A Wisconsin business owner banned the use of masks in her buildings Friday, after the state Supreme Court overturned the state’s stay-at-home order.
Annie’s Campground, near Gresham, Wisconsin, posted the new rule on the establishment’s Facebook page: “Masks are NOT allowed in the buildings for safety sake. They are viewed as a robbery in progress and will be handled that way.” The post goes on to list planned events and food items available to patrons for the May 15-17 weekend, before thanking patrons in its conclusion.
“Thank you for your continued support as we all get through this thing called life! We have many new people on staff, please have patience as we are training and learning the next few weeks,” the post stated, before adding “back to the real normal here.”
Ann Retzlaff, who owns Annie’s Campground, told Newsweek Saturday she posted this provision on her regular weekend “line-up” to dissuade anyone who enters her campground with the intent to do harm.
“I added no masks when entering my main building because this is the perfect time for the bad guys to take advantage of any small business and rob them because it is now ‘normal’ to wear a mask. A couple days ago, several small businesses in Shawano were robbed, or the attempt was made to rob them,” Retzlaff stated in an email.
“Now, I do understand that there are people who wear a mask because of their delicate health situation, like cancer or a recent surgery. I know these people and their stature is much different that a 6’2″ male entering an establishment aggressively with intent to do harm,” Retzlaff stated.
“This is a very critical time for all citizens to wake up and understand the threats out there and take measures to protect and defend. It is as simple as that. All of my customers here understood exactly what I meant and why I posted that information,” she added.
Annie’s Campground never closed down due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Retzlaff also told Newsweek in a phone call that she remained open after she asked the sheriff if he would arrest her for doing so.
When asked if she saw a decline in her patronage, Retzlaff saw “the exact opposite.”
“This year, because of all the haters, my business has actually increased substantially,” Retzlaff said, following local articles that came out against her decision to stay open.
“Customers are so supportive. People who have driven hours to come here have hugged me and thanked me for staying open,” Retzlaff said.