The Columbus City Council is considering adding the city’s first entertainment district

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) – The Columbus City Council held a full house tonight. Many business owners and Columbus residents were there to hear about a proposed regulation that would allow people to carry open drinks in public.

Council members debated for some time bringing the city’s premier entertainment district uptown.

A trip uptown could get even more exciting for some if city officials agree to a proposal to turn part of the area into an entertainment district, where people can carry drinks in public. Currently, you can’t leave one Uptown store with an open drink and walk into another.

Police Chief Freddie Blackmon says he has been speaking to law enforcement in surrounding areas about the success of such tourist attractions.

“I’ve communicated with the police chief in a very similarly located district where they have a very similar process and it’s less of a challenge for them in Savannah and I think we’re likely to get similar results here.” ‘ said Chief Blackmon.

During Tuesday’s council meeting, Councilor Mimi Woodson presented a resolution for the Highside Market at 2nd Avenue and 13th Street to be considered as the location for the city’s premier entertainment district. Part of the resolution included a vote on whether or not customers would be allowed to carry open containers of alcohol.

City officials say they met with various business owners who have mixed opinions about the project.

“The questions I heard at 2:00 p.m. last week often had the answer, ‘We don’t know. We do not know that the district developed itself. We have no idea what the Cup situation is.” So if that’s not clear, how do you know how it’s going to be enforced?” asked Columbus resident Mollie Smith.

“It’s showing in cities like Dunwoody, Conyers, Toccoa, Savannah, Atlanta, Marietta, Cartersville, Phenix City and Opelika — that they can do this and it’s successful,” said Garrett Lawrence, business owner of Uptown Columbus.

But overall, many business owners spoke out in favor of the project at Monday’s council meeting.

“I think the vast majority of people have been to cities and enjoyed an entertainment district and realized it’s something they’d like to see uptown,” said Columbus business owner Niki Gedroic.

The project proposal will not be approved in the foreseeable future. In a year, city officials will discuss it again.

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