiving their diploma and celebrating this milestone event. 

Photographs will be provided digitally to families at no cost.


Graduates and their families should arrive in one car. Only members of the senior's immediate family will be allowed inside the stadium and on the field for viewing and picture taking. The event will be streamed live via Facebook for extended family members to watch. 


Students should wear their school issued cap and gown. 

Tentative Schedule

The schedule below is designed to minimize traffic flow and maintain a safe, secure environment for students, parents/guardians, and staff. 

Tuesday, June 30

     1:00 - 3:00 … Last Names A-Fj
     3:00 - 5:00 … Last Names Fl-Laq
     5:00 - 7:00 … Last Names Lar-Ra
     7:00 - 9:00 … Last Names Rb-Z

Wednesday, July  1

     12:00 - 1:30 … Last Names Rb-Z
     1:30 - 3:00 … Last Names Lar-Ra
     3:00 - 4:30 … Last Names Fl-Laq
     4:30 - 6:00 … Last Names A-Fj

Note: Students who are not able to meet the schedule above will be provided an alternative date to receive their diploma in August or may request to have their diploma mailed home. 

Sunday, June 14, 2020

The Hotel Landing Riding Out COVID-19 Storm, Wayzata Residents Reconsider Overseas Trips

The COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly challenging for the staff of Wayzata's The Hotel Landing, restaurant ninetwentyfive and Läka Spa.

“Like most all hotels in the state, and the country for that matter, we were faced with unfathomable declines in demand and revenues," said The Hotel Landing Area Director of Sales & Marketing Diane Reardon. "That coupled with the concerns for the health and safety of our staff, guests and communities created challenges we couldn’t have dreamed possible back in February.”

There have been more than 24,000 direct hotel-related jobs lost in Minnesota due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Like hotels across the country, the significant impact of the pandemic put us in the heartbreaking situation of having to furlough many of our employees and eliminate positions,” said Reardon. “Since the outset of the pandemic, we have worked diligently to support our team even while they have been out of work. We, along with our management company Sage Hospitality Group, launched an associate relief fund that allowed us to provide our out-of-work associates with care packages of food and other necessary household items.”

Travel spending in Minnesota year-to-date is down 83% as of the week ending May 23  according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA).

“Initially, we of course saw a huge decline in every kind of travel and business at our hotel,” said Reardon. “Currently, we are seeing pickup in leisure travel, as there is pent up demand for people who want to get out of the house after being cooped up for weeks on end. We’re seeing that a lot of this demand is coming from the local and regional area.”

The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) says in May, the number of passengers being screened at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is down more than 90 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

There were 501 daily departures in May 2019 compared to just 124 in May 2020.

Jim & Judy Betty of Wayzata

Judy and Jim Betty of Wayzata booked a cruise for mid-September along the Danube River in Europe.

"During early March, British Airways cancelled our flight and rebooked us on a much less direct route," said Jim Betty. "At that point, I contacted them and they were most happy to refund the cost of the flight."

Betty said uncertain conditions regarding international travel at this time was a factor in deciding to cancel the trip.

"Will the cruise even operate? Will we be quarantined upon arrival and what actual flights will be offered by fall?," said Jim Betty.

Fortunately, the Bettys have someone in their corner to help with cancelling the trip.

"We have worked with the same travel agent for at least 20 years, she is our advocate in all those issues, and any refunds that the trip operators offer will be returned to us," said Jim Betty. "It is a good decision to use a competent travel agent."

Paving Of Wayzata's Lake Street Begins

Construction crews began paving the 600 block of Wayzata's Lake Street Monday.

Crews have been busy recently pouring concrete sidewalks and curbs in that area.

According to the city and Stahl Construction, the following are some of the construction highlights for this week (June 15 - June 19):

  • Pave Lake Street from Broadway to Walker
  • Open one-way westbound traffic from Broadway to Walker
  • Begin installing the planting beds and top soils between Barry and Ferndale.
  • Install lighting and bases at Broadway and at the Cov plaza.
  • Pave the plaza at Cov.
  • Install sidewalks and planting curbs at the plaza.

The construction is a part of the Panoway on Wayzata Bay (Lake Effect) Project Phase 1.

A Plaza Park will replace a surface parking lot at Lake Street and Broadway Avenue.

The city allocated roughly $9 million toward the first phase of the project.

RELATED CONTENT: Construction Work Begins On Wayzata’s Lake Street

It recently used $25,000 of a contingency fund to speed up the project and pay overtime for construction  workers.

