When do we start to panic?

It isn't truly summer until the historic Root Beer Barrel in Douglas, Michigan opens for the season. It's a Saugatuck area staple and a must-visit after every trip to Oval Beach, but things are going to look a little different this year.

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On the famous concession stand's Facebook page lease holder Mick White shared the sad news that his contract on the business had expired and his bid for renewal was rejected, meaning Mick's time at the Root Beer Barrel has come to a close.

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Douglas City Mayor Jerry Donovan told Fox 17's Max Goldwasser both the lot the barrel sits on and the building itself are municipal-owned and the move to reject White's proposal for the 2024 season was purely business adding,

The City and Douglas thinks to world of Mick White...He's done a great job. Quality service. A really cool experience for everybody...[however] the city's responsibility is to get the biggest return for the taxpayers

What's Next?

So what does that mean for the Root Beer Barrel's future here in West Michigan? Mayor Donovan assures customers the stand will be open this summer, however the new owner and details of the contract agreement will not be revealed until the next city council meeting.

So, the Root Beer Barrel isn't in danger of going anywhere but you'll probably be seeing some new faces this season. In the meantime, I suggest you watch White's heartfelt interview with Goldwasser.

The iconic oversized root beer barrel was originally built in 1952 in Flint and was then relocated across the state. Yes, it’s made of real wood! Read more about the historic concession stand here.


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