Biz Buzz: Galena mountain bike park finds success; Lancaster vehicle, pet wash opens; catering company to add services

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Biz Buzz Shares business tidbits from across the tri-state area. This edition highlights development in Galena, Ill., as well as Lancaster and Benton, Wis.

A Galena resort already has seen success after opening the first phase of its mountain bike park, with more trails set to be built in the spring.

Chestnut Mountain Resort, 8700 W. Chestnut Mountain Road, opened three trails of Farside Mountain Bike Park on Sept. 25, according to Resort Marketing Director Stewart Stoffregen. The trails, on which work started in the spring, only have been open a handful of days since then as resort officials get used to the new addition.

“This is phase one, and it includes three different types of trails,” Stoffregen said. “One is a skills park, and then we have a green and blue run that weasel their way down to the banks of the Mississippi River. There are different levels for all different riders to take.”

Stoffregen said tickets for the trails this year have been limited to 100 tickets per day the park is open, and about 100 people have biked down the mountain each of those days.

The park hopefully will be open Sunday, Oct. 16, he said, and that would conclude Farside Mountain Bike Park’s season for the year. Depending on how long the snow sticks around, the park would reopen in May.

“There’s lots of different jumps and stuff,” Stoffregen said. “It all depends on what you’re comfortable with. We ask riders to make a practice run first.”

He said special racks were placed on the ski lift to hold mountain bikes on the way up the mountain.

“They don’t have to ride (their bikes) back to the top,” he said, laughing.

Stoffregen said Chestnut Mountain Resort does not rent out mountain bikes at this time, but helmets and gloves are for sale in the resort apparel shop.

Additional Farside trails will be added after the upcoming ski season, Stoffregen said.

“We’re going step by step,” he said. “We plan to open a bunch of trails, but we have to see how things are going first. It all depends on the weather and how fast it can be built.”

Chestnut Mountain Resort can be reached at 800-397-1320 and found online at

Lancaster car, pet wash opens

A new Lancaster business gives people the chance to wash their vehicles and pets in one place.

Southside Wash opened Sept. 28 at 250 W. Alona Lane, to the west of McDonald’s. The business is owned by two couples: Ashleigh and Adam Hampton and Nate and MacKenzie Weber.

“We’re all Lancaster natives,” Ashleigh Hampton said. “… We were looking for something local (to start a business) because we believe in Lancaster.”

Hampton said they broke ground on the project in April on a lot already owned by her and her husband, which they had hoped to use to develop a business. She said she and her husband have two additional lots available next to Southside Wash with no development plans yet.

Southside Wash consists of two self-service bays and one automatic bay. The business also features a station for people to wash their pets.

“The idea came from studying other car washes,” Hampton said. “It seems to be the new thing, and people love it. It offers the whole deal: shampoo, conditioner, flea and tick, temperature controlled. It’s apparently a new thing out there.”

Southside Wash is open 24/7 for people to use, and phone numbers are located inside the wash bays if problems arise. The business can be reached via email at and found on Facebook.

SW Wisconsin catering company owner plans to add services

A year after opening a catering business and event center, a southwest Wisconsin business owner looks to continue growing.

Kelli Kerrigan opened Kelli’s Place, 67 E. Main St., next to McCarthy’s Tavern in Benton last October. Kerrigan also co-owns New Diggings General Store.

“The last few years, I ventured into more and more of the catering,” she said. “I believe COVID(-19) helped that. We basically shut down the bar and were offering meals to go. We had this (Main Street) building at the time, which helped perpetuate my desire to cater for people.”

The building that houses Kelli’s Place originally was built as a general store in the 1850s. Kerrigan said it was formerly a diner that had been closed for 10 years by the time she bought the building four and a half years ago.

After three years of renovations, Kelli’s Place now is an event center that comfortably can fit 50 people, as well as a catering place. An Airbnb rental also is located in the upper level of the building.

Kerrigan said the catering portion of her business is about 80% cooking and 20% baking, noting that people love her cheesecake.

“I’ve been asked a lot this year for a list of what I cater,” she said. “I often tell customers or potential clients that it’s easier to offer a list of things I don’t offer, and that’s fried foods and turkey-and-dressing sandwiches.”

She said she most enjoys the creativity that comes with cooking, and she likes to meet with clients to create a menu that fits their personality.

“I really tailor my catering to my client,” she said. “Although that might be kind of different, I think people are enjoying it.”

Kerrigan added that she hopes to launch a website by the end of the year, after which she can begin the next phase of her business: a set to-go meal menu for either pickup or delivery.

“Oftentimes, I’ve catered parties and had people ask me to think about delivering for their parents who don’t drive anymore,” she said. “But without a website, I can’t function without it. I need to take steps toward the ultimate goal.”

Kelli’s Place can be reached at 563-581-7014 or via email at The business also can be found on Facebook.