RELATED CONTENT: City of Wayzata Introduces Lake Effect Construction Manager Stahl Construction

Panoway on Wayzata Bay (Lake Effect) Background

In February of 2011, the city council appointed a Lakefront Task Force to research and provide a recommendation for the future of the City’s lakefront.

The city council adopted the Report of the Wayzata Lakefront Taskforce in January of 2012.

In March of 2014, the city council adopted the Wayzata Lakefront Final Framework Report.

Wayzata selected Civitas as the design team for the Lake Effect Signature Park schematic design in September of 2015.

On December 15, 2016, the city council approved an agreement with the Lake Effect Conservancy as a part of Resolution 29-2016 which defined the scope of the Lake Effect Project and its next steps.

That agreement states that the Conservancy will actively raise Private and Philanthropic Funding.


RELATED CONTENT: $10M For Wayzata Lake Effect Not In Failed Senate Bonding Bill

RELATED CONTENT: Despite COVID-19 Expenses, State Bonding Bill Moving Forward, Wayzata's $10M Ask Still On Table

RELATED CONTENT: Construction Work Begins On Wayzata’s Lake Street

RELATED CONTENT: City of Wayzata Introduces Lake Effect Construction Manager Stahl Construction

RELATED CONTENT: Business Feedback On Lake Street Development Discussed

RELATED CONTENT: Gov. Walz Recommends $10M for Wayzata Lake Effect

Friday, June 12, 2020

Wine On Wayzata Bay 2 Weeks Away, Raffle Supports Wayzata Sailing

Wine on Wayzata Bay (WOWB), an event supporting Wayzata Sailing, is taking place Friday, June 26 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Because of COVID-19, the 13th Annual WOWB will be a virtual event on Facebook.

WOWB will pull raffle tickets for six sailing bags full of wine in addition to one
grand prize 50/50 raffle ticket.

To get a raffle ticket call Kathy Arendt at 612.810.0699 or visit the customer service window at Wayzata Sailing, 456 Arlington Circle, Monday through Friday between 9-4 p.m.

You can find more info at

JJ Hill Days Planning Moving Forward

The Greater Wayzata Area Chamber of Commerce announced that despite the disruption and concern about COVID-19, planning for the 2020 JJ Hill Days is moving forward.

The James J. Hill Days Steering Committee reviewed a recent survey and decided to keep the annual event on the calendar.

It is scheduled to happen September 11 - 13.

A final decision whether to officially host JJ Hill Days will be made by July 31.

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Restrictions On Wayzata Bars, Restaurants Loosened This Week

On Wednesday, June  10, restaurants can begin offering indoor dining while maintaining social distancing, requiring reservations, and seating no more than 50 percent occupancy.

Grocer's Table Patio

RELATED CONTENT: Gov. Unveils Plan To Reopen Restaurants, Republicans Push Back

Meanwhile, gyms, personal fitness and yoga studios, and martial arts may open at 25 percent capacity.

Indoor entertainment venues, such as theaters and concert halls, can open at 25 percent capacity.
Recreational indoor entertainment venues, such as bowling alleys, arcades, and museums may open at 25 percent capacity.

Personal services, such as salons, tattoo parlors, and barbershops, may increase occupancy rates to 50 percent while requiring reservations.

Outdoor entertainment venues, such as sporting events, concerts, and theaters may open at 25 percent capacity.

Places of worship can increase occupancy rates to 50 percent.

Indoor social gatherings can take place with 10 people or less; outdoor social gatherings can take place with 25 people or less.

“Thanks to your dedication, we are now in a position to carefully turn the dial toward reopening society," Gov. Tim Walz said. "As we move forward, it is more important than ever that we each do our part as we trust and rely on each other to keep our state safe.”


RELATED CONTENT: Wayzata Churches Using Caution When Considering Reopening

RELATED CONTENT: Wayzata Declares Local Emergency

RELATED CONTENT: Gov. Walz Orders K-12 Minnesota Public Schools Temporarily Closed To Battle Coronavirus

Mayor Talks About Community Inclusion Amid George Floyd Death Fallout

City of Wayzata Mayor Ken Willcox released the following statement regarding the death of George Floyd and having a community of inclusion.

Courtesy City of Wayzata

Like everyone else we were disgusted at the tragic killing of George Floyd last week. It has sparked universal expressions of grief, anger and sadness, and we share them all.

I would like to emphasize that the kind of excessive aggression seen in this incident is neither acceptable nor any part of the culture of the Wayzata police department. Our police are diligent and proactive in enforcing our laws and they treat everyone with respect and fairness regardless of race.

Under the exceptional leadership of Chief Risvold, the Wayzata police in partnership with other law enforcement agencies will continue taking the necessary precautions to ensure peace and safety in Wayzata.

We appreciate the cooperation of our residents in complying with the recent curfews. They were important to our policing efforts. On a positive note, there were no incidents in Wayzata this past week related to the unrest in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The City of Wayzata is committed to taking further steps to ensure that we have an inclusive culture that values and serves all people. It is an effort that needs the support and participation of our entire community. Some of our residents have already stepped up to volunteer and provide resources to the people most affected by the destruction in Minneapolis. We are proud of Wayzata’s ongoing generosity and kindness, and we thank you all.

Going forward we are doing the following:

  • We are continuing to emphasize to our City staff, including our public safety personnel, that the culture of our City remains one of respect and fairness to everyone.

  • We are in contact with officials in Minneapolis and St. Paul to determine how our community could be of most assistance.

I would like to extend particular thanks to the members of our police and fire departments. Our gratitude extends to the entire City staff. They have worked under unusual stress dealing with the challenges of both the coronavirus and civil unrest.

And finally, thank you to our residents for supporting our ongoing efforts to keep Wayzata a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment. 

Be well.

Ken Willcox

Friday, June 05, 2020

Stack The Semi Food Drive At Wayzata High School June 11

We Are Wayzata Strong (a community-based group of west metro neighbors, friends and the Wayzata High school Y.E.S Program) will host a food drive to supply the Food Shelf run by Plymouth-based human services nonprofit Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners.

The event will take place Thursday, June 11 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Wayzata High School parking lot.

COVID-19 has created job loss or reduction in pay for many families increasing the demand for food.

“In these challenging times, this is a great way to come out and support those in need” said Dan Schmidt member of the We Are Wayzata Strong organization.  “Our goal is to #STACKTHESEMI in honor of our front-line community members, educators, school district staff and our 2020 graduates for their tireless work, contributions and achievements.”

Here is a list of their most needed items:

Toilet Paper         
Canned meat or fish         
Dish/Laundry Soap
Paper Towels         
Healthy Snacks
Cooking Oil       
Diapers, Size 5 & 6         
Hearty Soups
Coffee and Tea       
Canned fruits and vegetables     
Rice and Pasta

Find out more information at

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

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Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Panoway Trees Plan & Elections On Tonight's City Council Agenda

The 2020 Election Plan and the 2040 Comp Plan are on the Wayzata City Council Tuesday's agenda.

A workshop is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and the council meeting is set for 7 p.m.

Courtesy City of Wayzata
 The design of Panoway Phase I will be reviewed during the workshop.

According to city staff, the city of Wayzata has received more than a dozen emails from property owners and tenants regarding the concern of the proposed trees on both sides of Lake Street between Walker and Barry.

Also, City of Wayzata staff has been meeting with Hennepin County officials about the pending 2020 elections. Staff and council will provide an update during the workshop on the elections as it relates to COVID-19.

You can review the Wayzata City Council Workshop Agenda here.

Meanwhile, during the city council meeting, a presentation will be given about Tour de Tonka by Tim Litfin.

The city council will also consider approving the plan for Ventana Apartments at 253 Lake Street East.

It will also consider the adoption of the 2040 Wayzata Comprehensive Plan.

You can review the Wayzata City Council Meeting Agenda here.


Both the council workshop and city council meeting will be held remotely using video conferencing platform Zoom.

Members of the public may listen but comments will not be accepted at the meeting.

Members of the public may submit comments or questions about items on the agenda in advance by emailing

The public can listen to the meeting via phone by calling (312) 626-6799.

The public may participate via Zoom using the following Zoom Meeting IDs:

  • 6 p.m. City Council Workshop Zoom Meeting ID: 947 4999 9603
  • 7 p.m. City Council Meeting Zoom Meeting ID: 939 940 9519

Lake Street Construction Drone Video 5/30/2020

Here's a bird's eye view of Wayzata's Lake Street on April 18, 2020.

Get a bird's eye view of the reconstruction of Lake Street in Wayzata with the 4th installment from You can also check out our new HD Web Cams overlooking Lake Street and Wayzata Bay on 24/7/365. #Wayzata #WayzataTogether


Lake Street Drone Video Series:

Monday, June 01, 2020

Community Conversations: Lambert Brown & Marcus Carpenter reflect on George Floyd death

Community Leaders Marcus Carpenter and Lambert Brown join's Dan Gustafson to discuss the death of George Floyd and the ensuing chaos in Minneapolis.